The SEAT Arona’s cabin comes with an impressive amount of standard kit – especially in mid-range models – but it looks and feels a bit cheaper than most alternatives
The SEAT Arona’s cabin is sensibly laid out and all the knobs and buttons on the centre console are easy to reach. The heating controls are nice and large so you can tweak the air-con temperature without taking your eyes off the road and even the standard 6.5-inch touchscreen is bright and easy to read. That said, the eight-inch display you get in all but entry-level cars is even better.
Sadly, the Arona’s fairly drab cabin design is less worthy of praise. Sure, you get a leather-trimmed steering wheel as standard across the range, but the SEAT’s hard, black plastic trims mean it doesn’t feel quite as special inside as the likes of the Citroen C3 Aircross, even if the SEAT is easier to use.
At least you can spruce up the SEAT Arona’s seats a little with some fancy upholstery in mid-range models. Pick a sporty FR version and you get some bright red fabric details on the backrests while FR Sport models get plush suede-like Alcantara trim with contrasting red stitching.
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be colour blind for a day? Just jump in the Arona and you’ll have a pretty good idea by looking at its black and white interior plastics…
Entry-level SEAT Aronas in SE guise come with a 6.5-inch touchscreen system that’s bright enough to read on sunny days and is pretty responsive. You get DAB digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity for your phone, but no smartphone mirroring options or satellite navigation – for those you’ll have to fork out for an SE Technology model.
These come with an upgraded eight-inch screen that’s one of the most responsive and most intuitive you’ll find in any small SUV. Colourful menu graphics and touch-sensitive shortcut buttons make it a doddle to quickly find the features you’re looking for and there’s even a physical volume knob to make cranking up your favourite tunes as easy as possible.
This system comes with sat-nav as standard, too. The on-screen keyboard is pretty easy to use, but it’s a pain having to switch between separate screens for letters and numbers when you’re entering a postcode.
Thankfully, the SEAT Arona’s speedy route calculations help claw back the time you’ll have wasted entering an address, and the screen responds very quickly if you swipe across the map. The sat-nav directions themselves are clear and easy to follow, too.
If you don’t like SEAT’s own navigation system, you can use Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink to access compatible smartphone apps instead. These features come as standard in all but entry-level SE models and let you use your favourite navigation apps through the touchscreen and play music from apps such as Spotify through the Arona’s stereo.
On the subject of stereos, the SEAT Arona’s standard six-speaker setup is adequate but hardly impressive. Pick an SE Technology Lux model, however, and you’ll get a much punchier 300W six-speaker Beats stereo as standard.