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New SEAT Arona Takes Centre Stage
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The new SEAT Arona is here, and just like the new Ibiza, it made its first appearance during a media event in Barcelona, in front of 250 international journalists (sadly I was not one of them). The Arona will make its public debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September - I hope to be there.

The 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 accomplished 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, combining the advantages of its compact dimensions in the city, with its crossover attributes once it is out of the city limits.

It promises to be 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 market segments. 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, on 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 Arona is the first SEAT model in the compact crossover segment, which has increased four-fold since 2015. 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.

"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 SEAT Arona has all of the driving assistance and infotainment systems seen on other SEAT models, such as Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Hill Hold control, Tiredness Recognition System, Auto lights and wipers, Multi-Collision Braking, Keyless Entry and Start System, precise and high-quality rear camera, premium 8-inch black panel touchscreen, and Connectivity Hub with Wireless Phone Charger and GSM signal amplifier. The Arona also offers an optional Rear Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection and Park Assistance System, which works for both parallel and angled parking.

In terms of its dimensions, the SEAT Arona is 4,138mm long, which is 79mm more than the new Ibiza. However, the real difference lies in its height, as the Arona is 99mm taller. As a result, the 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.

In terms of connectivity, Arona features Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link.

Also by Andy Harris...
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Like the Ibiza, Leon and Ateca, the SEAT Arona will offer the following trim levels (depending on market): 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, triangular headlights with attractive colour and excellent luminance make it instantly recognisable. At the rear, its tail lights are also LED and they provide extra visual width thanks to their dual nature. The FR trim includes dual-mode suspension, and the SEAT Drive Profile with four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual.

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 three-cylinder, 95PS 1.0 TSI, which is linked to a five-speed manual gearbox. Next we have this same engine but in a 115PS version, which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox or the dual-clutch seven-speed DSG transmission. The third is the new four-cylinder, 150PS TSI with active cylinder deactivation 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 115PS. The 95PS version can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or seven-speed DSG, and the 115 PS with a six-speed gearbox.

New SEAT Arona Takes Centre Stage, 27th June 2017, 10:00 AM