SEAT Arona Review & Prices

The SEAT Arona looks and drives the part, but it’s let down by poor rear passenger space

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RRP £22,460 - £29,310 Avg. Carwow saving £1,437 off RRP
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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Looks great
  • Well equipped across the range
  • Good balance of comfort and fun to drive

What's not so good

  • Tight on space for rear passengers
  • Lags behind on boot space
  • Some cheap-feeling interior bits

Find out more about the SEAT Arona

Is the SEAT Arona a good car?

If you’re in the market for a small SUV, you’re pretty spoilt for choice these days. In amongst a raft of these dinky hatchbacks-on-stilts is this, the SEAT Arona.

Imagine if you will this particular segment to be a box of Heroes chocolates. You could consider the Arona to be similar to Dairy Milk — a tasty choice but not exactly striving to be the boldest in the mix.

That’s immediately apparent in its design, at least. Updates in 2021 brought a little more pizzazz to the Arona, but it still sits between the rather subdued Skoda Kamiq and stand-out Nissan Juke and Peugeot 2008 in the head-turning stakes.

With that said, you can spruce it up a little with some funky two-tone paint choices. Plus the standard inclusion of LED headlights and 17-inch alloys (going up to 18-inch on high-spec versions) are welcome.

Where the SEAT Arona has an edge over many alternatives is a rather stylish interior, though it’s worth noting that some of the materials do feel a little cheap in places.

You shouldn’t struggle to find a decent driving position thanks to good adjustability, and a simple control layout makes it dead easy to use the car’s tech on the go.

The Arona gets an 8.25-inch infotainment system as standard, though you’ll want to stump up for the improved 9.2-inch system that’s available on all but entry-level versions of the car. It’s a much sharper and feature-packed system, plus it’ll offer wireless support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay should you prefer.

The Seat Arona looks good and drives just as well, buit it maybe lacks that reason to stand out from the crowd

Things start to unravel for the Arona once you hop in the back seats, as rear legroom is rather poor. Still, you get 400 litres of boot space, which matches the Skoda Kamiq but lags way behind the 455 litres of the Volkswagen T-Cross. On the plus side, it’s properly square-shaped so it’s easy to get stuff in.

At least the SEAT Arona drives nicely. Excellently weighted steering means it’s a breeze to drive around town, and it’s decent fun on a winding country road too. That said, its suspension setup does make it less comfortable over lumps and bumps than a VW T-Cross or Kamiq.

You’ve got a choice of three petrol engines to pick from with the Arona, with a manual gearbox or dual-clutch automatic available depending on your choice. You’ll find the mid-range 109hp engine offers the best mix of performance and fuel efficiency.

It’s worth considering a SEAT Arona for sure. It looks good, comes nicely equipped and drives well. Cars like the Ford Puma and Skoda Kamiq offer a bit more for the money though, and the VW T-Cross beats it for practicality.

See how much you can save on a SEAT Arona through carwow, cor heck out the SEAT deals page for the latest offers. We've also got a great selection of used SEAT models available through carwow's network of dealers, and when you've found your next car don't forget you can sell your current car through carwow.

How much is the SEAT Arona?

The SEAT Arona has a RRP range of £22,460 to £29,310. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,437. Prices start at £21,240 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £219. The price of a used SEAT Arona on Carwow starts at £8,999.

Our most popular versions of the SEAT Arona are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.0 TSI SE Technology 5dr £22,247 Compare offers
1.0 TSI SE 5dr £21,240 Compare offers

The SEAT Arona offers great value in base trim, thanks to a decent amount of standard kit and a price that undercuts alternatives like the Peugeot 2008, Volkswagen T-Cross and Renault Captur. The Citroen C3 Aircross is slightly cheaper, but the SEAT Arona counters with a broader range of trims and engine options.

Performance and drive comfort

The SEAT Arona is good to drive around town and on the motorway. The downsides are a rather firm ride and some wind noise at speed

In town

An elevated driving position, responsive controls and small dimensions mark the Arona out as a great city car. You get a lane keeping system as standard, but base models don’t get rear parking sensors and only the top Xperience Lux trim is offered with front parking sensors and a rearview camera.

The ride is quite firm, frequently crashing over bumps and potholes. A VW T-Cross or Citroen C3 Aircross have a far more supple suspension setup.

On the motorway

The Arona is far more comfortable on the motorway, the smoother road surface doesn’t unsettle the car and all models come standard with cruise control, with the Xperience and Xperience Lux trims upgraded to adaptive cruise control.

Aside from a bit of road noise, the Arona is one of the more refined small SUVs on sale. The seats are comfortable enough for long trips too, although the tight rear seats will have tall adults complaining before long.

On a twisty road

That firm suspension setup makes the SEAT Arona a bit of fun to drive on a winding stretch of road. The more powerful engines respond well out of corners, and the car doesn’t lean much even at higher speeds. It’s not quite as engaging as a sporty hatchback but will more readily put a smile on your face than a Renault Captur or the softly-sprung Citroen C3 Aircross.

Space and practicality

The Arona is spacious enough in front, but the back row is less accommodating, and the boot is only average in size

Both of the front seats are height adjustable, with plenty of fore and aft movement. Headroom is good as well, so getting comfortable won’t be a problem. The FR Sport and Xcellence Lux trims get heated comfort seats and microsuede upholstery, other trims have durable cloth seat coverings.

All models come with large door bins and a big glovebox. The centre console houses a pair of cupholders and a storage tray for your phone – with wireless charging on all but the SE trim. The top Xperience trims also get a storage net in the centre console, a drawer under the driver’s seat and a document holder under the front passenger seat.

Space in the back seats

The back seats are fine for kids and teens but don’t have enough legroom for taller adults. The middle seat is narrow and a hump in the floor forces you to splay your legs in an uncomfortable manner.

Storage pockets in the front seatbacks are only offered on the top three trims, although the door bins are of a decent size. Alternatives like the Renault Captur and VW T-Cross are far more spacious in the rear, but the Arona is fine if you don’t need to squeeze adults in there very often. A pair of ISOFIX anchor points are provided in the outer two seats.

Boot space

The SEAT Arona has 400 litres of boot space, which is the same as the mechanically similar Skoda Kamiq but less than most other small SUVs. The Renault Captur, Citroen C3 Aircross and VW T-Cross all offer adjustable rear benches as well. The Renault for example offers a class-leading 422 to 536 litres of space.

Loading large and heavy items is a cinch though, thanks to an adjustable boot floor and a very small boot lip. Fold the rear seats flat and you get a very decent 1,280 litres of space. That actually betters the Renault Captur.

Tether points, hooks and an elastic strap help keep your shopping from falling all over the place, and there’s a small storage spot on the left side of the boot.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The Arona’s interior is far more characterful than most alternatives, although some trim and materials feel below par

The SEAT Arona’s cabin looks stylish and modern, with a touchscreen dominating the centre of the dashboard, and a splash of silver aluminium trim running across its length. All trims come with a crisp 8.0-inch digital driver display and the base SE trim gets an 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display. Bluetooth, DAB radio and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all standard. A set of USB ports are handily situated next to the phone storage tray.

SE Technology models and above get sat nav and a larger 9.2-inch infotainment display, as well as wireless phone charging and wireless phone mirroring. This display also gets updated software which makes it better to use than the base unit. A row of buttons on either side of the screen also allow you to quickly access commonly used functions.

Interior quality is a mixed bag, with most common touchpoints feeling decent, although hard and scratchy plastics are never far from reach. The standard cloth seats feel comfortable although FR Sport and Xcellence Lux trims get smarter microsuede upholstery.

MPG, emissions and tax

There are three petrol engines available for the SEAT Arona. The entry-level 95hp 1.0 TSI model is nippy around town and comes with a five-speed manual gearbox. It has an 11.5-second 0-62mph time and 51.4mpg fuel economy. Those are good figures that are almost identical to the base offerings in the Peugeot 2008 and VW T-Cross, and better the Renault Captur.

The mid-spec 110hp 1.0 TSI engine is arguably the pick of the bunch though. It can be had with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and delivers an impressive 53.3mpg in manual guise.

If you need to get to the shops in a real hurry then the 150hp 1.5 TSI DSG model is the one to pick. It feels decently quick thanks to an 8.4-second 0-62mph time and has plenty of overtaking power. It’s about as quick as you want to go in a small SUV. The 45.6mpg figure is pretty impressive, too.

The VW T-Cross and Skoda Kamiq offer the same range of engines and unsurprisingly performance and economy figures are all but the same.

Safety and security

The SEAT Arona received a five-star safety rating in 2017 in Euro NCAP testing. While the 60% score for safety assists is not great, the adult occupant score of 95% is excellent. Child occupant safety was rated at 80% and pedestrian safety was 77%.

As standard you get cruise control, lane keep assist, hill hold assist and rear parking sensors. Optional equipment includes adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, road sign recognition and traffic jam assist. It’s worth noting that SE and SE Technology trims do not get access to these additional features, even as optional extras.

Reliability and problems

The SEAT Arona shares most of its major components with other Volkswagen Group products, this bodes well for its long-term reliability. That said, it tends to score in the middle of the small SUV pack in owner surveys, although its handling and low running costs are regularly praised.

The Arona has been recalled four times so far. Two were for seat belt buckles and the others for airbag inflation issues and potential problems with the handbrake.

The basic SEAT Arona warranty is a rather basic three-years/60,000-miles. Extended warranties are available, with a four-year/75,000-mile option currently costing £185 and a five-year/90,000-mile warranty setting you back £320. A fixed price service plan which covers your first two services is £462 once-off, or 24 monthly payments of £19.25.

Buy or lease the SEAT Arona at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £22,460 - £29,310 Avg. Carwow saving £1,437 off RRP
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