1 Jan 1995
Volkswagen bought the Spanish SEAT company from Fiat in the mid-1980s and immediately integrated many of its future product plans within its own.
The 1993 Ibiza range was an early result, co-developed to also spawn the Mk3 VW Polo seen here from late 1996 to 2002.
Still, the Ibiza was slightly bigger than and longer in wheelbase and superior in ride and dynamic qualities to its Polo cousin.
It was released in January 1995 in three-model premium priced configurations: CLX three-door, CLX five-door and GTI three-door.
A lacklustre 44kW 1.4-litre single-cam four-cylinder engine powered the CLX, while the GTI used an 85kW 2.0-litre eight-valve four-cylinder unit.
Both were VW derived, as was each car’s five-speed manual-only gearbox. Power steering and air-conditioning were a grouped option on the CLX until a specification realignment added these and air-conditioning from May '95.
But sales were slow as Hyundai’s X3 Excel redefined pricing and size expectations among the light car class.
The CLX struggled on until January ’97 when the line was temporarily discontinued.