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SEAT has the knack with new Arona
SEAT has the knack with new Arona
SEAT has the knack with new Arona
SEAT has the knack with new Arona
SEAT has the knack with new Arona
SEAT has the knack with new Arona
SEAT has the knack with new Arona
SEAT has the knack with new Arona
SEAT has the knack with new Arona

SEAT has the knack with new Arona

Chris Russon, 2017-10-23

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HOT on the heels of the Ateca SUV, SEAT is downsizing and introducing a compact model called the Arona.

Fresh faced and with a useful line up of engines, the Arona is arriving into a crowded house of baby SUVs.

Kia, Hyundai, Citroen and SEAT's parent company Volkswagen are all getting in on the act and vying for top dog status in the booming compact crossover market.

SEATs offering is priced from £16,555 and is very much on trend coming in array of classy paint jobs with bi-tone finishes allowing for the roof to be either orange, black or grey.

In all, there 68 colour combinations and thanks to some sharp styling and a chrome strip running along the window line and rising to a bright panel on the back pillar, the Arona is a good looking car.

No less than 24 versions are available in eight different specifications (including two First Edition specials) and - taking a leaf out of Kia's book - SEAT is dumping options.

Instead, you get what you pay for and the Arona range will top out at around £25,000 for a 1.6-litre diesel automatic in Xcellence Lux finish which includes some posh interior fittings such as a nicely stitched soft-touch dashboard and Alcantara upholstery.

The engine line up starts off with a 1.0-litre three cylinder turbo petrol with either 95 or 115ps on tap, two 1.6-litre diesels with the same power outputs and VW's lively new 1.5-litre Evo petrol engine from the latest Golf.

The Evo engine is reserved only for the sporty Arona FR models which will be priced from a shade under £21,500 when the cars hit the road in the middle of November.

SEAT has still to confirm exact prices for the Evo model and the diesels but the line up is competitive compared to the others which are driving the only part of the UK market that is growing at the moment.

With the exception of the lower powered petrol engine all versions of the Arona can be had with a seven speed DSG gearbox instead of the manual transmissions for an extra £1,300 yet with either all perform well.

While the diesels offer greater economy - SEAT claims around 69mpg with emissions as low as 106g/km - they cost around £2,000 more and the Arona is at its sweetest with the Evo engine on board.

Developing 150ps it gives the Arona a 0 to 60 time of eight seconds and a top speed pushing 130mph while we averaged 41 to the gallon in a six-speed manual model. Official fuel figures (to be confirmed) rate it at 55mpg with a CO2 figure of 118g/km.

The Arona FR has sport suspension which is not unduly harsh and allows for some fun driving. It handles nicely with a nice weight to the steering and for a small SUV demonstrates accomplished road manners.

It also has some sporty body touches such as a silver coloured rear diffuser and twin exhaust nacelles and in red with a black roof - as was the Arona FR we sampled - it looks very classy.

The Arona is of similar proportions to SEAT's latest Ibiza supermini but sits higher with 7.5-inches of ground clearance.

It's front-wheel-drive only although it does have the de rigueur SUV accoutrements of wheel arch mouldings but is strictly for the urban jungle and nothing heavy duty.

The interior is roomy enough for a car of this ilk and boot space is a handy 400 litres although there's only a nine gallon fuel tank. Folding rear seats give extra flexibility and give the Arona plenty of all round ability.

The FR costs from £19,895 for the 1.0-litre model and the Evo is likely to be around £1,500 more. It lacks for little in terms of technology with sat nav, SEAT's app-based connectivity system and multi-mode drive settings.

Over similar routes we managed to notch up 46mpg in the 115ps 1.0-litre and 52 to the gallon in a 115ps diesel, the latter with a DSG box which felt a little too keen to hold on to higher gears in its normal mode.

The sport setting gave it more life and with the extra mid-range pull from the diesel it was nippy enough and can manage 0 to 60 in 10.1 seconds, similar to the 1.0-litre. Official fuel figures for the 1.0-litre 115ps are 56.5mpg and 113g/km.

Touches such as multi-coloured ambient interior lighting (but no illumination for the vanity mirrors), wireless phone charging, dual zone climate control and a neat look to the facia give the Arona the necessary upmarket feel to catch on quickly.

In the current climate, the Arona has large appeal and its target audience of younger drivers should feel well impressed with this latest shot of sunshine from Spain.

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