SEAT’s Arona, joins its larger sibling, the Ateca SUV, to become the fourth new model the Barcelona-based brand has introduced in just 18 months, and is its first foray into the lucrative compact crossover class. Attractive, roomy, solid-looking and stylish, this is a car with ample appeal.
One of the key draws is the easy and convenient way it can be purchased. Everything’s nice and straightforward and stress free. To find their ideal model, customers simply choose from three elements: trim level, engine and colour. It’s that easy. There are no myriad options or packs to compare and confuse, and this will definitely appeal to nervous and hesitantly cautious buyers.
The New Arona is being offered in six trims, each equipped with features today’s customers want and which will help the vehicle retain its value. The grades dovetail with other SEAT models, with SE, FR and XCELLENCE, but, with each level expanded into additional versions that add in more equipment: SE Technology, FR Sport and XCELLENCE Lux.
The SE grade may be “step one” in the new Arona range, but it’s several rungs up the specification ladder compared to many entry-level models, including metallic paint as standard, usually a £500-plus extra with its competition. Exterior features include 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-colour roof, black roof rails, chrome front grille, power-adjustable door mirrors, LED daytime running lights and tail lights, front cornering fog lights and automatic headlights. Inside, there’s air conditioning, height-adjustable front seats, split-folding rear seat, handy double boot floor, electric windows front and rear, chrome detailing and leather trim for the gear knob and handbrake. SEAT’s Media System Colour provides a five-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio with FM/AM/DAB radio, Bluetooth and aux-in/USB connections.
Jumping ahead to the top spec you’ll find 18-inch Performance alloys, black Alcantara upholstery, the SEAT Drive Profile, front parking sensors, a rear-view camera and Park Assist. But for the no-holds-barred Arona indulgence, the XCELLENCE First Edition packs a powerful Beats Sound System, the Winter Pack and all you need for safe and simple parking manoeuvres – front sensor, rear-view camera and Park Assist.
SEAT’s comprehensive safety and driver assistance features include Front Assist, Multi-Collision Braking, Hill Hold Control and Tiredness Recognition System. That’s all in addition to cruise control, a full complement of front-side-curtain airbags, active front head restraints and ISOFIX child seat mounts.
Engine wise, there are three petrol and two diesel. Our car on test, the SE 1.0 TSI 115 PS 7-Speed DSG, proved willing, smooth and swift. It’s agile and engaging too. One small gripe would be the level of road and wind noise whilst at speed. The cabin is comfortable and nicely designed nevertheless.
Over all, this is a great compact crossover, blessed with good looks, a willing and smooth engine and decent feel and reward. More than worth the asking price – the Arona is a serious contender even to those costing twice as much.