Seat Arona Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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What is it like to drive?

The Arona's starting weight is usefully under 1,200kg without a driver, so the 109bhp three-cylinder combined with the standard six-speed manual can make a good impression on shoving an unladen Arona down the road. Plenty of torque (148lb ft in this case) comes out to play from 2,000rpm too.

Give me some more detail then…

Drive one back to back with an Ibiza as we did and you’ll struggle to find too much of a difference between the two. The three-cylinder is just as quiet and refined, although there’s a slightly softer ride and more roll in the corners in the taller Arona – to be expected. The ride is smooth enough though, soaking up potholes, speed bumps and surface-change ridges with suppleness. It’s fairly composed for a crossover in the twisty stuff too and FR and FR Sport trim levels come with four different drive modes that can firm up the steering and sharpen the throttle response. The former is most welcome. 

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That all sounds fairly positive?

It’s not bad at all, although as an Ibiza on stilts it isn’t exactly the last word in driver’s cars, and speccing the 94bhp three-cylinder with its 0-62mph time of 11.5 seconds (and five-speed manual) certainly wouldn’t help that. Compared to rivals it copes rather well with a little bit of spirited driving though. The brakes offer decent feel and the six-speed manual in the 109bhp three is notchy enough. We’re yet to drive the facelifted Arona with the seven-speed DSG but previously we found that it favoured a shuddery low-rev way of working, choosing to upshift at every possible opportunity.

We’re also yet to get behind the wheel of an updated 1.5-litre four-pot. Said engine can only be had with the auto and drops the 0-62mph time from above 10 seconds to a much more respectable 8.2 seconds.

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Highlights from the range

the fastest

Seat Arona 1.5 TSI 150 FR [EZ] 5dr DSG
  • 0-628.2s
  • CO2114.0g/km
  • BHP150
  • MPG56.5
  • Price£23,700

the cheapest

Seat Arona 1.0 TSI 110 SE [EZ] 5dr DSG
  • 0-6210.1s
  • CO2
  • BHP110
  • MPG
  • Price£20,220

the greenest

Seat Arona 1.6 TDI Xcellence Lux [EZ] 5dr
  • 0-6211.9s
  • CO2108.0g/km
  • BHP95
  • MPG65.7
  • Price£24,910
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