New SEAT Arona spotted testing ahead of April reveal

The SEAT Arona SUV will be facelifted this year and will get a new infotainment system

  • Mild-hybrid engine likely
  • New touchscreen
  • To be revealed in April

The SEAT Arona will be facelifted in 2021 and these spy shots give us our first look at the styling changes. SEAT’s smallest and most affordable SUV will borrow styling cues and technology from the brand’s larger models. We understand it’s due to be revealed in April and will go on sale a couple of months later.

The Arona competes in one of the most saturated areas in the market and has rivals from nearly every manufacturer. These include the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and Hyundai Kona, as well as the mechanically identical Skoda Kamiq.

2021 SEAT Arona styling

To maintain its appeal, the new Arona will have updated styling. While it’s hard to tell with the camouflage wrap in the pictures, we think the Arona will get new headlights inspired by the recently facelifted SEAT Ateca. There’s also a reprofiled front bumper, with new air intakes where the fog lights were.

The rear end will get a redesign, with tweaked lights and a new bumper. It’s thought buyers will also be able to choose new alloy wheel designs, while the top-spec Xcellence trims may get a more rugged look and be renamed X-Perience, as per the latest Ateca.

Interior

Since the Arona went on sale in 2017, SEAT has introduced a new infotainment system onto some of its models, such as the new SEAT Leon. As a result, this new touchscreen is likely to be available on the Arona and the facelifted SEAT Ibiza when that goes on sale.

SEAT has developed a reputation for a generous list of standard equipment with its cars, and it’s expected that some of the kit reserved for high-spec models will make its way to the cheaper models too. In particular, the digital instrument cluster currently available on FR Sport and Xcellence Lux versions will be included on a wider range of trim levels.

Engines

The VW Group recently introduced a new 108bhp 1.0-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine, which could be used under the bonnet of the Arona. This may sit alongside a non-hybrid version with the same power output or replace it, but either way it should offer improved efficiency. A powerful 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine could also be reintroduced to the Arona line-up, although it will probably only be offered on high-spec versions.

You’ll also be able to buy the existing 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine. SEAT dropped the Arona’s 1.6-litre diesel engine last year and its return seems very unlikely given how popular the petrol engines are.

As is often the case when a car gets facelifted, prices will rise slightly. The current car starts at £18,605, so we expect the new model to cost a little over £19,000. SEAT does offer metallic paint as standard, which can be a costly optional extra for its rivals.

What does it mean for car buyers?

The SEAT Arona was one of our favourite small SUVs when it was launched but since then, it’s been overtaken by newer rivals like the Ford Puma and Renault Captur. The changes mentioned above should make the Arona even easier to recommend, and the car should remain good value - especially as many small SUVs start at over £20,000. Alternatively, if you can live without the updates, you should be able to get a decent discount on pre-facelift models.

See where the SEAT Arona places on our guide to the most reliable small cars.

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