2018 Seat Arona prices revealed – plus specs and release date
The Seat Arona is a Nissan Juke rival that will sit below the Ateca in the Spanish brand’s range. As Seat reveals how much it will cost, here's everything you need to know...
Priced from £16,555 Release date 17 November 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.
The Arona will need to be good, though, because the 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol SE model that kicks off the range costs £16,555. That makes it pricier than all its rivals: the 2008 starts at £16,300, the Captur £15,615 and the Juke just £14,880.
If you want the more powerful (113bhp) 1.0-litre petrol engine and the sporty FR trim you're looking at a price of £19,680, while the range-topping 1.6-litre diesel automatic Xcellence Lux is £24,640.
Seat Arona styling
It isn't just the mechanicals of the Ibiza that are used in the Arona, there's also a lot of that car in the styling, in particular the triangular headlights and the slashes running down the sides of the car.
On the other hand, 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 4x4 looks with hatchback running costs. And buyers will be able to choose from no fewer than 68 exterior colour combinations.
Seat's UK MD, Richard Harrison, said: "You have seen what we did from Leon to Ateca, and now we're looking to do the same from Ibiza to Arona. Arona really is Ateca's little brother, and we expect it to have sharper dynamics and be more hatch like than its competitors, just as the Ateca is."
Seat Arona engines
In addition to the 1.0-litre petrol engines, Seat is offering the Arona with a new 148bhp 1.5 that can shut down two of its four cylinders during gentle driving to minimise fuel consumption and emissions.
Alternatively, if you do a lot of miles you might want to consider the 94bhp or 113bhp 1.6-litre diesels. However, the 113bhp petrol engine should make most sense for most people.
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 also be available with the 94bhp diesel and 113bhp petrol.
The most efficient petrol engine averages 57.6mpg, and while figures for the diesels are still to be revealed, they should manage close to 70mpg in official tests.
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.
Other Seats coming soon
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.
Two other all-new Seat products are also planned, including the brand's first fully electric car.
The top 10 small SUVs currently on sale:
10. Kia Soul
The Soul is more of a jacked-up hatchback than a fully fledged SUV. However, it still offers many of the benefits buyers in this market are looking for – it's competitively priced and its interior is roomy and well equippped. All of the Soul's engines could be more efficient and quiet, though, and there's plenty of wind noise at motorway speeds. There's a fully electric version to consider if you'll mainly be driving in town.
Our pick: 1.6 GDi 2
9. Audi Q3
While high-end versions are pricey, the Q3 is a desirable choice in this market, with a high quality interior. It's also good to drive and relatively inexpensive to run, with engines that are mostly smooth and strong.
Our pick: 2.0 TDI 150 SE
Compact on the outside but spacious inside, the Vitara is an easy car to live with. There's lots of standard kit on offer and it's relatively practical. It's just a pity that its petrol engines' CO2 emissions are unusually high for this class.
Our pick: 1.6 SZ4
Click next to see the rest of the top 10 small SUVs – and the ones to avoid