New SEAT Arona SUV arrives to rival the Nissan Juke

The striking new 2017 SEAT Arona is based on the Ibiza and uses engines from the new supermini’s range.

SEAT has doubled its SUV portfolio with the introduction of the all-new Arona. It joins the Ateca in the brand’s SUV range, which will grow again next year to include a seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq rival. Prices for the Arona are expected to start from around £15,000 when sales begin in October.

The Arona enters the small SUV market that has recently become flush with new arrivals; the Citroen C3 Aircross, Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic have all appeared within weeks of one another. The Nissan Juke and Renault Captur continue to set the benchmark in this market.

SEAT Arona platform and dimensions
Under the skin, the Arona is based on the same MQB AO platform as the new Ibiza supermini. It measures 4,138mm long, making it a few millimetres longer than the Nissan and Renault. Against the Ibiza, the newcomer is a more noticeable 79mm longer. The Arona’s ride height has been raised by 15mm and the firm claims there is 37mm more headroom in the front than in the Ibiza. A 400-litre boot also makes the Arona one of the most practical cars in its class.

SEAT Arona engine range
Engine and gearbox options are largely adopted from SEAT’s supermini line-up – all are turbocharged units and have stop/start technology. Three petrol engines are offered from launch: a 95bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder, linked to a five-speed manual box, while a 115bhp version is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG auto. A 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine features cylinder deactivation to help reduce fuel consumption, and comes only with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The only diesel in the Arona is a 1.6-litre engine with 95bhp or 115bhp. The lesser-powered unit is paired with a five-speed manual box or a seven-speed DSG, while the 115bhp model gets a six-speed manual.

UK specs have yet to be finalised, but we can expect the range to mirror the Ibiza line-up, so S, SE, SE Technology, FR and range-topping Xcellence trims are likely to be offered. SEAT has confirmed dual-mode suspension and its Drive Profile with four modes (Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual) will feature on FR editions.

The Arona’s styling uses features from both the Ibiza and Ateca, inside and out. The triangular headlamps and sculpted flanks are plucked from the supermini, while the rear lamps and chunky body cladding come from the mid-size SUV.

SEAT Arona technology and customisation options
Customisation also plays a big role, with SEAT claiming there are 68 combinations for the Arona’s lower and upper body. The roof can be grey, black, orange or body-coloured.

Inside, the car is almost identical to the Ibiza. An eight-inch touchscreen display sits in the middle of the dash, while kit includes wireless phone charging. There’s also a reversing camera and cruise control.

A raft of safety systems will be available, including Multi-Collision braking, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Traffic Alert, which monitors traffic when reversing.

SEAT says it has invested over 900 million Euros into the development of the new supermini and small SUV. The Arona will make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

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