► Based on Ibiza platform Ibiza
► Rival to the Nissan Juke
► On sale in UK October 2017
The Seat Arona mini-SUV is the Spanish company’s third new model in 15 months.
A supermini-on-stilts, it’s designed to take the fight directly to the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, two cars which have enjoyed unprecedented success from launch.
The Arona is based on the same MQB A0 platform as the upcoming Ibiza (and the sixth-gen Volkswagen Polo).
So it’s basically a jacked-up Ibiza?
Essentially, yes. The oily bits are the same, with the car built using Volkswagen’s interchangeable Modular Transverse Matrix platform.
The biggest difference in dimensions is the height, with the Arona gaining an extra 99mm over the Ibiza. Overall length also grows to 4138mm, 16mm longer than the Captur and 3mm longer than the Juke.
The driving position has naturally been raised, by 52mm for the driver and 62mm for the front passenger, while headroom is 38mm greater in the front and 33mm in the rear.
Boot space therefore increases to 400 litres with the rear seats in place – more than both the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.
Will it be as fun to drive as the Ibiza?
Chances are that it won’t, a 15mm increase in ride-height putting paid to that. However, against the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur it should be a different story. Neither are the last word in handling agility, so Seat may have looked at stealing a march on its competitors by giving the Arona some shutzpah in the twisty stuff.
Petrol engines on offer include a three-cylinder 1.0-litre TSI in either 94 or 113bhp form, plus the all-new 148bhp four-cylinder 1.5-litre Evo with active cylinder deactivation technology. Diesel options revolve around a 1.6-litre TDI engine. A mixture of five- or six-speed manuals, plus a seven-speed DSG gearbox will be available depending on what’s under the bonnet.
Will there be any fancy kit on offer?
Seat hasn’t scrimped on the Arona equipment list, making an array of standard and optional available. This includes driver assist and safety systems such as Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Multi-Collision Braking, Hill Hold Control, Rear Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection and Park Assist.
Other equipment such as an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless phone charging, keyless entry/keyless go and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto will also be available.
Can I customise the looks?
To an extent, yes. The lower body and upper body of the car can be divided into two colour schemes, meaning the doors, bonnet and boot can be painted, say, Eclipse Orange, while the roof can be finished in a more subtle black or grey shade (you can opt for the full Fanta look should you wish).
Anything else I should know?
UK spec levels and pricing are yet to be confirmed, but expect the usual SE and FR trims to be present, as well as a price tag a few thousand pounds north of the Ibiza’s.
Order books open on 3 October 2017, with cars in showrooms six weeks later.
See every new car at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show in our handy preview guide here