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SEAT Arona hub

What is the SEAT Arona?

The SEAT Arona is a new vehicle type for the Spanish car maker, expanding its offering in the small car sector. It’s kind of like an Ibiza supermini on stilts - a taller, more crossovery small car to cash in on the public’s insatiable appetite for SUVs.

The Arona isn’t really an SUV though. All versions are front-wheel drive, but that raised-up driving position and tip-toe stance gives it a dose more practicality. Think of it like SEAT’s answer to the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Ford EcoSport.

In this guide, we talk you around the different key themes of the SEAT Arona family. Read on for our full preview.

At-a-glance 2019 SEAT Arona specs

  • Top speed: 107-129mph
  • 0-62mph: 8.2-12.8sec
  • Fuel economy: 44.1-57.6mpg
  • Emissions: 112-115g/km
  • Boot space: 400 litres

Which versions of the SEAT Arona are available?

The SEAT Arona was first launched in 2018 in UK dealerships; just one bodystyle is available, making this a very simple range to shop for.

Two petrol engines are available: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI unit in two states of tune (with 95hp or spicier 115hp) and a rather more potent 150hp 1.5 TSI. If diesel’s your thing, the 1.6 TDI comes in 95hp or 115hp outputs.

Once you’ve chosen your power supply, it’s then just a question of picking your preferred spec level. SE, SE Technology, FR, FR Sport, Xcellence and Xcellence Lux are your lot.

SEAT Arona styling and engineering

SEAT Arona interior

The smallest SEAT SUV is a neat-looking thing. It might be redolent of an Ibiza on stilts, but it’s a rather attractive design, we think. It’s helped by the wide range of personalisation available, with contrasting roof colours, the chromed C-pillar stripe on the rear windows, a choice of five different alloy wheels stretching from 17 to 18in and nine choices of paint colour.

The fizzy wardrobe is wrapped around an entirely predictable Volkswagen group engineering platform. This so-called MQB architecture means the Arona shares most of its oily bits with the VW Polo, SEAT Ibiza and VW Golf range of small and medium-sized cars. Forget the jargon: this essentially means the Arona uses some of the best-known engines from the Volkswagen empire, and that’s a good thing.

Only front-wheel drive is available; those SUV-lite looks wrap the innards of a high-street supermini. We’re big fans of the extra space inside, though remember the boot space is nothing to write home about.

Is the SEAT Arona good to drive?

Choose your engines carefully. We found the 95hp entry-level Arona a bit of a laggard, but if you pick one of the slightly punchier motors it’s no problem.

It’s an unobtrusively neat, entirely predictable car to drive. Pick the 1.5 TSI Evo engine and the four-cylinder converts to a two-cylinder engine at light loads to save fuel consumption.

The seven-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic transmission is available on the 115hp petrol and 95hp diesel, slurring gearchanges neatly and taking the hassle out of urban driving.

How much does the SEAT Arona cost?

Prices for the Arona range start at £17,145, but get busy with the engine and spec options and you’ll be topping £25,170 before you know it.

This is a high-volume mainstream car, so we anticipate you being able to find discounts by shopping around. Play off one SEAT dealer against another and you should be able to trim some money off the RRP.

See what drivers of the SEAT Arona have to say about their baby crossover in our revealing owners’ reviews.

SEAT Arona Model History

Current SEAT Arona SUV model history

This is the first generation of SEAT Arona, so there are no further models to detail here.

October 2017 – SEAT Arona available to order with the car in showrooms in November. Available in SE, SE Technology, Xcellence, Xcellence Lux, FR and FR Sport trim levels, it also launches in SE First Edition and Xcellence First Edition models. There’s a choice of 1.0-litre TSI petrols with 95 and 115hp outputs, as well as a 1.5-litre TSI Evo engine joining the range slightly after launch. There are also 95 and 115hp 1.6-litre TDI diesels available. Manual gearboxes are standard, with DSG autos available on the 1.0 TSI 115 and 1.6 TDI 95 engines.

Read on: The best SUVs to buy in the UK

SEAT Arona rear view