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New SEAT Ibiza and Arona facelifts bring Spanish brand back off life-support

Spanish brand SEAT has upped the appeal of its popular Arona small SUV and Ibiza supermini with new styling and tech

Facelifted SEAT Arona and Ibiza

SEAT has confirmed that its Arona and Ibiza models will be updated once more with new styling and tech features. The compact pair are both now well into their life cycles, having already undergone one light facelift back in 2021, but 2024 will see yet more changes applied to prolong their relevance to buyers.

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The revised cars are due to be revealed in full next month and we only have limited information about what to expect, so far. But what is clear is that both will feature a substantially redesigned front end, with a more expressive shape to the grille and sportier lower bumpers. Both also pick up a fresh set of LED headlights with a new lighting signature, plus different wheels and a bright blue colour option in the case of the Arona SUV. 

The Ibiza and Arona share their fundamental underpinnings, both running on the VW Group’s MQB-A0 platform. This gives the pair a range of three- and four-cylinder petrol engines, most featuring some level of turbocharging. 

While we don’t yet know technical specifics, SEAT CEO Wayne Griffiths said in a recent conference: “Next month we’ll see updated versions of Arona and Ibiza, with a new look and improved performance”, suggesting there will be some improvements to the existing powertrain options. 

What the A0 variant of this platform doesn’t allow, however, is MQB’s more sophisticated hardware such as an all-wheel drive system or plug-in hybrid modules. We expect that some models could integrate a mild-hybrid option, but the revised range will largely lead on affordable options in order to keep the entry price accessible. 

While it is disappointing not to see a more substantial update for the two key SEAT models, the good news is that it seems to have reignited the brand after whispers of its demise in the last few years. And with a cooling of EV sentiment being felt across the market, it’s turned SEAT’s slow adoption of electrification into less of a sensitive issue in the short term, making these two B-segment models more critical parts of SEAT’s future.

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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