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SEAT Arona interior

SEAT Arona interior

The SEAT Arona’s cabin comes with an impressive amount of standard kit – especially in mid-range models – but alternatives look and feel nicer inside

Style

The SEAT Arona’s cabin has been given a bit of a makeover in 2021. It’s not a dramatic redesign, but it’s been brought up to date with newer models such as the Leon, and is nicer as a result.

The old version was an unremitting sea of black, hard plastic. This new model isn’t exactly a revelation,  but a few changes add up to a more welcoming ambience.

For starters, the dash design has been revised with the central air vents and touchscreen infotainment swapping places, allowing the screen to me raised up in the driver’s line of sight. The dash materials are nicer to the eyes and to the touch, too, while a new steering wheel design, ambient lighting and coloured air vent surround do a decent job of lifting things.

The layout is still sensible, with the Arona continuing to get a separate climate control panel below the main screen making it much simpler to tweak heating and cooling on the move than with it all buried in screen menus. The new screen – available in two sizes – is larger than before, with brighter and clearer menus, too.

Quality is a bit better than before, but fundamentally there are still plenty of dark, hard and scratchy plastics dotted around the cabin. The door trims in particular feel a bit low-rent. However, it’s fairly par for the course for a car of this size and price, so isn’t too much of a deal-breaker.

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 add plush suede-like trim with contrasting red stitching.

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Infotainment

Watch our Seat Arona infotainment video review

Entry-level SEAT Aronas in SE guise come with an 8.25in touchscreen infotainment system that’s bright and fairly responsive. Unlike the pre-2021 Arona, smartphone mirroring is standard across the range, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also get a DAB digital radio and Bluetooth, of course.

The screen itself looks much nicer than the old version, but you’re unlikely to find it any easier to use. This is because there is no longer ‘proper’ physical shortcut buttons for the different menus, and also the system can occasionally lag more than we’d like. Still, it’s not a bad system.

Models above SE spec get a larger 9.2in screen which also adds sat-nav. The maps are colourful and the system is easy enough to use, but the larger screens are no easier to operate on the move without physical shortcut buttons – there are only some touch sensitive items down the left-hand side of the screen, which are a stretch to reach for the driver. At least there is traditional steering wheel controls to allow you to easily change volume and media while on the move.

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 models – and are now wireless, too – 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.

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