New SEAT Arona SUV: prices, specs and release date

SEAT's smallest SUV can be ordered now, priced from £16,555

SEAT has announced specification details for the Arona compact SUV, ahead of its appearance in UK showrooms in November.

The Arona, which shares much of its architecture with the latest SEAT Ibiza supermini, wears the Spanish carmaker's distinctive angular style. Its angled headlamps and sharp body creases give it a familiar look, and at just 8cm longer and 10cm taller than the Ibiza, it's unlikely to intimidate those new to SUVs.

The Arona competes directly with the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, while Volkswagen Group's other recent compact SUV offerings, the Volkswagen T-Roc and Skoda Karoq, provide buyers with a broader choice than ever before. Meanwhile, those for whom the Arona is that bit too small can go for the larger SEAT Ateca.

We've driven the new SEAT Aronaread our review here.

New SEAT Arona: design

Adhering faithfully to SEAT's latest corporate look, the Arona closely resembles the Ibiza hatchback when viewed directly from the front, but has its own strong identity from other angles. Its rugged personality is exemplified in dent-resisting wheelarch protectors, side skirts and bulky bumpers – creating the impression of a "sturdy car for the urban jungle".

One distinctive design feature is the rearmost pillar, which bears a distinctive slash of contrasting colour and visually separates the Arona's body from its 'floating' roof. This emphasises the car's height, while an 'X' engraved in a trim piece reminds onlookers that this isn't just a regular hatchback.

While a 10cm overall increase in height compared to the SEAT Ibiza adds to the Arona's sturdy appearance, it isn't just for show. The car's driving position is 5cm higher, too, providing easier access and a more commanding view from the driver's seat, while there's little denying the Arona's increased road presence – a key selling point for crossover SUVs.

Interior, dashboard and practicality

While the Arona has its own identity as far as exterior looks are concerned, open the door and the dashboard that greets you is essentially the same as found in the Ibiza. That’s no bad thing, as the Ibiza has a well made and cleanly designed dashboard, while both cars are available with the latest infotainment and connectivity options, including wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Arona gets its own fabrics and colours, though, and while the extra height cements its SUV status, it also improves interior space, as occupants get roughly 3cm more headroom than in an Ibiza. Luggage space has also grown: at 400 litres, the Arona’s boot is around a third larger than the Ibiza’s.

Personalisation is also taken care of, thanks to 68 colour combinations across the different roof and body paint options, with buyers allowed to specify the roof in grey, black, orange or in the same colour as the Arona’s body. Available safety kit includes a fatigue warning system, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking, while a self-parking system will also be offered.

Engines

The entry-level engine is a 94bhp version of SEAT’s 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol – one we’re already familiar with and fond of. You can upgrade this to 113bhp you wish, while FR trim adds the option of a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine. This produces 148bhp and features cylinder deactivation, meaning it can partially shut down to save fuel.

Those who need a diesel Arona can have a 1.6-litre engine, with either 84 or 113bhp, while an automatic gearbox can be specified with the more powerful of these and the 113bhp petrol.

New SEAT Arona SUV specs, price and on-sale date

Arona trim-level designations match those of other cars in the SEAT range, with the SE serving as the entry-level model. It's far from basic, though, with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, a bi-colour roof and metallic paint all brightening up the exterior. Inside, air-conditioning is standard, as are SEAT's five-inch infotainment touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connection. The SE starts at £16,555.

The SE Technology costs from £17,330 and adds an eight-inch infotainment system with sat nav, as well as MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Wireless phone charging is thrown in, too, as are two SD card slots and rear parking sensors.

The SE Technology First Edition – available only with the 94bhp 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine – adds keyless go, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control and a winter pack of heated front seats and heated washer nozzles, as well as rain-sensing wipers. Extra storage features are also included in its £18,730 price.

The FR has sporty looks, with a different 'dynamic' design of alloy wheels, full LED headlights, dark-tinted rear windows and door mirrors that match the contrasting roof colour. A flat-bottomed steering wheel and sports seats continue the racy theme inside, while multi-coloured ambient lighting and dual-zone air conditioning set the mood. Sports suspension is standard, as is SEAT Drive Profile, which lets you adjust handling and response preferences. The FR starts at £19,680.

Moving up further, the FR Sport, which starts at £20,450, adds 18-inch 'Performance' alloy wheels, Dynamic Chassis Control and black Alcantara suede upholstery. Alternatively, the XCELLENCE starts at £20,825 and offers practical features in place of the FR's sportier focus. Keyless go, a storage pack, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard. XCELLENCE Lux adds 18-inch alloy wheels, SEAT Drive Profile, front parking sensors, a rear-view camera and parking assistance from £21,880.

Crowning the Arona range is the Arona EXCELLENCE First Edition. Priced from £22,020, it boasts a Beats sound system, the winter pack mentioned earlier, plus front parking sensors, a rear-view camera and park assistance.

The SEAT Arona will reach UK showrooms on 17 November 2017 and orders can be placed now.

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