2017 SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI Acceleration Test: As Fast as R56 MINI Cooper

You'd struggle to call the SEAT Ibiza "cool." It's more of a try-hard vehicle that struggles to gain traction in the market space between the Polo and Fiesta. However, it's hard to ignore what they've done with the all-new Ibiza for 2017.
2017 SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI Acceleration Test: As Fast as R56 MINI Cooper 1 photo
The model presented at the Geneva Motor Show is already giving out test drives at events in Barcelona, which is where we got this video this video. Unfortunately, the 1.5 TSI Evo model won't come out until the end of the year, so the most "exciting" engine is a little 1.0-liter turbo.

These 3-cylinder units used to deserve their bad reputation. But if the Volkswagen Group is confident enough to put this in their core Golf models, it can't be a laggy or underpowered unit.

With the Fiat 500 or Renault Clio 0.9-liter engines, you don't get much in the way of performance. But the new Ibiza makes the most of its available 115 PS and 200 Nm of torque, as this acceleration test will prove.

A quick 1-2-3 and the Ibiza is past 100 km/h in 9.3 seconds. The gears seem rather long, considering third comes in just before 100 km/h. But this is still a regular car, so the economy is important. Top speed is officially rated at 195 km/h, and while the driver can't reach that due to highway congestion, it's still a faster and more stable car than most in this segment.

The car I want to compare this new Ibiza to is the R56 MINI, which is the previous model that was discontinued in 2013. Because it looks so cool and promises driving fun, second-hand prices are pretty high. But a 120 hp Cooper model could only do 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds, and the cheaper One required 10.5. So the Ibiza's much smaller 1-liter does the same thing as the 1.6-liter the icon offered.

When it comes to practicality, there's no competition. There's literally twice as much knee room and trunk space in the 5-door Ibiza than in a Cooper. The Spanish have also built a cheap and economical hatchback. So, you see, progress really is being made.

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