SEAT began life as a Spanish firm which, for the majority it its early years, assembled Fiat cars and then stuck a SEAT badge onto them. The turning point came in 1986 when Volkswagen bought a 51 per cent share of the company. Within two years, SEAT was in profit and they’ve never looked back.

SEAT say they put a bit of Spanish flair into their cars, which is fine, but most people also fancy a bit of Germanic quality and reliability….which of course you also now get with SEAT.

Something that SEAT has been particularly successful with is SUVs, and one of their most successful is this one…the SEAT Arona. If you want a really good family car that will double-up as transport for the school run, shopping, going to the tip, family holidays as well as the mundane day to day commute, the Arona will become part of the family.

A really good all-rounder is the 3-cylinder 1.0 litre TSI petrol engine which develops 108bhp. You can get a smaller 94bhp engine which is a tad more economical but not such good fun to drive or a 1.5 litre version which would be useful if you regularly travel fully laden. If you mainly do town driving, the smaller 1.0 litre unit will be fine, but the more powerful 1.0 litre engine ticks all of the boxes. Power goes to the front wheels via either a manual gearbox or 7-speed auto. 0-60mph comes up in a shade over 10 seconds. Avoid using all of the power and you’ll manage up to 47.8 mpg. Sounds good too.

The mid-range FR Sport trim is a great choice because it makes the Arona look and feel really special. You get satellite navigation, FR sports seats, rear parking sensors, cruise control, bigger wheels, powered windows and mirrors, dual zone climate control, LED headlights, smart alloys, 10.25-inch digital screen, dark tinted windows and a DAB radio. The sat nav comes with traffic alerts which means if there’s a hold-up ahead of you, it’ll send you around a diversion to avoid the queues.

The raised seating position is terrific for driving in town traffic. You really can see more of what’s around you. The light steering helps too, as does the supple suspension which keeps things comfy at low speeds but, because it’s an FR Sport model, the damper settings are slightly firmer to maintain poise when you decide to push on. If you prefer a softer ride, skip the Sport model.

If you are the sort of person who enjoys driving, you’ll love the Arona. It’s good fun. You’ll also appreciate how in recent years SEAT has upped the quality of the interior. It looks and feel seriously smart.

And it’s surprisingly roomy. Adults will be perfectly happy in the back. Kids will love it. The boot is spacious too.

The SEAT Arona is well equipped, roomy and good to drive. SEAT were late arrivals at the SUV party….they’ve been able to choose the best ideas and put them all into the Arona.

No wonder it’s so popular.

Discover more at Pulman SEAT.