New Seat Arona vs used Seat Ateca: which is best?

Both of these Spanish SUVs are great buys – but for the same cash, does a brand new Seat Arona or a used Seat Ateca make the most sense?...

12 August 2017
Seat Arona rear driving

New Seat Arona vs used Seat Ateca – driving

Neither of these cars offers the best ride comfort in the world – but then, neither are they uncomfortable, either. Generally speaking, both manage to smooth out the worst bumps, but get a little upset over sharper ridges and ruts. Of the two, though, it’s the Ateca that’s more composed, its longer wheelbase allowing it to ride bumps in a slightly more leisurely manner, and its slightly softer suspension preventing more of those sharper imperfections from making it through to your backside.

New Seat Arona vs used Seat Ateca

But if ride comfort is tipped in the Ateca’s favour, the opposite is true of handling. The Arona’s smaller footprint means it’s more nimble, turning in with more verve than its bigger brother and leaning over just that little bit less. Having said that, though, the Ateca’s still great fun to drive, cornering far more flat than most other SUVs and feeling agile and involving.

Both of these cars are fitted with 1.0-litre turbo engines in the versions we’ve chosen, though the Arona gets it in 94bhp form while the Ateca has 113bhp. That difference means the Ateca has a little more pep out on the road, but in reality, not much – its extra size and weight means its performance is pretty similar.

New Seat Arona vs used Seat Ateca – costs

While the Arona costs £18,075 brand new, you can get that discounted to as much as £16,629 if you use What Car? New Car Buying. To get into an Ateca 1.0 TSI SE Technology that’s two years old with less than 10,000 miles should set you back around £17,000 – in other words, a little more than you can get an Arona for, though you might be able to haggle that figure down yet further.

The Ateca will cost you more to fuel, too. Its official Government fuel economy figure is 53.3mpg to the Arona’s 57.6. Servicing and maintenance costs will be a little higher, too.

New Seat Arona vs used Seat Ateca

The Ateca does have a couple of up-sides, though. If you buy one registered before 1 April 2017, as you probably will if you want one for the same price as the Arona, you’ll pay much less tax – just £30 a year. Even if you buy one registered after that date, you’ll pay the same £140 as the Arona will incur, under the new, flat-rate tax system, despite the Ateca’s CO2 output actually being slightly higher.

What’s more, because the worst of a car’s depreciation happens in its first year of life, you’ll actually lose less money on the Ateca – which has already been through that – than the Arona, which has the worst of its depreciation yet to come. All of which rather mitigates the extra running costs the Ateca will incur.

The one big factor in the Arona’s favour is that it’ll still have the whole of its three-year, 60,000 miles warranty intact if you buy it new. The Ateca will have come with the same level of warranty when it was new, but by buying used, there’ll be less of it remaining. You can, of course, extend the warranty on the used Ateca – but it’ll cost you a few hundred pounds a year to do so. That’s on top of the extra you’ll have to pay to buy the car in the first place.

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