The SEAT Arona is a well-rounded vehicle that benefited from a facelift late last year.

The new version of this small SUV is distinguished from its predecessor by an improved interior and revised exterior styling.

A 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is refined, delivers good fuel economy and is adequate for most situations – while not delivering many driving thrills.

It’s a car that also offers bang-up-to-date onboard tech and a fair amount of interior space.

Bicester Advertiser: The SEAT Arona on test in West Yorkshire

So what about those changes? The late 2021 revisions included significant alterations to the grille pattern, an aesthetically-pleasing rear spoiler and rear diffuser, along with three new wheel designs. The much-changed front end now includes LED headlights as standard, as all serious contenders should.

A stylish and subtle touch that caught my eye immediately was the Arona writing on the back of the car, which has a care-free, hand-written quality to it. All very classy!

Twin exhaust styling brings an extra flourish to the rear of the vehicle.

Further changes include the introduction of new paint colours, including Dark Camouflage, Sapphire Blue and Asphalt Blue, with all options benefitting from a contrasting roof.

It all adds up to a confident and contemporary-looking vehicle with enough design queues to catch the eye, without looking too fussy.

Bicester Advertiser: The SEAT Arona on test in West Yorkshire, pictured next to Digley Reservoir in Kirklees (left) and near Castle Hill, Huddersfield (top left)

Under the skin, there aren’t too many changes in terms of the chassis, but that’s no bad thing as the pre-existing set-up offered a composed and comfortable ride, while still holding out some hope for drivers who enjoy a more sporty drive.

Indeed, the handling isn’t pulsating, but the Arona remains agile and nippy enough to place itself at the more entertaining end of this occasionally-dull segment.

This downsized engine offers a respectable 0-62mph time of 10.3 seconds, with a relatively slick six-speed gearbox allowing you to extract full value throughout the rev range. The engine becomes noticeably louder when pushed hard, but generally copes well.

Of course, an average fuel consumption figure of between 48mpg and 52mpg is adequate compensation for the less-than-thrilling acceleration, especially in these straightened times.

Once you step inside, it’s a very pleasant experience.

Bicester Advertiser: The SEAT Arona on test in West Yorkshire

Nice touches such as the red contrast stitching on the seats draw attention, as does the illuminated red trim around the air vents, which is a pleasing feature of this FR spec model.

The upgrade has brought about an improved infotainment system, with a larger touchscreen now in evidence.

This 9.2-inch screen offers a decent level of functionality and responsiveness, along with sharp graphics. Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity further enhance the experience, as does access to remote services via Seat Connect.

Material quality is decent but nothing special, with the overall fit and finish of the cabin feeling solid.

Room-wise, the front seats occupants will have no problem spreading out, with plenty of headroom, legroom and adjustment available.

Rear headroom is also very good, though an adult might be a bit restricted for space when sat behind a taller driver.

The 400-litre boot is quite sufficient for most everyday situations and compares well to rivals in this segment. Capacity is increased to 823 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

With the Arona looking well-priced, the facelift updates mean it remains a competitive option.

The Lowdown

SEAT Arona 1.0 TSI FR Sport 110PS manual

PRICE: £25,225 RRP


TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

FUEL ECONOMY: 48.7-52.3mpg

CO2: 123g/km

0-62MPH: 10.3 seconds

TOP SPEED: 121mph