Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Arona is a bit more expensive to buy than its direct rivals, such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, but that's balanced by the fact that it shouldn't depreciate as quickly as its peers and even the entry-level trim comes reasonably well equipped (more on that in the next section).
Besides, it's cheaper than the Volkswagen T-Cross and most buyers won’t be buying with cash, anyway – they’ll be signing up to a PCP finance deal, and the Arona offers lower monthly repayments than many of its rivals including the aforementioned Volkswagen.
Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are impressive, too, particularly for the diesel engines. The 1.0-litre petrols impress, too; the 1.0 TSI 95 (our pick of the range) averaged a very credible 45.9mpg in our real-world True MPG tests.
Equipment, options and extras
Even entry-level SE trim gets you 17in alloys, cruise control, air conditioning, automatic headlights, a contrasting-coloured roof and metallic paint with a choice of roof colours. However, we’d still recommend upgrading to SE Technology; this get you a much better infotainment system as well as rear parking sensors.
FR trim is likely to be the most popular choice, though. Most of the extras you get over SE Technology trim are styling details – different front and rear bumpers, tinted windows and the like – although you do also get climate control and rain-sensing wipers.
Go higher up the trim ladder and Xcellence has an upmarket air with its chrome roof rails and window trims, and adds the convenience of keyless entry and adaptive cruise control. You can take things even further with the Xcellence Lux, which adds microfibre suede seats, 18in alloys, and Seat's self-parking system. However, you’ll be spending the sort of cash that would get you a bigger or possibly premium brand SUV. Just remember that Seat doesn’t do options; once you’ve picked your ideal spec the only other thing to choose is the paint colour. At least you don’t have to pay extra for a metallic finish, though.
The Arona is too new to have featured in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey. The same is true of the latest Ibiza, the car on which the Arona is based. However, Seat as a brand finished middle of the pile – a good rather than outstanding result.
All versions of the Arona come with a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty and a third-year warranty that covers you up to 60,000 miles.
You can, of course, pay extra to have your warranty extended if you plan to keep your Arona for longer.
Safety and security
Like the Captur and Citroën C3 Aircross, the Arona was awarded five stars (out of five) for safety by Euro NCAP, scoring better marks than both of those rivals for adult protection and pedestrian protection. However, the C3 Aircross did score fractionally higher in the child protection test and the T-Cross achieved better marks across the board.
It's also disappointing that you need to upgrade to FR trim just to get an alarm. Go for SE or SE Technology and your Arona will be easier to break into than some of its rivals.
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