SEAT Arona - Used

Car Review

SEAT Arona, 2022, nose
SEAT Arona, 2022, side
SEAT Arona, 2022, rear
SEAT Arona, 2022, interior
SEAT Arona, 2022, rear seats
SEAT Arona, 2022, boot

THE SEAT Arona is as good as a small SUV gets, with excellent comfort and tremendous roadholding and handling.

Launched here in 2018 and updated in '21 it shares a chassis with the VW T-cross and Skoda Kamiq, but somehow, it does everything better than both of them.

One place where it really scores is because although many models boast sports suspension, this doesn't affect the ride quality.

In many similar cars - even those two or three sizes larger - such suspension radically reduced the level of comfort, and in truth, makes little difference to the way the car handles.

The Arona takes rolling country roads in its stride and also soaks up terrible town surfaces at under 30 miles an hour.

Yet the brilliant handling and roadholding also stand out. There's tremendous grip on any surface and the VW Group power steering is one of the best systems in the world, giving precise and direct response together with marvellous road feel.

So the handling is also top of the tree, and well up to cars that many would consider two or three rungs higher up the ladder than this humble SEAT.

The cracking 1.0 TSI three cylinder turbo petrol engine that powers the vast majority of these cars on the market lacks nothing whatsoever.

It has more power than larger non-turbo units used previously, together with much lower emissions and 45mpg economy in real driving.

The lowliest powered version has 95bhp and covers the benchmark 0 to 60 miles an hour sprint in 11.1 seconds while managing an excellent 47 miles per gallon.

Next up comes a 110bhp version that gets to 60 in 10.1 seconds and can still do 46mpg, and finally there's a 115bhp - in some upper models only - and this one cuts the sprint to 9.5 with a best of 45mpg.

The final petrol is a 1.5 TSI with 150bhp, and this one is very quick, getting to 60 in just eight seconds and yet still capable of a superb 55mpg.

There are also two versions of the same VW group 1.6 TDI diesel each capable of 65mpg. The 95bhp version covers the sprint in 11.5 seconds and the 115bhp version does it in 10.

All versions of this great small SUV respond very well to a prod on the loud pedal so acceleration is good to excellent, and they also pull easily from low revs, so that driving economically becomes much easier.

The power units are smooth and quiet unless revved, and the 1.0-litre models have a delicious thrum that's quite addictive.

Upper models get SEAT's Drive Profile adjustment system with eco, normal, sport and individual settings.

This modifies the engine management computer to suit the driver's whim, but in real driving, makes little or no difference to the performance.

The gearchange is quick and slick, the clutch is light and easy, and the brakes hold all the horses in check with consummate ease.

There's room for five adults inside, with good front and rear legroom and a decent sized boot.

SE trim brings very good kit including alloys, metallic paint, loads of airbags, traction control and other electronic safety devices, and excellent seat adjustment.

It also includes audio remote control, air conditioning and cruise control.

Pay about £9,400 for a '20 20-reg 1.0 TSI SE 95bhp, or £14,350 for a '22 22-reg 1.0 TSI FR 110bhp.

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