Seat Arona

has al­ready road tested two cars which have the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing made in Barcelona; namely the Seat Ibiza (pro­nounced Ibeetha) hatch­back and the Seat Ateca medium SUV.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

Given the Seat brand was only launched six months ago – the speed with which th­ese two ve­hi­cles and their sta­ble­mate hatch­backs – the Leon and Leon Cupra – have come to mar­ket, is an im­pres­sive demon­stra­tion of dis­trib­u­tor en­thu­si­asm and an ac­cep­tance of the Seat brand on the part of the New Zealand con­sumer. In July, Seat added an­other model to its range in the form of the Arona, which fits in the hotly con­tested com­pact SUV mar­ket seg­ment, which has – in the space of seven years – gone from just over 1000 units in 2010 to 11,669 units in 2017.

Fur­ther­more, the seg­ment has shown sig­nif­i­cant growth – 11 per­cent – from 2017 to 2018, in a mar­ket which has seen a drop over­all for the same pe­riod.

Seat is there­fore set­ting its sights on the Suzuki Vi­tara, Mazda CX-3, Ssangy­ong Tivoli, Nis­san’s Juke, Re­nault’s Cap­tur, Kia’s Soul, Honda’s HRV and Hyundai’s Kona.

Tough com­pe­ti­tion, but the man in the Span­ish brand’s hot Seat, James Yates, is qui­etly con­fi­dent that there is not only room at the ta­ble for an­other player, but also that the Arona is that player.

Tuck­ing it­self in at the smaller end of the ve­hi­cles in its class, the Arona ap­peals for its in­di­vid­u­al­ity, vi­brancy and per­haps more crit­i­cally, its price.

Land­ing here in two spec­i­fi­ca­tion grades – Style and FR – the Arona drops into the sub $30k cat­e­gory in the first in­stance, with the FR com­mand­ing a $4000 pre­mium, tak­ing it to $33,900. In 2019, we can ex­pect to see a slightly funkier Arona Beats model, which adds a lit­tle more in­di­vid­u­al­ity to a car with an al­ready lib­eral dose of Span­ish flair.

With a five-star EURONCAP safety rat­ing and a fam­ily con­nec­tion with the Volk­swa­gen group, the Seat Arona boasts a re­spectable ar­ray of con­tem­po­rary driver safety and as­sist fea­tures, in­clud­ing front as­sist city emer­gency brak­ing, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, hill hold con­trol, rear cam­era, park as­sist and tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing in both grades. FR mod­els re­ceive blind spot mon­i­tor­ing as stan­dard, along with adap­tive cruise con­trol.

Pow­er­ing Arona is a sin­gle en­gine, driv­e­train and trans­mis­sion com­bi­na­tion across the range. The en­gine is a three­cylin­der turbo petrol, 999cc en­gine with 85kw be­tween 5000 and 5500rpm and a healthy 200Nm of torque from 2000 to 3500rpm. All Aronas are fron­twheel drive and all sport a seven-speed DSG trans­mis­sion.

This all com­bines to give a town/high­way fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure of five litres per 100km with a CO2 out­put of 113gm per km, con­form­ing to Euro VI stan­dards. The com­pact SUV mar­ket’s key con­sid­er­a­tions are clever use of space in a small pack­age and the abil­ity on the part of the au­tomak­ers to pro­duce cars with char­ac­ter. The Arona sub­scribes to both char­ac­ter­is­tics, be­ing a prac­ti­cal, well thought out breath of fresh air in a very com­pet­i­tive mar­ket seg­ment. Oh, and the ac­cepted and easy pro­nun­ci­a­tion for the brand is ‘Say It,’ but you can Seat how­ever you want when you or­der one.

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