SEAT Arona 1.5 TSI roadtest report review: With a certain penache, DAVID HOOPER enjoys this surprisingly classy and capable small SUV.
SEAT Arona FR 1.5 TSI roadtest report review: IT never ceases to amaze me how many variations on a theme car manufacturers can come up with, but this Seat Arona certainly has something about it, a certain penache, a bit of designer flair perhaps.
With its lustrous dark blue paintwork and contrasting white roof, complimented by silver trim on the C-pillars, it really grabs your attention, and with a price tag of £21,535 it’s attractively priced too.
The designers haven’t forgotten the interior either, with clean lines, a nice mix of quality materials, and instrumentation with admirable clarity.
The SEAT Arona celebrated its first full year of sales by being named the best Small SUV of the Year by What Car? after its launch, taking its place in the brand’s line-up as its third new release in a year, hot in the tyre tracks of the upgraded Leon and the latest Ibiza. This addition to the SEAT range was part of its biggest product offensive ever which also included the Ateca.
Designed in Barcelona, The new SEAT Arona is for drivers looking for a sense of excitement, distinction and functionality, says the Spanish carmaker, and thanks to its compact size and the sensations of safety and control offered by its high driving position and modern design, it is perfect for everyday city driving, but it’s not afraid to show its fun and adventurous side either with its crossover attributes. It is a car that is all-purpose, and if that wasn’t enough, it comes with the latest connectivity technology.
Equipment levels are good, but there were no heated seats in our test car which you do become accustomed to when the temperatures start to drop as autumn leads into winter during our time with the Arona. There is comfortable accommodation for four or five people, and a good sized boot which is plenty big enough for the weekly shop. The slightly raised driving position is on trend at the minute and the large glass area makes for a well lit cabin and a good view of the goings-on around the car.
So far so good, but it was the 1.5-litre TSI engine that impressed me the most – it was nippy, fun to drive and impressively economical. Driven carefully and being mindful of fuel consumption, this smooth and well-proven petrol engine consistently returned mpg figures in the high 50s, matching the economy of many modern diesels and bettering many – I couldn’t quite get the average up to 60mpg, but it wasn’t far off at all.
When economy isn’t top of the agenda, the lively little TSI engine pulls keenly and a well-sorted chassis makes for an enjoyable driving experience.
Parking sensors fore and aft help to protect the car’s extremities in car parks and the nicely weighted steering makes manoeuvring a piece of cake.
I really liked the Arona, it looks good and drives well and although it may not have all the bells and whistles money can buy, it does have enough to keep most owners happy, with a price tag to match!
THE VITAL STATISTICS
MODEL: SEAT Arona 1.5 TSI
ENGINE: 1498cc, 150bhp four-cylinder petrol engine, driving front wheels through 6-speed manual gearbox.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 129mph. 0-62mph in 8.2 secs.
ECONOMY: City: 46.3mpg.
Wheel World test average: 42.8mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS: 112g/km.
FUEL TANK: 40 litres.
WARRANTY: 3 years/60,000 miles
• All data correct at time of publication.