The new SEAT Arona SUV was first introduced in 2017 and is the smallest crossover SUV in the SEAT family. It fits in between the Ateca and Tarraco in the line up and was released in response to the growing demand for utility vehicles.
With great prices points and low insurance groups its a great option for more room without spending a great deal of money but you may be unsure of how it's equipment and features stack up compared to rivals.
Our SEAT Arona review will guide you through the latest model to help you choose which version of the model suits you best and fits with your needs.
The new SEAT Arona is built on the MQB A0 platform from the VW group which is also used on the Ibiza hatchback, Volkswagen T-Cross, Volkswagen Polo, and the Skoda Kamiq. As a result it is often compared directly to the Ibiza when considering the entire SEAT range, although the Arona is 95mm longer and 93mm taller.
The current model now includes front fog lamps that are positioned high up next to the new style grille alongside daytime running lights which had previously been missing. Turning to the rear adds a spoiler, diffuser, and Arona badge in a handwritten font.
The interior design has benefitted from a restyle too with more soft touch materials throughout the cabin, LED lighting around the air vents in higher trim models, and a leather trimmed steering wheel and gear stick. Small touches maybe but these are the ones which enhance the feeling when you're sat inside.
The SEAT Arona's cabin is fairly spacious and well laid out, with minimal controls and fiddly buttons to clutter up the console. Instead, the large touchscreen sits high and in line with the dashboard with a pair of vents offering a gap between this and the physical climate controls below.
The driver then benefits from a fully digital dashboard in either 8 inch or 10 inch size depending on which trim level you've opted for. This will display driving information, sat nav directions where installed, music information and vehicle information so that you can keep on top of your car every time you use it.
Upgrading the trim level also upgrades the seats to sports seats in the FR trims and different finishes for details such as stitching and seat coverings such as Microsuede.
When comparing the new SEAT Arona SUV to competitors it provides more headroom in both the front and rear seats. What this really looks like is 1059mm in the front seats compared to 1000mm and 1034mm in the Ford Puma and the VW T-Cross respectively. In the rears seats you can expect 990mm compared to 965mm and 966m in the Puma and T-Cross.
For the driver there's plenty of adjustment available too which means you can really get comfortable for long and short journeys alike. This includes height adjustment for the seat itself, height adjustment for the front headrests, and full adjustment of the steering column in terms of height and distance. The only con is that the front seats don't have adjustable lumbar support like so many rivals now include.
What does let the Arona down compared to it's small SUV rivals is it's boot space. With all five seats in use it provides 400 litres of space, a little less than the Puma at 456 litres and the T-Cross at 455 litres, but still a 45 litre increase on the Ibiza hatchback.
With the rear seats folded this opens the space up to just over double at 823 litres, still a good amount of room, but is dwarfed by the 1216 litres that the Puma provides and the 1281 litres of the Volkswagen T-Cross. It does, however, have an adjustable boot floor and has no lip to lift heavier items over which makes it easy for well packed suitcases or flat pack furniture.
The SEAT Arona SUV has three petrol engines available to choose from across the range.
The 1.0 litre petrol TSI engine first comes with 95PS. It's a five speed manual gearbox capable of a combined mpg of 51.4 with CO2 emissions of 124 g/km.
The 1.0 litre TSI capable of 110PS is available as either a six speed manual gearbox or seven speed automatic transmission gearbox. The manual will give a combined mpg of 53.3 whilst the automatic drops to 47.9 mpg combined and the manual is greener too with 121 g/km of CO2 produced compared to the slightly higher 134 g/km for the automatic.
The most powerful engine is the 1.5 litre TSI which gives 150PS. With more power it reduces the combined mpg to 45.6 and produces the most CO2 emissions of all of the options at 140g/km. This will likely suit those who do more motorway driving thanks to the extra power which can be wasted for city driving.
The SEAT Arona SUV is only available as a two wheel drive option, so those looking for an all wheel drive option will need to look at other option sin the SEAT range such as the Ateca or the Tarraco.
The entry level SE model comes with 17 inch alloy wheels, a contrasting coloured roof, LED daytime running lights, eco LED headlights, an 8.25 inch colour touchscreen for the infotainment system, Bluetooth audio streaming, wireless smartphone integration, an 8 inch digital cockpit, SEAT Connect: safety service and remote, cruise control with a speed limiter, electric front and rear windows, air conditioning, a tiredness recognition system, hill hold control, and emergency brake assist and front assist.
The SE Technology adds an integrated sat nav system with a 3D map display, wireless phone charging, SEAT Connect with service, remote and online, a 12 month online subscription with online map updates, traffic information, route calculation, and parking and petrol station locations, rear parking sensors, and a larger 9.2 inch touchscreen.
Upgrading to the SEAT Arona FR will give you the 17 inch Dynamic alloy wheels, dark tinted rear windows, roof coloured door mirrors which are electrically foldable and adjustable as well as being heated, front fog lights with cornering function, chrome roof rails, a flat bottomed leather covered steering wheel which has red stitching and the FR logo, dual zone climate control, an Aircare filter, rain-sensing wipers, and SEAT drive profile.
The FR Sport builds on the previous trim level and adds 18 inch Performance alloy wheels, a 10 inch digital instrument cluster, Microsuede upholstery, and heated front seats in addition to the features that come with the previous FR trim level.
The SEAT Arona XPERIENCE shares some features with the FR such as the functions of the door mirrors, the alloy size, and front fog lights but is paired with features exclusive to this trim. These include a central console with a storage net, front seat with back storage pockets, adaptive cruise control, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, keyless entry and go (KESSY), high beam assist, and dynamic road sign display. It also comes with a storage pack that has a front centre armrest, a drawer under the front right seat, a document holder under the left front seat, and a mounting fixture in the luggage compartment.
The top trim level, the XPERIENCE Lux, adds 18 inch Performance alloy wheels, a 10 inch digital cockpit, Microsuede upholstery, front parking sensors, park assist, a rear view camera, and heated front seats in addition to all of the features on the XPERIENCE model.
The SEAT Arona SUV has a five star safety rating from Euro NCAP which places it on par with the VW T-Cross and the Kia Stonic when it's fitted with a safety pack. When the Stonic is fitted with standard equipment it falls to 3 stars and is out performed by the Arona, with the Vauxhall Mokka also coming in lower at 4 stars.
At entry level the SEAT Arona offers a tiredness recognition system, hill hold control, emergency brake assist, front assist, and electronic stability control. It comes with a comprehensive number of airbags too including driver and front passenger seat airbags, side airbags in front with curtain airbag, and protective side moulding.
The SEAT Arona also has safety and driving packs available to add on from the FR models onwards which includes additional features such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist with traffic jam assist, and high beam assist. This is a great option for those who want a little more from their Arona.
An entry level SEAT Arona SE will cost you £20,730 and makes it reasonably priced in it's segment of small SUVs. For comparison, an equivalent Ford Puma comes in at £24,145 and a T-Cross will cost you £22,130. The SE Technology comes in cheaper than both of these too at £21,725.
Stepping up to the FR models costs £24,145 for the FR and £25,225 for the FR Sport and the top tier XPERIENCE and XPERIENCE Lux models are £24,865 and £26,405 respectively. Even at top tier of trim levels the Arona comes in cheaper than it's rivals.
Whilst metallic paint doesn't cost you anything extra to choose a colour, there are additional costs for changing your engine or adding on additional packs which will increase the price of the car from these initial costs.
As a small family car, the SEAT Arona provides plenty of room for passengers in any of the seats and their belongings whilst offering plenty of equipment across its range. It's a well rounded small SUV with a great price point which makes it a very attractive choice for family life.
The SEAT Arona SUV definitely holds up compared to its rivals and offers a great option for your next car!