Seat’s upcoming small SUV has been photographed testing; it's the first time we’ve seen the car since first learning about it last year

The 2017 Seat Arona small SUV has been spied winter testing ahead of its expected public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September and a market launch at the end of the year.

Little can be seen underneath the Arona’s heavy disguise, but some detail of the head and tail-lights can be made out, including an Ateca-like geometric LED design at the rear.

New Seat Arona revealed as Nissan Juke rival

The Arona has a smoother design than the more angular Ateca, although this test car's camouflage may be disguising some of the sharper creases.

The Arona is scheduled for release a few months after the new Ibiza, and is likely to share styling cues with the supermini; the Ateca’s design is derived from the Leon.

Like the Ateca, the Arona will get an off-road friendly X-Perience trim level, and will very likely receive four-wheel drive in this variant, as well as on upper trim levels.

As the Ateca shares engines with the mid-sized Leon, the Arona is expected to share engines and underpinnings with the smaller Ibiza hatchback.

According to a Seat spokesman, the Ibiza, Leon and Ateca make up the other three “pillars of Seat”, meaning that the Arona will complete Seat’s core product line-up.

It’s not yet known if the Arona will get a hot Cupra variant like the rest of the Seat range, but the spec levels are almost certain to follow the rest of the range, with Xcellence trim at the top, and SE as the entry-level choice. A Seat spokesman could not yet comment on this, however.

We expect the Arona to cost from around £16,000 when released, which would represent a premium of about £3000 over the Ibiza, pricing it competitively with the Nissan Juke and other small SUV rivals.

Our Verdict

Seat Arona

Seat is on a roll but can the Arona, its new junior SUV, cut it in such an ultra-competitive class?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Ford Mustang
    First Drive
    24 March 2018
    Sixth-generation Mustang gets a leaner face, revised suspension, improved safety equipment and a more power V8. We see how it fares on southern French roads
  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim