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4.2 out of 5 4.2
Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

The SEAT Arona is a stylish, jacked-up small family car with tempting finance deals available

SEAT Arona SUV (18 on) - rated 4.2 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £17,440 - £25,270
Lease from new From £256 per month
Used price £9,985 - £18,420
Used monthly cost £249 - £460
Fuel Economy 42.8 - 57.6 mpg
Road tax cost £145
Insurance group 8 - 18 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Exterior looks are striking
  • Lots of standard kit and space
  • Low PCP monthly payments

CONS

  • Simple interior is a bit plain 
  • Boot is smaller than some rivals'
  • Entry-level 95hp petrol engine underpowered

SEAT Arona SUV rivals

Mazda
CX-3
4.2 out of 5 4.2

Written by Christofer Lloyd on

If you're in the market for a rugged and compact car that'll fit into the tightest of parking spaces, the SEAT Arona is a family car that should be near the top of your shopping list. It's one of a growing pack of small Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) vying for your attention – a car with jacked-up ride height and chunky bumpers and side cladding to cope with the tougest urban landscapes.

There is a lot of competition fighting for your money though – as well as more traditional small hatchbacks, such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, the Arona goes up against big-selling SUVs such as the Renault Captur, Nissan Juke and Mazda CX-3, not to mention newer rivals including the Kia Stonic, Hyundai Kona and Citroen C3 Aircross. The good news is that if you want a stand-out option, the Arona has it covered. There's a heavy focus on personalisation with the Arona – with up to 68 different colour combinations to choose from, so your car will always stand out from the crowd.

It's also packed with up-to-date tech. There's a slick 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen on many models, the option of connecting your mobile, plenty of family-friendly practicality and lots of equipment thrown in as standard. Another bonus is that metallic paint is included for free – even on the entry-level model, including two-tone designs – saving you up to £1,000 or more compared with rivals.

How big is it? 

The Arona is city-friendly as it occupies no more road space than a typical small hatchback, such as its sister car, the SEAT Ibiza. Because it's 99mm taller than that car, you sit 5cm higher, giving a more commanding view. And all of that gives the driver a better view of the road ahead for more confidence in busy traffic.

Boot space is good. With the rear seats in place, the Arona's 400-litre loadbay easily copes with the weekly shop or a weekend away. It's larger than the Nissan Juke's boot, and that's one of the biggest-selling small SUVs on the market. These generous dimensions mean the Arona is well suited to family life, with lots of interior space, especially when it comes to headroom in the back seats. It’ll easily seat four adults in comfort.

Loads of equipment available

SEAT Arona interior

The Arona is available with a vast array of technology not usually found in cars in this class. The range-topping Xcellence Lux model includes wireless phone chargingkeyless entry/keyless go, adaptive cruise controlApple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity (which we recommend), and automatic self-parking skills (which we don't).

Safety is a priority, meaning that high-tech systems such autonomous emergency braking, multi-collision braking (applying the brakes after a crash to stop further incidents), hill-hold control, blindspot monitor and cross traffic alert are all available, depending on spec.

The Arona has a logical model range with few optional extras available. SEAT is trialling a new way of buying called Easy Offer. If you want more kit, you simply move up a trim level, rather than piling on options to a lower-spec car. It should mean that you’ll wait less time for your car to be delivered, if ordering new, and also that it’ll retain its value better. We'd recommend the SE Technology for value for money, as you get the better infotainment set-up, but don't pay much more for it.

Personalisation: up to 68 colour schemes 

The Arona’s lower body, roof and windscreen pillars can be finished in contrasting colours. So 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).

Better still, whichever combination you go for – whether you pick a contrasting roof or not – you won’t have to dig further into your pocket to pay for it.

Five engines on offer

Of the three available petrol engines, two are 1.0-litre three-cylinder units. The entry-level model offers 95hp, while the more powerful option has 115hp. If that’s not enough, then SEAT also offers a 150hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with active cylinder deactivation technology (which shuts down two of the engine’s four cylinders when not needed in order to boost efficiency).

Those who prefer diesel power can choose a 1.6-litre turbodiesel, in 95 or 115hp forms. Transmission options include five- and six-speed manual gearboxes, plus a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission available on the 115hp petrol and 95hp diesel. The most impressive all-rounder in the range is the 115hp petrol model, which is quiet, reasonably nippy, and will deliver a real-world 50mpg without too much effort. This is the SEAT Arona we'd recommend.

With all those engines, trims and personalisation options, this is a car that seems to have a lot going for it. To find out whether it's the best of all the small SUVs on your shopping list, read our full review...

SEAT Arona SUV rivals

Mazda
CX-3
4.2 out of 5 4.2