The Seat Arona is a Nissan Juke rival that will sit below the Ateca in the Spanish brand’s range. Here’s everything you need to know about this new SUV
Priced from £15,000/$19,101 (est) Release date December 2017
Until recently, Seat had as much experience of building SUVs as Ferrari did mobility scooters. However, the Spanish brand’s first effort, the Ateca, was so good that we named it our 2017 Small SUV of the Year, and now it’s following it up with this: the Seat Arona.
Named after a municipality on the island of Tenerife, it’s smaller than the Ateca, being based on the latest Ibiza hatchback. So, while the Ateca is a rival to the Nissan Qashqai, the Arona will compete with the likes of the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.
There’s a lot of Ibiza in the styling, too, in particular the triangular headlights and the slashes running down the sides of the car. But the way the silver trim below the side windows continues through the rear pillars, dividing the body from the contrasting roof, is unique to the Arona.
These pillars feature an ‘X’ motif to reflect the fact that the Arona is a ‘crossover’, blending 4×4 looks with hatchback running costs. And buyers will be able to choose from no fewer than 68 exterior colour combinations.
Seat Arona engines
Three turbocharged petrol engines will be available at launch: 94bhp and 113bhp versions of a 1.0-litre motor and a new 148bhp 1.5 that can shut down two of its four cylinders during gentle driving to minimise fuel consumption and emissions.
The 113bhp engine should be all most people need, but if you do a lot of miles it might also be worth considering one of the 1.6-litre diesels; outputs of 94bhp and 113bhp match those of the 1.0-litre petrol.
The two 94bhp engines are paired with a five-speed manual gearbox, and the others a six-speed manual, while a seven-speed DSG automatic will be available as a cost option.
Fuel economy figures are still to be revealed, but we’d expect the petrols to average more than 50mpg in official tests and the diesels close to 70mpg.
Four-wheel drive won’t be available on the Arona, but a host of driver aids will be, including adaptive cruise control, tiredness detection, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and a park assistance system that helps with parallel and angled parking by taking care of the steering for you.
Seat Arona interior
While the exterior borrows elements from the Ibiza, the interior appears to have been lifted from it wholesale. That means you can expect to find precious little in the way of soft-touch plastic, but everything should feel sturdily assembled and Seat will offer some brightly coloured trims options.
In addition, all Aronas feature a touchscreen infotainment system, with this growing from 5.0in to 8.0in on higher-spec versions. So far, we’ve only tried the larger system – and it’s really user-friendly. The screen is crisp and bright and responds quickly when you prod it, plus the menu system is easy to get your head around.
The list of features on the Arona includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, so you should have no problem controlling your smartphone through whichever touchscreen you opt for. Plus, Seat will offer an optional Beats stereo upgrade that brings six premium speakers, a 300W, eight-channel amplifier and a subwoofer in the boot.
That boot has a 400-litre capacity, which suggests the Arona will be one of the more practical cars in its class; the Juke gives you just 353 litres and the Captur 377, although the latter features rear seats that can be slid forward to increase capacity to 455 litres, at the expense of rear leg room.
Seat Arona pricing
The larger Ateca undercuts most of its rivals, with a starting price of £18,340/$23,354, and we expect the Arona to be similarly competitive.
Given that the Juke and Captur cost from £15,355/$19,553 and £16,786/$21,375 respectively, an entry-level price of around £15,000/$19,101 seems likely. That would make the Arona around £1900/$2,420 more than an equivalent Ibiza.
Upgrading to the more powerful 1.0-litre petrol engine and the mid-level SE Technology trim is likely to cost you about £17,000/$21,648, while a 1.5-litre petrol model in top spec could have a price of more than £20,000/$25,468.
The Arona won’t be the last SUV to join the Seat range. A flagship model based on our 2017 Large SUV of the Year, the Skoda Kodiaq, will follow in 2018.
Like the Kodiaq, this will be available in both five and seven-seat forms, and although a name hasn’t yet been confirmed (Seat has launched a competition for the public to submit proposals), Alora is thought to be the most favoured choice.