SEAT Arona (2018) Review

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SEAT Arona (2018) At A Glance


+Smooth and comfortable motorway cruiser. Excellent in town with the 1.0 TSI petrol engine. All models are well-equipped as standard.

-Lumpy gearing for 1.5 TSI Evo engine. Lots of wind noise, even at low speeds. Drab interior. 5-seaters rendered 4-seaters by centre rear seatbelt buckle fault.

New prices start from £17,305, brokers can source from £15,815
Insurance Groups are between 12–13
On average it achieves 82% of the official MPG figure

The SEAT Arona is proof that bigger isn't automatically better when it comes to crossovers. More comfortable, practical and desirable than the majority of its rivals, the Arona is one of the best all-rounders in the compact crossover market, while its excellent range of petrol engines make it a great choice for those who want to avoid diesel.

Despite the visual similarities with the Ateca, the Arona doesn't actually share any of its major components with SEAT's medium size SUV; it's actually based on the same platform as the fourth-gen Ibiza. And that's good news for those who value comfort and value over performance and handling.

For sure, it's not the most engaging of drives, but the Arona is smooth and predictable. The ride quality is also excellent and even sportier models on firm suspension and 18-inch wheels feel comfortable on rough roads. The only area of annoyance is the abundance of wind noise; fit the optional roof rails and the problem becomes quite noticeable at motorway speeds. 

That said, the Arona gets all the fundamentals right. In terms of size, it's similar to the Juke and Captur but its 400 litre boot capacity is far superior to the 354 litres in the Nissan and 377 litres in the Renault. You also get better comfort in the back with plenty of head and legroom to transport two adults in the rear seats over a long journey in comfort.  

The Arona works best with petrol-power, with the star of the show being the three-cylinder 1.0 TSI. Not only is it smooth and hushed on the motorway, but it also promises an official 57.6mpg which means you no longer need to default for diesel when it comes to low fuel costs. Most engines are offered with a manual or DSG automatic transmissions. 

While it might seem quite expensive against its rivals, the Arona comes with a lot of equipment as standard. Even basic SE models get 17-inch alloy wheels, two-tone metallic paint, LED daytime running lights and a 5.0-inch colour touchscreen. SE Technology trim adds parking sensors and a large 8.0 inch screen to the dash, along with navigation and full link connectivity for a mobile phone. Only those who want sporty styling or plush interiors will need to spend more on FR or Xcellence spec. 

List price aside, we think the Arona is one of the best all-rounder compact crossovers. More comfortable than the Captur and more practical than the Juke, SEAT's second crossover is another success story for the Volkswagen-backed carmaker. In fact, to find a genuine rival, you have to look towards the T-Roc. However, badge snobbery aside, we think the SEAT wins on value every time. 

SEAT Arona 1.0 TSI 2018 Road Test

Looking for a SEAT Arona (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a SEAT Arona (2018)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

34–67 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

What small, automatic crossover would you recommend?
"We're looking to replace my wife's 2009 Nisan Qashqai with a more modern, nearly-new, small SUV automatic and would like to spend up to £15K. My wife only does around 3000 miles per annum. We quite like the Fiat 500X. What would you recommend?"
The Fiat 500X is a good choice. It was updated in 2018 with a new 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine and dual-clutch automatic gearbox which would suit your requirements well. We'd recommend taking a look at the SEAT Arona, too. It's a stylish little crossover SUV available with a punchy 1.0 TSI petrol engine and slick DSG auto gearbox. Also consider a Honda HR-V with its very reliable CVT transmission.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best small SUV?
"Can you tell me which models are the best small SUVs or crossovers?"
The best small SUVs are SEAT Arona 1.0 TSI petrol, Toyota C-HR 1.8 hybrid, Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost and Honda HR-V 1.5-petrol.
Answered by Dan Powell
Which crossover should I get to replace my Ford Fiesta?
"I currently have a 2017 Ford Fiesta but I want a car with higher seating, electric windows and the same standard as the Fiesta."
I'd recommend the Ford Puma 1.0 EcoBoost. It's based on the Fiesta's mechanical platform and is similar to drive, but sits much higher from the road. It also get a larger boot and good levels of standard equipment: You might also want to consider the SEAT Arona 1.0 TSI:
Answered by Dan Powell
Which crossover should I buy?
"I need a car for a round trip commute of 90 miles, mostly on the motorway. I have been looking at a SEAT Arona, Skoda Kamiq or Kia Stonic as I like the style of those. Which would you recommend and engine type, trim level etc - or is there a better choice? I am not wedded to any brand and just view a car as a tool to get to work. It needs cruise control and air con which is fairly standard these days. Thanks."
You won't go wrong with any of the three you've mentioned but the Skoda Kamiq is probably the best all-rounder. It's available with a 1.6 TDI diesel engine which would be a frugal choice for your commute. Also look at the Volkswagen T-Cross or T-Roc.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a SEAT Arona (2018) cost?

Buy new from £15,815 (list price from £19,210)