Seat Arona long-term test review

The Seat Arona is our reigning Small SUV of the Year. We’ve added one to our long-term test fleet to see if it’s as impressive when you live with it every day...

Seat Arona long-term test review
  • The car: Seat Arona 1.0 TSI 95 SE Technology
  • Run by: Kris Culmer, sub-editor
  • Why it’s here: To validate its position as head of the burgeoning small SUV class
  • Needs to: Prove practical enough for a family, display the pleasant driving characteristics of its relatives and be economical to run

Price £17,545 Price as tested £17,545 Miles 3844 Official economy 57.6mpg Test economy 39.8mpg Options fitted None

4 April 2018 – the invisible SUV?

One of the best things about working in motoring journalism is that every now and again, I get to drive a car that's a rare sight on UK roads, whether because it's only just gone on sale, or because it's price tag places it out of the reach of many.

And while you can now buy a Seat Arona, I’ve only seen one out on the road since I took delivery of my long-termer in February. Yet nobody else seems to notice it.

Admittedly, spotting other cars while out and about is a hobby reserved for a select few, but I remember back in 2016 when I pulled into a service station in a Toyota C-HR, people were staring as if I was piloting an alien spaceship.

And when I was driving the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport last year, several drivers of the original model pulled up alongside to have a good old gawp.

Nothing like this has happened with the Arona – in fact, nobody has even asked me about it. It's anonymous.

Perhaps its somewhat conservative design tricks people into thinking it's a new Ibiza or Leon, or maybe small SUVs are now so common a sight that they just don’t stir the soul. Has Seat played it too safe?

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