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Stylish new Nissan Juke rival pushes for class leadership

PROS

  • Stylish design
  • Lots of kit on offer
  • Impressive levels of space

CONS

  • Competitive boot space 
  • No Cupra version announced (yet)
  • Pricing needs to be right

Verdict

The 2017 SEAT Arona is the Spanish company's first attempt at a B-segment SUV, and is designed to take some of the attention away from the big-selling Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, plus the Peugeot 2008.

The 2017 SEAT Arona is the Spanish company's first attempt at a small SUV, and is designed to take some of the attention away from the big-selling Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, plus the Peugeot 2008.

Despite being taller, longer and wider than the 2017 SEAT Ibiza, the Arona shares the same platform (and many mechanical components) as its supermini sister. 

Highlights of the Arona include a focus on personalisation – with up to 68 different colour combinations to choose from - a slick all-new 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen (also seen on the upcoming Ibiza), family-friendly practicality and a range of personalisation options.

Bigger dimensions means more space inside 

The Arona measures up at 79mm longer and 99mm higher than the Ibiza, giving it a more SUV-like feel from behind the wheel. Drivers will benefit from easy access to the front and rear seats, plus a raised-up, commanding driving position (the driver’s seat has been raised by 52mm over the Ibiza) offering a greater view of the road.

Boot space also improves on the Ibiza’s 355 litres, the Arona coming in at 400-litres with the rear seats in place. That’s 36 litres more than the Nissan Juke, and 23 more than the Renault Captur.

From what we could discern from the models shown at the unveil, front and rear passenger space is very encouraging. There’s plenty of legroom in the back, as there is headroom.

Five different engines on offer

Of the three available petrol engines, two are 1.0-litre three-cylinder units. The lower powered version will have 95hp, while the pokier derivative will have 115hp.

If that’s not enough then SEAT also offers a 150hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with active cylinder deactivation technology. What this does, is shut down two of the engine’s four cylinders under light throttle load.

Those who prefer diesel power can choose a 1.6-litre turbodiesel motor, in 95 or 115hp form. Gearbox options include a five- and six-speed manuals, plus a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission available on the 115hp petrol and 95hp diesel.

Expect all engines to produce broadly similar fuel economy, emissions and performance figures as those seen on the Ibiza.

Big car levels of equipment available 

Like the Ibiza, the Arona be available with a vast array of traditionally ‘big-car’ technology, including wireless phone charging, keyless entry/keyless go, adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and automatic parking.

Safety will also be a priority, meaning that high-tech kit such autonomous emergency braking, multi-collision braking (applies the brakes after a crash to stop further incidents), hill-hold control, blindspot monitor and cross traffic alert.

Another highlight of the Arona’s tech offerings is the premium-looking eight-inch black panel touchscreen – also seen on the SEAT Ibiza – available on higher trim levels. It’s a marked improvement over the dated-looking systems in the Ateca and Leon, and should make for a far slicker user experience.

As for trim levels, expect the Arona to once again follow the Ibiza’s lead, with a base S trim, mid-range SE option, sporty FR guise and flagship Xcellence spec.

Up to 68 different colour schemes 

The Arona’s lower body and roof (plus A- and C-pillars), can be finished in different colours in an effort to allow for personalisation. Therefore, should they wish, customers can have the upper body and roof painted in orange, while keeping the bottom half a more subtle shade of grey or black (or vice-versa).

When can I buy one?

The Arona will be available to order in the UK from 3 October 2017, with UK deliveries commencing six weeks later.

Stay tuned to Parkers for full driving impressions of the new SEAT Arona

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