Barcelona Salon, May 2013. In a very complicated situation for all manufacturers there is still a small ray of hope, and it is called SEAT. It is the brand that has sold the most cars this year: 28,539 from January to May. The architects is the SEAT Ibiza, the best-selling car in Spain during these first five months, with 11,073 units (although the Citroën C4 is close behind). In seventh place is the SEAT León, with 9,425 units.
As we have already carried out tests of both cars in Supercars Search Engine (see test of the SEAT Ibiza and proof of SEAT León), we take advantage of the visit to ask ourselves the following question, is it better to have a León or an Ibiza?
The question may seem absurd, and a few years ago it would be. However, we have all changed our consumption habits due to the crisis. Which is the mild way of saying that we look a lot more at every euro we spend. If before we changed the car for pleasure, now we only change it out of necessity, and sometimes not even that. And if before we decided on the model we liked the most, now perhaps we are more conservative in the purchase.
So we set out to make a somewhat strange comparison, but perhaps some will be raised based on the sales figures and the economic situation. SEAT Ibiza or León?
One of the advantages of a car show is being able to have those responsible for the brands to ask them questions. So we didn’t want to make it easy for Cristian Calvo, Product Manager for the medium and large car range at SEAT, already Ignasi casanovas, its counterpart for small vehicles (Ibiza and Mii). We ask them to
Points in favor of SEAT Ibiza according to Ignasi Casanovas, product manager
- It has a very wide range of buyers: from the first car to older people with children who have already become independent, and therefore do not need such a large car.
- It is the leading utility in its segment since 2001, a car with a lot of experience and a very good brand.
- It is sporty, but without being aggressive.
- It had a restyle in 2011 mainly on the outside with a new grille and angular shapes that give it a wider car look.
- Optics option Led front and rear as an option in the Style and FR finishes, which has been one of the most characteristic changes of the restyle.
- Other aesthetic details in the restyle such as the new taillights or the central rib of the hood
- Glove box capacity increased to almost double compared to the previous generation.
- “Action models” (special versions) for young customers who are interested in new technologies (we will talk about them in this article).
Points in favor of SEAT León according to Cristian Calvo, product manager
- Design: An attractive and novel design that attracts attention.
- Inclusion of various driving and entertainment technologies: full led (the only one in a segment that can carry it), fatigue detector, line assist, and driver profile that modifies even the sound of the engine (only in the highest engines).
- The versatility of the C-segment: small enough for the city, big enough for the highway
- A leap in interior quality
- Competitive emissions and consumption
- The platform opens MQB, with the advantages that this implies in boot size, weight and costs.
- Three different bodies: five doors, SC and the future ST (station wagon), something new in the segment in that same configuration.
- The León is an alternative to Ibiza if you need more space or if you want a more stylish car.
Versions ITECH, SEAT Double Pive and SEAT Portable System, your bets on price
Of course, all these are factors that influence when making a car a super sales, but it must be said that one more condition is needed: a very competitive price. Those responsible for SEAT They explained their pricing strategy to us: rather than making discounts on the entire range, they try to maximize the discount by creating specific versions with what people usually ask for and under the conditions that they usually do.
The Ibiza has the version ITECH, formerly called Tech. It is a portable browser with online services and Bluetooth.
Browser SEAT Ibiza (Portable System) and del León
The other “brand” created by SEAT is he SEAT Double Pive, a commercial action in which SEAT extend the Pive plan discount, double the warranty and standard equipment. Of course, on condition of financing the car with them.
SEAT Ibiza ITECH from 8,900 euros (with plan PIVE)
The competitive offer of SEAT we found it with the Ibiza ITECH, which in its basic version includes the navigator, Bluetooth, alloy wheels and fog lights. The base price is that of the 1.2 70 hp engine, which may be a bit short for some buyers.
As we have commented for this price it is necessary to deliver a car that follows the plan PIVE and finance the car with SEAT, which can be a negative point for those who do not deliver a car. However according to SEAT A high percentage of people who buy a car now are in that profile: it is a change due to necessity of an old car, and it is paid in installments.
SEAT Lion SC FR 1.4 TSI 122 CV from 15,900 euros
In the case of the Leon, the offer goes directly to its FR finish, a sub-brand that started out as the sportiest but has been expanded to become an accessible finish (which commercially makes perfect sense).
In this case the engine is 1.4 TSI 122CV, more balanced than in the case of the Ibiza. FR trim includes multifunction leather steering wheel, Full headlights Led, 17-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, bluetooth, sports seats and a 5.8-inch touchscreen navigator (integrated, not the SEAT Portable System).
Again, the offer is on the condition of delivering a used car and financing the new one, as in the Ibiza.
The conclusion of Supercars Search Engine
As we discussed in our test of the SEAT Ibiza, the debatable points that it had before the restyle (such as some interior quality details) have been corrected, and otherwise we consider it a car with a good quality / price ratio.
It is true that, at a time when consumers have had to contain spending in all aspects and the word austerity floats in the air, is it worth spending 7,000 euros on a much more equipped León SC?
As we have already said, a car costs 10,000 euros and the rest is optional. You can spend 5,000 euros more or 500,000 euros more, but it is still an increase in passion and not transport. With the head, we could choose the Ibiza.
Now, the moment the heart kicks in, the Lion has the upper hand. Inside and in behavior you can see a bigger car, and the fact that it is not just another segment but also notably newer than the Ibiza plays in its favor. The Leon’s driving feel was already good in the previous generation – despite its age – and has improved on the new one.
In short: with your heart choose the Lion without hesitation. But if you have to choose with your head or your pocket, the Ibiza is a very good option.
The rivals in What car do I buy?
In case of SEAT It is not unique, the good thing about the crisis situation
if it has something good is that all brands are adjusting their prices quite a bit and offering attractive options.
In our section What car do I buy? We can see all the rivals of Ibiza and León, for example doing a search for compact between 10,000 and 20,000 euros, ordered by the criterion “good and cheap”, or utilities between 10,000 and 15,000 euros ordered by the criterion “attractive”. It must be taken into account, of course, that in our database the tariff prices appear without applying the promotional discounts of the brands at all times.
In Supercars Search Engine: Test of the SEAT Ibiza, Seat 4KIDS, family equipment for the Ibiza ST, Altea and Alhambra, Test of the SEAT León SC, Interview with the designer of the SEAT Lion.