Juke, Captur, 2008, Kona, Stonic, and the others - meet your new rival.
June is turning out to be a month jam-packed with city-oriented SUVs as after checking out the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic, now time has come for SEAT to join the increasingly crowded segment. Riding on the same MQB A0 platform like the all-new Ibiza supermini, the Arona has a somewhat familiar design, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting and it should have what it takes to go up against the big names in this hugely popular genre.
Since we’ve mentioned the Ibiza, it should be pointed out SEAT’s small SUV is 79 millimeters longer, stretching at 4.14 meters. It goes without saying the biggest difference between the two is when you compare how tall they are. The Arona sits 99 millimeters higher and comes with a taller roof giving it more headroom inside for both front and rear passengers.
Thanks to its increased proportions, Martorell’s first foray into the B-segment SUV is more practical as it can swallow up to 400 liters of your luggage with the rear seats in place. For the sake of comparison, the Ibiza can hold 355 liters, which is still very impressive for a car of this size.
Like with all high-riding models playing in this league, the Arona will be available with a plethora of customizations. No less than 68 color combinations to choose from including the eye-grabbing Eclipse Orange shade. There will also be multiple ways to spice up the interior, so there should be a configuration out there for everyone.
As far as the engines are concerned, there aren’t any surprises. On the gasoline side you’ll find the turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-liter TSI with 95 hp & 115 hp hooked up to a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG. It’s joined by the larger four-cylinder 1.5-liter TSI rated at 150 hp and available with cylinder deactivation tech exclusively for the range-topping FR trim.
Should you want a diesel, SEAT has got you covered by planning to sell the Arona with the familiar 1.6-liter TDI producing either 95 or 115 hp. The engine range will grow by the middle of 2018 when the small SUV will receive a 1.0-liter TGI producing 90 hp and capable of running on compressed natural gas.
As it’s the case with the Ibiza, the new Arona gets the latest infotainment system with support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You can spend more on a BeatsAudio system packing six speakers and a trunk-mounted subwoofer for a total power of 300 watts. Other goodies available include dual-zone climate control, ambient lightning, along with LED headlights and taillights.
Just like it’s doing with the Ibiza, Leon, and Ateca, SEAT will sell the Arona in Reference, Style, FR & Xcellence trims. The sporty FR will come as standard with a dual-mode suspension as well as four selectable driving modes.
It will receive its proper debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September before going on sale. In 2018, SEAT will further strengthen its SUV offerings by adding a midsize model destined to be offered with five seven seats. It's basically going to be a sister model of the Skoda Kodiaq.
As a final note, parent company Volkswagen will launch its equivalent version of the Arona, a Polo-based subcompact crossover due by the end of the year or in 2018.
Gallery: 2018 SEAT Arona
The New SEAT Arona: Modern Urban Character
Martorell, 26/06/2017. - The New SEAT Arona is here. The last SEAT creation made its first appearance during a media event in Barcelona, in front of 250 international journalists. The New SEAT Arona will make its public debut at the Frankfurt International Motorshow in September.
The New SEAT Arona is the Spanish brand's third new release in 2017, after the upgraded Leon and the New Ibiza. This is yet another addition to the SEAT range in its biggest product offensive ever, which also includes the Ateca and the upcoming large size SUV that will be released in 2018. The New SEAT Arona sits neatly within the SUV range as the younger brother in the family, in an outstanding and bright way, that combines the advantages of its compact dimensions in the city with its crossover attributes to get out of the city and go even further. It’s also the fact that the SEAT Arona is so elegant, spacious, practical and comfortable both in the normal Monday to Friday working week and adventurous, robust, sporty and efficient at the weekend. All of this combined with applied safety and connectivity technology that is only seen in higher segments of the market, plus SEAT’s undoubtable attractive and distinct design without failing to mention a huge amount of personalisation options as well as the sports DNA dynamism and finesse of the Spanish brand. The Arona, manufactured exclusively in Martorell - the plant with the largest production volume in Spain - will play a key role for SEAT, strengthening the brand and increasing sales.
"We at SEAT are very persistent. With our biggest product offensive, by the time the Large SUV reaches the market, SEAT will have launched, in average, a new vehicle every six months in two and a half years. SEAT has allocated a total of 900 million euros in investments and R&D expenditure to the Ibiza and Arona. These investments are a part of the total investment of 3.3 billion euros for the 2015-2019 period”, says Luca de Meo, President of SEAT. "The commercial launch of the New Ibiza is taking place this very month, and Arona will be premiered at the Frankfurt Motorshow".
The New SEAT Arona is the SEAT’s first model in the A0 compact crossover segment, which has increased four-fold since 2015.
Far from confining itself to a specific category, the Arona is a lesson in versatility. 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 the added bonus of its bold crossover look, the Arona is not just any car; it goes much further.
The New SEAT Arona is designed for drivers looking for a sense of excitement, distinction and functionality. People who know that age is just a number, not an outlook on life. This is a car that fits their lifestyle, that works in both the city and the countryside, that is loaded with technology and that is comfortable, spacious, safe, dynamic, customisable, and all-purpose. It is a car that's easy to get in and out of, and if that weren't enough, a car in which your luggage can fit easily with no hassle whatsoever.
Always ready for an adventure
When it comes to passive safety, the New SEAT Arona performs at the highest level in an environment that is much more demanding nowadays.
“We’re certain that the New SEAT Arona is the perfect answer to the current demands of our customers, in terms of dynamic behaviour, comfort, safety and state of the art technology. We are once again setting new standards in the segment” says Dr. Matthias Rabe, Executive Vice-President for Research and Development.
The New SEAT Arona has all of the driving assistance and infotainment systems you know and love from other SEAT models, such as Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Stop&Go (combined with ACC and DSG transmission), Hill Hold control, Fatigue Detection, Rain and Headlight Sensors, Multi-Collision Brake, Keyless Entry and Start System, precise and high-quality rear camera, premium 8" black panel touchscreen, and wireless charger with GSM signal amplifier. The Arona also offers an optional Rear Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection and the Park Assistance System, which works for both parallel and angle parking.
In terms of its dimensions, the SEAT Arona is 4,138 mm long, which is 79 mm more than the New Ibiza. However, the real difference lies in its height, as the Arona is 99 mm higher. As a result, the New SEAT Arona offers not only higher ground clearance for those off-road adventures, but also more front and rear headroom, and, above all, a larger boot, with a 400-litre capacity. Another important feature is the seat cushion, which is 52 mm higher and gives it a dual advantage: first, a higher driving position for a better view of traffic; and, second, it makes it much easier to get in and out of the car. The passenger seats are also 62 mm higher. The headroom is 37 mm higher in the front and 33 mm in the back. The suspension goes up by 15 mm and the windshield is slightly more vertical than in the Ibiza to make for a roomier interior.
MQB A0 Platform
The key for the major improvement in roominess and dynamic behaviour is the latest technology from the Volkswagen Group, the MQB platform (Modular Quer Baukasten). The MQB A0 platform allows higher manufacturing flexibility, more robust implementation and different models with different body types within the same segment. Also different wheelbase configurations can be achieved within the same base platform. SEAT’s investments and R&D expenditure in recent years were partially allocated to adapt Line 1 at the Martorell factory to the new MQB A0 platform, allowing SEAT to be the first company of the Volkswagen group to use this technology.
Fully connected and with its own style
In terms of connectivity, Arona features Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link. And in the sound department, the New SEAT Arona features optional BeatsAudio with 6 premium speakers, a 300W 8-channel amplifier and a subwoofer in the boot.
Like the Leon, Ateca and Ibiza, the New SEAT Arona offers Reference, Style, FR & Xcellence trims. The dual-coloured (red and white) ambient indoor LED light and dual-zone climate control with an aircare filter are also available on the Arona, while at the front of the car, the triangular headlights with its attractive colour and excellent luminance make the New Arona instantly recognisable. At the back the tail lamps are also LED and they provide extra visual width thanks to their double tail lamps. The FR trim includes dual-mode suspension, and the SEAT Drive Profile with four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. To simplify the process of outfitting the New SEAT Arona, the optional equipment is grouped into packages.
Multi-use without a single compromise
On the emotional side, Arona offers the thrill that drivers once looked for in the three-door versions, with the advantage of the space offered by a family car body, and the enhanced capacity made possible by its higher frame. The Arona also shares features with the Ateca. After all, it is its younger brother within the SUV range, as we await the arrival of the family's biggest member, the large SUV scheduled for 2018. The Arona's robust front follows the same structure as the Ateca, with a three-dimensional look that's more pronounced, without being aggressive. Also, the license plate on the tailgate, allows a more robust bumper design and raises the car visually.
Alejandro Mesonero, Design Director at SEAT, says, "We wanted to give the New SEAT Arona the distinct feel of a crossover, a sturdy car for everyday life, for the urban jungle. That's why it features such strong protection in the bumpers, the wheel arches and the dark coloured rubber side skirts, as well as the roof rack and the aluminium look-like protection at the bottom of the bumpers". All of which makes it look tougher and taller. The 665 mm larger diameter wheels also help to make the car higher.
The New SEAT Arona is very expressive. In addition to the rack, the roof features evoke the aesthetics of all-terrain vehicles. It has many aspects in common with the new design language shown in the recent SEAT cars. No doubt this car has its own personality. This is clear in its interior, which stands out not only in horizontal proportions that emphasise and enhance the car’s size, giving an even greater feel of roominess and space inside, but in its increased sophistication as well. Special care has been taken with the details to underscore the improvements made to the New SEAT Arona in terms of its perceived quality.
The High Console Concept also gives the console more prominence, which affects the safety and ergonomics, since every element is positioned such that the driver barely has to look away from the road while driving. The driver’s seat has been given particular attention, and all of the instruments are oriented toward the driver. Everything is within reach, allowing for easy adjustments and increased safety. The seats are more comfortable and provide a greater feeling of protection while holding the occupants in place more securely. The fabrics, shades and colours are exclusive to the New SEAT Arona, whose interior colours and trims offer many possibilities for personalisation, with the console, for example, being painted to match the dashboard.
In this regard, the ability to customise the Arona is very important. There has been a trend in customers demanding individualisation for their vehicles. Colour-wise, the Arona is divided into two: the lower body, on the one hand, and the roof, plus the A and C pillars, on the other. Added to the colour palette for the bodywork is Eclipse Orange. The roof can be grey, black, orange or the same colour as the body. There are 68 possible colour combinations. Prominent on the C pillar is the X graphic engraved in the sheet metal to highlight the Arona's crossover look. While every model in the SEAT line-up has a dynamic, versatile, technological and sporty character, the Arona maintains all of those features but has a more spacious interior and a wider range of possible uses.
The perfect companion
Strength nowadays lies in efficiency and reliability. All of the engines available in the New SEAT Arona range have direct injection, a turbocompressor, and feature an automatic stop & start system. There are three different petrol engines to choose from, all with an aluminium block. The first is the 3-cylinder, 95 PS 1.0 TSI, which is linked to a five-speed manual gearbox. Next we have this same engine but in a 115 PS version, which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox or the dual-clutch seven-speed DSG transmission. The third is the new four-cylinder, 150 PS TSI with active cylinder disconnection technology, which is exclusive to the FR trim and is connected to a six-speed manual gearbox. As for diesel options, the efficient and reliable 1.6 TDI will be available with 95 and 115 PS. The 95 PS version can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed DSG, and the 115 PS with a six-speed gearbox. Finally, in mid-2018 the 90 PS 1.0 TSI engine, powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), will make its way into the Arona range. SEAT is the first manufacturer to offer an engine of this type in this class of compact crossover. Also, for certain overseas markets, a 110 PS 1.6 MPI engine with a manual and automatic gearbox will also be offered.
SEAT sales are rising steadily. Between January and May, SEAT delivered 201.300 vehicles worldwide, an increase of 13.9% over the same period in 2016. Sales growth has increased SEAT's turnover by 20.2% in the first quarter of the year, reaching a record of 2.487 billion euros. Last year, the company posted the highest operating profits in its history. SEAT's operating profit reached 56 million euros in the first three months of 2017, 4.1% more than in the same period in the previous year.