The SEAT Arona is a safe and roomy small SUV, even if its higher trims look dear and the interior has some cheap-feeling materials.
If you’re in the market for a small, cheap SUV, then there is a boatload to choose from nowadays. However, the SEAT Arona is both better-equipped and more economical than many of its peers – such as the Nissan Juke – even if some of the interior feels as cheap as a plastic cup.
Inside you’ll find a lot of cheap- and nasty-feeling plastics, mostly on the doors and dashboard. On the other hand, the Arona’s infotainment system is decent across the board. The entry-level SE version of the Arona gives you a 6.5-inch touchscreen with DAB, USB, Bluetooth, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and aux compatibility. For the price, this is an impressive system, but it’s worth upgrading to the subsequent SE Technology level, which has built-in satnav and a more easy-to-use 8-inch touchscreen.
While the infotainment is solid, it’s with the safety kit that the Arona really shines. Every version of the car has nifty features like hill-start assist – which holds it in place until you press the gas pedal – and a Tiredness Recognition System. This monitors your driving to check for any erratic movements and, if so, warns you to take a break.
Stick with the lower trims and the SEAT Arona is a well-equipped small SUV with a reasonable price tag. The higher-up versions aren’t worth the extra money though.
Both the cabin and boot of the Arona are reasonably spacious. The driver and front passenger will have no complaints regarding space and comfort, while a pair of six-foot-tall adults could fit in the back. A third adult, however, would be a squeeze. Meanwhile, the Arona’s storage space is 400 litres – that’s about one overnight bag more than you can fit in the Kia Stonic or Hyundai Kona.
As for your engine choices, the best all-rounder is the 1.0 TSI 115. This 1.0-litre, 115hp petrol is decently priced and feels energetic in most situations, while, depending on the trim, it’s available with either a manual or automatic gearbox. If you want to sacrifice performance in return for better economy on the motorway, then it may be worth looking into the 1.6-litre diesel instead.
Driving the Arona feels smooth and comfortable, especially when compared with the Stonic and Kona. Its suspension absorbs a good amount of bumps and potholes and the smallest 17-inch wheels are the best on offer – yet another reason to go for the SE Technology trim.
Overall, the SEAT Arona is safe, comfortable and spacious. The lower trims are well-equipped for a very fair price, even though you’ll find some cheap-feeling materials inside.
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