Published: 27 Aug 2013

SEAT Ibiza Sport vs FR explained

SEAT has been positioned by Volkswagen to be the youth arm of the brand, and no other car has been able to appeal to young buyers as the SEAT Ibiza has down the years. Now in its fourth generation, the small sporty hatchback has been the biggest success for the Spanish manufacturer down the years, continuing to sell in its millions.

In an effort to provide buyers with even more excitement, SEAT offers buyers the option of Sport and FR models. 

SEAT Ibiza Sport

The sporting version of the Ibiza is available in 1.2-litre petrol and diesel hatchback editions and comes in a range of colour choices to satisfy every car buyer. The Ibiza Sport, or S, is the entry level Sport edition of the Ibiza and is attractively styled with a good range of features.

The S (or any other Ibiza for that matter) is not great in terms of space but offers a comfortable ride with excellent stability. In terms of equipment, you get the same as-standard features found in the Ibiza E – electric front windows, remote central locking, and CD/MP3 player with steering controls – as well as some notable extras, such as air conditioning, split folding rear seats and a classy trim.

The dashboard is clear and well-laid out with attractive dials; however, from the driver’s seat rear visibility is disappointing. 


The SEAT Ibiza FR is the crown jewel in the Ibiza range and is a huge step up from the Sport. 1.2 TSI petrol and 2.0 TDI diesel engines are the pick of the FR models and the firmer suspension means that the level of comfort when driving is greatly improved. The FR brings everything that is good about the entire Ibiza range and adds to it. Top speed is better across each of the models and the overall drive feels a classier experience. However, it is in terms of equipment and styling that the FR really excels over the cheaper Sport.

Eye-catching exterior accents include 17-inch alloys and bumpers, while the interior boasts supportive cool leather sports seats and leather finishes on every area that your hands touch.

Safety is also a top priority for SEAT, though the FR does not offer anything better than the Ibiza Sport in this department, with each providing twin front and side airbags and NCAP five star certification for crash protection (the highest rating achievable).


In deciding whether to purchase an Ibiza Sport or Ibiza FR, money is likely to be the biggest issue – the 1.2 S starting at £11,180 and the 1.2 TSI FR starting at £14,500. If funds allow it, the FR is as good a small hatchback as you will find on the market and offers real prestige at a still affordable price. However, while the FR is a classier ride, the Sport should not be written off, still offering enough in the way of specifications and features to satisfy most buyers. 

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