Yes, car fans, the new Seat Ibiza ST estate car is more of a facelift than a wholly new car. But the suspension settings have been changed so that it handles corners and bumps better; and there£€™s a sweet, new petrol engine that eases a petrol Ibiza under the road tax charge for the first time.
The 1-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine is badged EcoTSI and though the car carries an Ecomotive badge on its rump Seat says it is not an Ecomotive model because that would mean using the word eco twice in the car£€™s name. Clear? No, me neither.
The engine is available with 94 or 108bhp and I have been testing the lower power version which has CO2 emissions of 94g/km. That is close to the diesel Econetic version which has the lowest CO2 in the range at 88g/km.
Ibiza ST prices start at £13,015. The EcoTSI SE test car was £16,160 including a £230 convenience pack with automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers and electric folding door mirrors.
A navigation system with voice control added £580 and electronic linking to Mirrorlink, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay another £145. Seat£€™s styling tends to be pretty sharp and the revamped Ibiza Sports Tourer looks sporty despite a load volume of 1,164 litres with the rear seats folded. They don£€™t go completely flat though.
Access to the rear seats is easier than with hatchback because the back doors are longer. Boot space with the seats in use is 430 litres. Daytime LED running lights give the Ibiza a modern look. The radiator grille is blanked off for better aerodynamics to improve engine warm up and so fuel consumption.
Digital radio is available on S models up and a 5in colour version of the centre console touch screen is fitted on SE, as tested, models and above. This is also where alloy wheels become standard.
SE trim also includes halogen headlights, front fog lights with cornering function, chrome roof rails, leather rimmed steering wheel and gear knob and steering wheel audio and mobile phone controls. The dashboard looks rather plain Jane but it functions well.
The engine always feels keen and if you are not careful you find yourself exceeding the 70mph speed limit. It£€™s got a characteristic note when accelerating but is quiet when cruising though top gear is only fifth.
Response to the accelerator is less sharp than with a non turbo engine but with maximum torque from just 1,500rpm it pulls with the gusto of a diesel. The benefit of turbo charging is that you have a small 1-litre engine when cruising but it behaves like a bigger one when you accelerate.
Most of the car mechanical £€˜bits£€™ come from its sister, the Volkswagen Polo, but the Ibiza has sharper responses to please a keener driver and changes to the steering and suspension have increased this. Ride comfort though is still good but I would like more feel from the quite quick steering.
This was particularly noticeable in crosswinds on the M40 when the car moved about. The Dunlop Sport BluResponse tyres provided excellent grip and were particularly good under braking on wet or dry surfaces.
You need a light right foot to get the best fuel consumption. The official combined figure is 68.9mpg but the best we managed with a lightly laden car was 52.7mpg.
There£€™s a standard three-year/60,000-mile factory warranty which you can extend to five years and 90,000 miles for an extra £359. Interestingly, the Ibiza remains the only small car offered in coupÃ©, hatchback and estate car versions.
Verdict Good update and promise of economy