Volkswagen T-Cross vs Seat Arona vs Suzuki Vitara

Volkswagen’s new T-Cross has its sights set firmly on being the best small SUV you can buy. That means beating the Seat Arona and Suzuki Vitara...

Seat Arona driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

There’s a fair chance that you’ll be signing up to a PCP finance deal in order to put one of these cars on your driveway, and the popularity of such schemes isn’t lost on these manufacturers, with Suzuki offering a 0% interest rate, Volkswagen a £1000 deposit contribution and Seat a £1500 contribution at the time of writing. With the same three-year term, £2000 of your own money as a deposit and a 10,000-mile annual limit, the Seat Arona costs a very palatable £218 per month – £20 cheaper than the Suzuki Vitara and £63 less than the VW T-Cross.

If you’ve been saving your pennies and want to buy outright, the order remains the same. Seat dealers cough up the biggest discounts, with Volkswagen being understandably stingy on its brand new model.

Suzuki Vitara driving

Take into account depreciation, servicing and insurance costs and private buyers will find that the Arona is the cheapest to run over three years, by more than £1100 over the T-Cross, with the Vitara being around £1200 more again.

But what if you’re a company car driver? Well, the Arona has the cheapest monthly benefit-in-kind payments, with the Vitara costing just £2 more. The T-Cross’s higher list price and CO2 emissions make it the most expensive; it’ll cost a 40% taxpayer another £17 per month over the Vitara. 

On the safety front, the Vitara gets the wooden spoon, because automatic emergency braking (AEB) isn’t available with SZ-T trim. To get it, you’ll either need to go for a four-wheel-drive model or upgrade to SZ5 trim.

Volkswagen T-Cross driving

Not only does the T-Cross have AEB (as does the Arona), but it’s also the only car here to come with standard lane-keeping assistance. All three have been awarded five stars for safety by Euro NCAP, although the T-Cross scores higher than the Arona for adult and child protection. The Vitara was tested under older, less stringent rules, so it can’t be compared directly. As for security, the Arona is the only one that doesn’t come with a standard alarm. 

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