SEAT's small SUV for

the long and winding

road

SEAT Arona, front, action
SEAT Arona, side, action
SEAT Arona, front
SEAT Arona, side
SEAT Arona, side, static
SEAT Arona, rear
SEAT Arona, interior

MANY roads and highways have become iconic to the point of earning their own popular music tribute.

Highway 61 by Mr Robert Dillon, Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street and the ever popular Ammonia Avenue by the Alan Parsons Project, for instance.

It is about time we added to the list. The M6 rap, Highway 50mph, Waste of Gasoline Alley.

There are more cones on the M6 than in the entire Italian ice cream industry.

For those of you in the south east bemoaning the M25 take heart, the M6 makes it look like Texas Speedway.

An HGV driver friend has just pulled up at the A500 butty van to announce on social media that he has had a clear run through the 20 miles of slow death that is the 'smart' motorway construction in Cheshire.

In three years nothing tangible has happened here. It took less time to build the great pyramids.

Parts of the motorway are so clogged that police recently found a French family barbecuing on the hard shoulder south of Lancaster.

There is another way.

I am reluctant to make this public service announcement for fear that others may follow suit but there is much to be said for the A49.

We used it to come back from the Forest of Dean having travelled down by motorway and been divorced three times before Worcestershire.

Returning on the A48 and A49 was as I imagine it will be the day after one of Trump's tweets really annoys the Russians.

The car was a one-litre SEAT Arona, as lively a young small SUV as you could hope for at the price.

What it is most definitely not is a car to spend terminal hours in on a motorway with the unmistakable tonal three-cylinder engine noise.

One for the urban and semi-urban life this and pretty good fun across the moors.

That's not to say that you are about to be introduced to an over-gunned hottie, far from it.

The £17,830 TSI 93bhp manual has a 999cc petrol engine which threatens to be a bit of a perambulator at 11.4 seconds to 62mph but the whole package is agile and handles well.

What, in common with many in its class, is not available is any sort of traction system for a bit of rough.

No, home is not on the range but what passes for Britain's A-roads these days where it copes, makes good daily transport and soaks up the bumps well enough.

There is a ‘drive profile' selector but this simply helps the power steering and throttle response.

Economy is promised to average 57mpg and 111g/km gasses if you are worried at all.

That consumption is going to be attractive to the family or younger owner.

And therein lies the rub.

SEAT makes no bones about its youthful profile. I don't think happiness would abound if coachloads of grannies started turning up to test the Ibiza Cupra.

Which means an interior of functional plastics rather than unfettered luxury, a case of well-equipped clarity. Having consulted my arthritis I can say there are more comfortable seats but they come leather clad higher up the range.

The infotainment screen is sited high and kept away from the heater controls so you can stay on the map without interruption.

Equipment includes air-conditioning, running lights and at this level 3D mapping sat-nav with voice control. There are also rear parking sensors.

All the DAB and connectivity features are in there and there is an optional digital cockpit which space-ages instruments to non-analog and brings into play all sorts of other wizardry.

Based on the Ibiza floorpan the Arona has plenty of headroom. Boot space is bettered by some others but in all there is enough accommodation for most users.

Without a doubt this is an attractive looking SUV with a fair price tag. There will be many out there singing its praises on the Long and Winding Road.

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