Seat‘s successful supermini, the Ibiza, has been given a freshen-up, with interior and exterior changes and lower prices, although there’s no increase in efficiency for the line-up, which remains the same but with one notable exception.

The new Ibiza range now includes, for the first time, an estate ST model that features the sporty FR badge, which is now available on 105hp petrol and, driven here, diesel derivatives. That means the FR trim’s sports seats, suspension and steering wheel, and sportier styling and interior detailing, are mated to the 105hp 1.6-litre diesel engine that brings 112g/km of CO2 and an official 65.7mpg.

The new range’s revisions extend to resculpted headlamps, front grille and bonnet, as well as new tail-lights. The inside benefits from redesigned instrument dials, a smart new climate control display and a larger glovebox.

The Ibiza looks sharper than its predecessor and is practical, providing compact dimensions yet 430 litres of boot space, which dwarfs what most hatchbacks from the sector above can offer. It’s also good to drive and the interior is well laid-out.

There are few supermini estate rivals, especially as a replacement for the Peugeot 207 SW is yet to be announced, but the two most obvious ones are the Mini Clubman and Renault Clio Sport Tourer. The Ibiza ST undercuts both on price for equivalent low-powered diesel models, by £2280 and £630 respectively, and that, along with a pretty good residual value of 35.4% is enough of a gap to maintain a cost per mile advantage of 2.0p and 2.6p despite not being as efficient as either competitor.

The extension of the range to offer the attractive FR trim on lower-powered and therefore more efficient engines is a smart move, especially in the ST bodystyle that will be of most appeal to corporate users, combining a good boot size with obtainable price, decent efficiency and running costs and appealing looks.

Seat Ibiza ST FR 1.6 TDI 105
P11D price £16,325
Model price range £11,430-£17,085
Residual value 35.4%
Depreciation £10,550
Fuel £5650
Service, maintenance
and repair
Vehicle Excise Duty £60
National Insurance £1149
Cost per mile 39.7p
Fuel consumption 65.7mpg
CO2 (tax) 112g/km (16%)
BIK 20/40% per month £44/£87
Service interval 10,000miles
Insurance (1-50) group 14
Warranty 3yrs/60,000 mls
Boot space min/max 430/1164 litres
Engine size/power 1598cc/105hp
Top speed/0-62mph 117mph/10.9secs
On sale May 2012
Score 7/10
Verdict Good space and appeal
for the price and efficiency