SPANIISH CROSS-HATCHING (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 74
SEAT's Arona is a small SUV that was launched in 2017 with an important role to play in the Spanish maker's model line-up. Sophisticated underpinnings made possible a more spacious cabin and a more engaging driving experience than most rivals could offer and across the range, this car offered a sense of style that its fashionable clientele liked. Here, we look at the early versions of this MK1 model from a used buyer's perspective.
Modelsword count: 11
5dr SUV (1.0 TSI, 1.6 TDI diesel [S, SE, FR, Xcellence])
Historyword count: 280
Every volume brand seems to have its own idea of what a small supermini-based SUV should be. Some are stylish, some are practical and some are overtly SUV-like. But wouldn't it be great if all of these attributes could be found in one more complete product in this segment? SEAT's take on this class of car, this Arona model, claimed to deliver just that. The Crossover SUV market sector has massively expanded in recent times. By 2017 when this car was launched, it was four times the size it had been as recently as 2015, accounting for one in every three new car sales, with 'B'-segment supermini-based models like this one leading the charge. By this point, SEAT had already had great success with the slightly larger 'C'-segment family hatchback-based Ateca model it launched in 2016 to target the 'Qashqai-class' part of this market. The Arona aimed to more affordably replicate that car's success. As you would expect, it was based on the Barcelona brand's Ibiza supermini, which means that it also shared that car's sophisticated MQB A0 platform - making it the first 'B'-segment Volkswagen Group SUV to get it. That's important because it left the Arona lighter than many of its rivals, so potentially more efficient. Plus in the arguably more important areas that potential buyers in this segment tend to prioritise - practicality, media connectivity and scope for personalisation - the Arona makes a strong case for itself on paper. But what will the reality of buying and owning a used one be like? That's what we're here to find out. An updated version of this MK1 model made its debut in the early Summer of 2021.
What You Getword count: 330
The Arona, says SEAT, 'transcends age barriers'. Not sure about that. The truth is that it's very obviously targeted at the younger folk driving sales in this segment, though there's also enough boxy practicality here to interest more adventurous small families too. These people will see at a glance that the Arona is a more versatile proposition than the Ibiza supermini it's based upon, 79mm longer and 99mm taller than that car. From the side, what would otherwise be a square rather unremarkable profile is enlivened by two almost arbitrary upper coachwork slashes just below the glass line. And plenty of crossover trinketry - most obviously the contrast-coloured roof. While other makers in this sector have merely dabbled with this concept, SEAT whole-heatedly embraced it, standardising this feature for those wanting it and offering customers orange, black or grey colour options. And inside? Well if you like the funky attitude of the exterior, you might be a little disappointed to find that little of it has been carried over to the cabin, which is virtually identical to the rather conservative interior you get in an Ibiza - though you do sit a little higher. What's not up for debate is the quality of what's provided, something nicely complemented by the classy glass-fronted 8-inch infotainment screen that most models got. As well as the usual Bluetooth and DAB tuner, this incorporates 3D navigation, voice recognition and SEAT's 'Full Link' smartphone-mirroring system. And in the rear? Well, off hand, we can't remember ever being in a small car with as much ceiling space as this one. Six foot adults who might normally grumble at the prospect of long distance rear seat confinement in any supermini-based model need have no worries about the prospect of riding here. And luggage space out back? Well the rear hatch opens to reveal 400-litres of luggage space. A dual-height boot floor was standard here. Need more room? Push the backrest forward and 823-litres of space is revealed.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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