Meet Seat’s new baby cross­over

Rutherglen Reformer - - Drivetime Extra - wth John Mur­doch

SEAT has re­vealed its sec­ond SUV – a com­pact model that drives the brand to the core of the boom­ing cross­over mar­ket.

The Arona is the first baby cross­over from the Volk­swa­gen sta­ble and it will be on the road by the mid­dle of Novem­ber.

Styled in sim­i­lar vein to SEAT’s pop­u­lar Ateca SUV launched last year, the new model is another which brings off-roader looks to the small car scene.

Sharp body lines, scuff plates front and rear and body pro­tec­tion around the wheel arches and sills have the de­sired ef­fect but the Arona is two wheel drive only – al­beit with a good amount of ground clear­ance.

Such looks work well – as Re­nault and Nis­san have al­ready dis­cov­ered with their Cap­tur and Juke com­pact crossovers – and SEAT is con­fi­dent the Arona will con­tinue its record break­ing sales surge, al­ready up more than 20 per cent in Bri­tain this year to nearly 25,000 ve­hi­cles.

The Arona is some three inches longer than SEAT’s Ibiza su­per­mini but more im­por­tantly it is four inches higher.

That makes for more room inside, a higher driv­ing po­si­tion and a big­ger than av­er­age boot at 400 litres.

The Arona had a VIP premiere in SEAT’s home town of Barcelona where chief ex­ec­u­tive Luca de Meo re­vealed the new model only a few miles from the Mar­torell factory where it will be built.

Prior to the re­veal the Arona was pa­raded over the city sus­pended 60 feet below a he­li­copter for all to see.

Luca de Meo re­vealed that SEAT had spent a to­tal of 900 mil­lion eu­ros in in­vest­ments and research and de­vel­op­ment ex­pen­di­ture on the Arona and the new Ibiza, which is due for re­lease in the next few weeks.

“Th­ese in­vest­ments are a part of the to­tal in­vest­ment of 3.3 bil­lion eu­ros for the 2015-2019 pe­riod”, he added, point­ing out that a third – and larger SUV – was al­ready in the SEAT pipe­line.

Like other SEATs it is named af­ter a Span­ish place and Arona the city can be found on Tener­ife in the Ca­nary Isles mak­ing it SEAT’s sec­ond ‘is­land’ model af­ter the Ibiza.

As with all SEATs, the Arona is aimed at a young au­di­ence and the line up will in­clude some bright paint jobs, two tone fin­ishes and the nec­es­sary tech­no­log­i­cal hook-ups inside all cen­tred on a new-look eight­inch touch­screen.

Big car fea­tures in­clude adap­tive cruise con­trol, wire­less phone charg­ing and au­to­matic park­ing while the likes of au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing will be stan­dard.

A 300 Watt, six speaker Beats au­dio sys­tem will be an op­tion, as will blind spot mon­i­tors and rear traf­fic sen­sors.

Five en­gines, three petrol and two diesels, will be avail­able in the Arona in­clud­ing the VW Group’s new 1.5-litre 150ps turbo Evo en­gine which will be fea­tured in sporty FR ver­sions along­side a choice of man­ual or semi-au­to­matic DSG trans­mis­sions.

The Arona will have its public de­but at the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber and prices – ex­pected to start around £14,000 – will be an­nounced around then.

Com­ing soon the new SEAT SUV

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