Volkswagen T-Roc vs Seat Arona vs Hyundai Kona

All of these cars combine stylish SUV looks with practical interiors and surprisingly low running costs, but which is best?...

New Hyundai Kona & Volkswagen T-Roc vs Seat Arona

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

So far, the Volkswagen T-Roc has edged out a slender lead over the Seat Arona, leaving the Hyundai Kona with lots of catching up to do. But how much these cars cost to buy and run, and how much equipment you get for your money, are huge considerations that could easily turn the tide.

The vast majority of buyers will choose to sign up to a PCP finance agreement and it’s here the Arona really starts to make sense. Put down a £2000 deposit and, over the next 36 months, you’ll pay £289 a month – a whopping £51 less than you’ll need to stump up for the T-Roc under the same terms. The Kona, meanwhile, will cost you a middling £321 a month.

New Hyundai Kona & Volkswagen T-Roc vs Seat Arona

That said, if you are planning to pay the whole lot upfront, the T-Roc will actually cost you the least in the long run. That’s mainly because it’s predicted to be worth the most when you come to sell, but also because it’s the cheapest to service. The Kona is a relative money pit; it’s the most expensive to service and fuel, and will be worth by far the least when you decide to sell.

You do get an awful lot of standard luxuries for your money, though. All of these cars come with alloy wheels, climate control, automatic lights and wipers and cruise control, but the Kona is the only one with heated (and ventilated) front seats, full leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel and keyless entry and start.

Then again, if you want a contrasting roof colour on your Kona you’ll need to cough up almost £1000. That seems decidedly steep considering the T-Roc offers the same thing for £280-£575 (depending on your colour choice) and Seat charges nothing at all – even if you want metallic paint.

New Hyundai Kona & Volkswagen T-Roc vs Seat Arona

We’re also baffled as to why Hyundai has decided to charge (£235) extra for automatic emergency braking. This vital safety aid is standard on the other two, as it is on the vast majority of new cars – especially in this price bracket. The fact that Hyundai has opted to fit other important but less critical safety aids, such as lane-keep assist and blindspot monitoring, makes the decision even harder to understand.

If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a shunt, the T-Roc is likely to protect you best; like all of our trio, it has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, but it scored the highest marks for adult and child occupancy protection and also pedestrian protection. The Kona scored lowest for adult and pedestrian safety, while the Arona was least impressive at protecting children on board.