I WENT to Cambridge to learn about the new Seat Arona.

The Spanish manufacturer chose the world-famous university city to launch its very clever compact crossover.

Introduced to the motoring media as the little brother of the Ateca SUV, this latest offspring of the fastest growing volume car maker in Europe and the UK combines brains with good looks in a neat package which will make choosing a small crossover that much more of a difficult decision.

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With demand outstripping supply of the Ateca, Seat have good reason to believe that the Arona will mirror that car’s success.

It comes with the now familiar excellent Seat market-leading connectivity – with even the Amazon Alexa system to come later in the year – class-leading ground clearance and both metallic paint and bi-colour roof as standard.

Trademark Seat contoured lines are immediately evident, and there’s a pleasing elegance to the rear sloping roof and sporty overtures.

Customers can choose from nine body colours and three roof choices (grey, black or orange) or stick with the body colour for both roof and body.

Unlike the bigger Ateca, there’s no all-wheel drive version, reflecting the growing demand for a raised seating position but lack of interest in 4x4 capability in a small SUV package.

With a starting price of £16,555 and top-end ticket of £22,095, there should be something across all pocket sizes and fuel preferences in the five-engine range.

Most sales will undoubtedly be for the brisk but sensible 1.0-litre 115PS petrol option, which is available both with six-speed manual transmission or DSG auto. There’s also a 95PS version that is manual only, and more powerful 1.5 TSI 150PS for those opting for FR trim.

The diesel choices are 1.6-litre producing 95PS or 115PS, with the lower powered model also available with DSG-auto gearbox.

The tested 1.0-litre 115PS petrol version achieves an average fuel consumption figure of 57.6mpg from its willing engine that is the perfect match for urban driving and scoots along quite happily up to the national speed limit.

Key to the success of the Arona will not only be its stylish bodywork choice of six trim levels but also its generous specification.

Even with the entry SE model, customers get 17-inch alloy wheels and the aforementioned metallic paint and bi-colour roof, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, hill hold, a five-inch colour touchscreen, air conditioning, double boot floor, auto headlights and height and reach adjustable steering wheel with mounted controls.

Climb up the range and there’s a whole host of safety and comfort additions, but I suspect the SE Technology spec – which comes with rear parking sensors, an eight-inch touchscreen, navigation system, full connectivity, CD player and extra USB port – will find most homes. However, this is only available with the 115PS engine if you opt for the DSG-auto transmission.

Step up to FR trim and there’s not only the sportiness you expect from this badge but four different drive modes and a host of comfort and cosmetic detailing that may well sway you to fork out the extra £1,000.

Rear seating space is no more than adequate, which will no doubt leave some customers scratching their heads when considering whether to opt for the larger Ateca.

Otherwise, the Arona will fulfil most needs, unless you want the assurance of four-wheel drive.

But there’s no doubt that the Arona provides a perfect fit in the Seat SUV range, which will also include a large seven-seater before the end of the year as the company embarks on its largest ever product offensive over the next two years.