It is always difficult to deal with one family challenge, but it is even more difficult to emerge victorious as a rookie against those who have made the fortunes of your name. AND SEAT Arona is proving that sometimes the younger ones can beat the older brothers. Despite his low-level sister Ibiza is the best-selling model in Casa history, in 2021 SEAT Arona is preparing for the sensational overtaking. Like? By betting on a restyling which brings as a dowry a more evil and macho look, more technology, more refined interiors and a driving that has always been tasty and sporty. How will the mid-career facelift of the little, big Arona go? Follow me on board and let’s find out together.
The success of SEAT Arona: in 4 years it has almost surpassed the bestseller Ibiza by focusing on the youngest
Before driving it through the winding streets of the Basque country, in northeastern Spain, there is certainly room for one reflection on the Arona phenomenon. We are talking about a phenomenon because in just 4 years of career they left the Martorell factory in Barcelona over 400,000 Arona. A truly excellent success, considering that SEAT Arona competes in the toughest and most numerous segment in Europe, that of B-SUVs.
And what are the cards in the hand of the small Spanish crossover? First of all, theexcellent balance between size and interior space: SEAT Arona is only long 4.15 meters, but it has a 400-liter luggage compartment, more than the larger compact Leòn (more than 20 cm longer), and also behind the space is really a lot. Then, to make Arona’s fortune there is a pleasant and sporty look, an easy and cheerful driving dynamics, lots of on-board technology and a extremely interesting value for money. All these features make SEAT Arona perfect for a category often forgotten by the great auto giants: young people.
Indeed, according to SEAT, competing B-SUVs attract a lot of young people, but they do most of the numbers with older and more mature people. Arona, on the other hand, is the SUV of the very young. If SEAT has a” average age of about 10 years lower than all its competitors, Arona sells a lot among people aged between 18 and 30, attracted by the well-chosen lines, by the practicality which, however, does not yield to a certain delicacy and at a really interesting price. SEAT has in fact focused a lot on technology in these years, making Arona the first B-SUV to adopt cutting-edge solutions like theintegration with Amazon Alexa, reading of Whatsapp messages and full LED headlights. Now that the most fr rivals have tried to mend the margin, SEAT Arona with the 2021 restyling wants to convince even more.
The novelties of the SEAT Arona 2021 restyling: new front, new logo and renewed wheels
How to do it? Listening to the opinions of the most important critics for the House: its customers. SEAT has in fact listened to those who have chosen Arona to correct what had to be underpinned by an already valid basic project. As a large proportion of Arona’s European customers choose the Spanish B-SUV for its aesthetics, could not miss changes to the look of the model, which however changes a lot compared to the classic restylings.
In fact, many buyers appreciated the sporty and elegant look of the SEAT Arona, but for 2021 they wanted a harder look, more rugged, which winked more at the world of off-road vehicles. And in fact the main changes to Arona have greatly changed the front, which is now much more muscular. The grille is now slightly smaller and finished with small chrome gems taken from the restylings of the larger SUVs, Ateca and Tarraco. But the big news lies in the bumper: if the headlights, full LED on almost all configurations, have remained unchanged, the fog lights are now larger and much higher, directly under the main headlights. In the lower part of the bumper, instead of the previous fog lights, we find some larger air intakes, now with a triangular shape very original.
For the Xperience versions, the most equipped, SEAT has thought of one more marked offroad characterization, with a silver bumper fascia both front and back to reinforce the new hard core of Arona. Just behind we find the new lettering Arona written in italics, much more elegant and personal, the restyled SEAT logo and revised full LED headlights. In general then we find new alloy wheels and two new colors, including the beautiful Verde Camouflage of the car we tested. Then there is the contrast roof and aluminum finish with the X logo on the C pillar which gives Arona a sporty and dynamic style and personality. The restyling changes for 2021 have made SEAT Arona harder and more macha, but without losing that sporting soul that is in the DNA of the Barcelona manufacturer.
Inside, for SEAT Arona 2021 brings a soft dashboard and a new infotainment as standard. And a lot of on-board technology!
Another aspect that SEAT wanted to improve was theindoor. Arona has in fact always been appreciated for its complete and well-made cockpit, but the Martorell company wanted to go counter-current compared to a trend that is now very common among rivals. In fact, more and more often, due to economies of scale or simple cost cutting, several new models have interiors and materials with a quality below expectations, with the legendary rigid plastic that is now a constant on even quite expensive models. SEAT, on the other hand, took the opposite route: although on the previous Arona the interiors were already well done, the 2021 restyling led SEAT Arona to have a completely redesigned and revised dashboard.
There are now circular air vents, equipped with a colored frame which on request (50 euros) can have theled illumination, which gives a completely different aspect at night. The dashboard then now finds a new infotaiment screen in the center and, above all, is covered with a material that is much softer to the touch and pleasing to the eye. We then find a strip in the center of the dashboard in colored plastic, of a material that is not excellent but capable of giving an extra touch of color to the passenger compartment. Arona’s new interior (shared with sister Ibiza) is beautiful to see and touch. In addition, during our test they did not give the side to any crunch. Among the B-SUVs, in terms of build quality, Arona is rightfully placed in the very first places. The cosmetic changes then have rejuvenated a lot of the interiors of Arona, which is now among the most modern in circulation.
There is also a new steering wheel, taken over by the new Leon, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster it’s a new infotainment system. This is the new operating system of the Volkswagen Group, simpler to use and more complete. The screen measures 10 inches, there is no shortage of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, also wireless, and above all we find the physical controls for the climate and on the steering wheel, much more comfortable to use than the touch ones. There technology it still plays a pivotal role for Arona, both from the point of view of entertainment and safety. The sound system is in fact taken care of by Beats, for a truly great musical experience. In addition, there is no lack of level 2 autonomous driving, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Lane Keeping System, Blind Spot Sensors and Emergency Braking. All this forms a truly comprehensive package of driver assistance systems.
The mechanics, on the other hand, are unchanged: engines from 90 to 150 HP petrol and methane. And goodbye to the TDI
Mechanically, SEAT Arona in the 2021 version confirms the full range of engines we have seen so far on the Spanish B-SUV, with only one difference. As is now traditional for small and medium-sized cars, in fact, we say goodbye to the diesel range in one fell swoop, formed by 1.6 TDI declined in two powers, 95 and 115 CV. From today, Arona will offer only petrol or methane engines, all turbocharged.
It starts from 1.0 TSI yes 95 or 110 CV. The 1.0 three-cylinder in its less powerful version is only available with a 5-speed manual gearbox, the second with a 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG automatic. And it is this last version, the 1.0 TSI 110 CV DSG, the one we tried on the Basque roads. Always on petrol then we find the 1.5 TSI 4 cylinders and 150 CV, coupled to the 7-speed DSG. If you want to know more about this engine, we tested it on Ibiza: find the proof of the Spanish compact at the bottom of the page. In the end, the most interesting engine for the Italian market is the 1.0 TGI turbo methane.
With 90 CV, with 6-speed manual gearbox or 7-speed DSG, the methane-powered millino is lively and easy to drive, with very low running costs. Finally, to complete the picture we find the MQB platform in A0 version. The modular chassis of the Volkswagen Group is among the best in circulation, capable of making all the cars that use it pleasant to drive, comfortable and very comfortable. At SEAT, they are very good at customizing the dynamic behavior of their cars, always making them tasty and sporty. Will they succeed in magic in this case too?
But how do you drive the new SEAT Arona version 2021? The 1.0 TSI with DSG is smooth and park. And how you drive through the curves!
Let’s go straight to the answer: yes, they did it again. Driving our Arona 1.0 TSI with DSG gearbox we drove around a hundred km between the Basque countryside and the Bilbao airport, ready to go home after a 2 days in Euskara. And in these 100 km we had the opportunity to get to know Arona well, which confirmed (and sometimes exceeded) our expectations. As soon as you get on board you will find a high but not perched driving position, perfect for indulging a confident guide. Visibility is very good, and aided by the presence of parking sensors and a good quality rear view camera. From the very first meters Arona gives a lot of confidence. It is a’car easy to drive and maneuver in the city, with excellent agility in the streets of the center.
Here you can also appreciate the suspensions, which are soft enough to allow Arona to absorb potholes and bumps in the road well. The engine The 110 HP 1.0 TSI is an engine that we know well. It is one of the best 3 cylinders in circulation: smooth, smooth, very ready even for bass and almost completely free of vibrations. If with the manual gearbox you can notice a slight delay in the response of the turbo at low revs, with the 7-speed DSG gearbox it forms a perfect match. The gearbox is fast, fluid, regular in the changes and allows you to make the most of the …