In-depth reviews

SEAT Arona review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

A fair amount of space, but few of the practical tricks required to make it a genuine alternative to a family hatchback

On the face of it, there’s not too much to complain about with the Arona’s packaging and practicality. There’s plenty of room up front for two adults, of course, and you’re unlikely to get any complaints about headroom or shoulder room if you ask a couple more to jump into the back seats.

The SEAT doesn’t have a particularly big boot, and even with all the rear seats lowered you’ll still find a relatively modest 823 litres. There’s enough space for most of a small family’s needs, however, and that’s more than you can say for many other baby SUVs.

Size

The Arona really typifies how tightly knit car manufacturers’ ranges are these days. It’s 4,138mm long, 1,780mm wide (including mirrors) and 1,543mm tall – which makes it longer than an Ibiza and considerably taller than a Leon.

However, the car’s wheelbase – always a good guide to how much interior space there’s going to be – is 2,566mm. That’s only a couple of millimetres more than a five-door Ibiza’s, showing that, despite the increase in length, there’s not actually that much extra knee or legroom over the Arona’s supermini cousin.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Head and shoulder space is very generous in the back of an Arona, but passengers may complain about leg and knee room. That’s because the Arona’s rear cabin is definitely more like that of a supermini than it is an alternative to, say, a Golf’s or a Leon’s. This isn’t uncommon among small SUVs, though, as few offer much more practicality than their small car cousins. It’s worth noting that Citroen’s C3 Aircross has the Arona trumped on rear cabin space, however.

Boot

The Arona’s load bay is pretty unadventurous. It offers more space than almost all superminis, but there are few extra practical touches to make it stand apart.

You do at least get a double boot floor as standard across the range, allowing you to prioritise either outright space or a flat loading area, with no discernible lip to heave items over. And, the aperture is reasonably wide for such a compact vehicle. But that’s pretty much it; there are a couple of hooks at the sides of the boot for shopping bags, but there’s no trick divider to stop your items from sliding around as you drive along.

The overall capacity is 400 litres, rising to 823 litres if you lower both parts of the 60/40 split rear seat. We suspect SEAT has been conservative in its measurements, but even taking this into account, some key rivals - notably the C3 Aircross - offer much more space. The Arona’s just above the middle of the small SUV pack in this regard, though, because it trumps the likes of the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Juke.

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