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...

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Kris Culmer
26 Jul 2018 8:34 | Last updated: 17 Sep 2018 15:53

  • 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 the head of a 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 13,002 Official economy 57.6mpg Test economy 46.0mpg Options fitted None


26 July 2018 – controlling the cruise

I am a real advocate of cruise control when I'm driving, because it reduces my stress, helps to improve traffic flow and prevents me from inadvertently speeding. But recent stints in other cars have highlighted the importance of how easy the controls for the Arona's system are to use.

In the Seat Leon, for example, the stalk is awkwardly behind the eight o’clock position on the steering wheel, and its controls are confusing; both buttons on its side increase speed, while you pull the stalk forward to reduce it. Huh?

The Nissan Leaf’s is even worse; I nearly had a heart attack trying to engage its cruise control before realising you must press three buttons on the wheel to do so.

Seat Arona long-term test review

My Arona’s, in contrast, is great – located behind my left hand on the wheel, with a simple switch to engage it and increase and reduce speed buttons on the side.

Mind you, my old Ford Kuga’s was absolutely perfect; it had the same button layout, but on a panel between two spokes of the wheel, so I only needed to extend my thumb to use it, thus keeping both hands firmly on the wheel.

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