SEAT’S eagerly awaited Juke rival, the Arona, is now available to order in the UK, priced from £16,555.

The fourth new model from the Barcelona-based brand in just 18 months, the Arona is its first foray into the crucial compact crossover class - one of the fastest growing vehicle sectors in Europe.

Named after a town on the sun-kissed island of Tenerife, the Arona is the baby brother to the popular Ateca SUV and Seat will be looking to replicate the huge success which its larger sibling has enjoyed since goining on sale here in 2016.

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The Arona is the first compact crossover in the Volkswagen Group to use the state-of-the-art vehicle platform, MQB A0, the same platform which already underpins the latest Ibiza.

Seat is hoping to make buying its new baby more attractive by simplifying the line-up. To find their ideal model, customers simply choose from three elements: trim level, engine and colour. In a major departure from the norm there are no myriad options or packs to weigh up, enabling new owners to get behind the wheel of the exciting new crossover with the minimum of fuss.

However, to accommodate this thinking, the Arona is being offered in six trims. The grades dovetail with other Seat models, with SE, FR and XCELLENCE, but, with each level expanded into additional versions that add in more equipment: SE Technology, FR Sport and XCELLENCE Lux.

And for those who want to reap the rewards of being some of the first Arona owners, the SE and XCELLENCE First Edition models come even better equipped for a limited period.

The SE grade may be “step one” in the new Arona range, but it’s still surprisingly well specified including metallic paint as standard.

The exterior features include 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-colour roof, black roof rails, chrome front grille, power-adjustable door mirrors, LED daytime running lights and tail lights, front cornering fog lights and automatic headlights. Inside, there’s air conditioning, height-adjustable front Seats, split-folding rear Seat, handy double boot floor, electric windows front and rear, chrome detailing and leather trim for the gear knob and handbrake. Seat’s Media System Colour provides a five-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio with FM/AM/DAB radio, Bluetooth and aux-in/USB connections.

Seat’s comprehensive safety and driver assistance features include Front Assist, Multi-Collision Braking, Hill Hold Control and Tiredness Recognition System. That’s all in addition to cruise control, a full complement of front-side-curtain airbags, active front head restraints and ISOFIX child Seat mounts.

For anyone wanting more sophisticated connectivity and navigation features, the SE Technology models upgrade with the Connectivity Pack Plus. This provides a larger, eight-inch colour touchscreen and proximity sensor and a navigation package that provides 3D map display and voice control. Seat Full Link provides seamless connection with compatible smartphones using MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. There’s also a wireless phone charger, an additional USB port, two SD card slots and rear parking sensors.

This isn’t the limit of possibilities with SE models, as the SE Technology First Edition – exclusively with the 1.0 TSI 95 PS engine – goes even further. Extra kit includes a Storage Pack (front-centre arm rest, drawer beneath driver’s Seat and load anchorage points in the boot), Winter Pack (heated front Seats and heated washer nozzles), rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirrors, coming/leaving home headlight functions, heated/folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, KESSY keyless entry and go and adaptive cruise control.

Moving up from SE Technology to FR grade, the Arona gains plenty of sporty style, in features such as the 17-inch Dynamic alloys, full LED headlights, chrome roof rails, dark-tinted rear windows, twin tailpipes and (heated/folding) door mirrors with casings that match the contrast roof colour. Inside, the FR is equipped with sports front Seats and an exclusive flat-bottom steering wheel, multi-colour ambient lighting and FR-exclusive trim details also set the theme.

Seat Drive Profile lets the driver adjust vehicle performance and handling through four different modes (Normal/Sport/Eco/Individual) and the suspension is sports-tuned for sharper handling. Rear disc brakes are added, together with an alarm, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, coming/leaving home headlight functions and dual-zone climate control.

For hotter looks and even more agile performance, the FR Sport models gain larger, 18-inch Performance alloy wheels, dynamic chassis control and black Alcantara upholstery.

Nearing the pinnacle of the Arona line-up, XCELLENCE trim majors on convenience and sophistication, matching the FR specification minus the dedicated sports features. Additional elements include the Storage Pack, KESSY keyless-entry-and-go, front Seatback storage pockets, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The Arona XCELLENCE Lux raises the bar with 18-inch Performance alloys, black Alcantara upholstery, the Seat Drive Profile, front parking sensors, a rear-view camera and Park Assist. But for the no-holds-barred Arona indulgence, the XCELLENCE First Edition packs a powerful Beats Sound System, the Winter Pack and all you need for safe and simple parking manoeuvres – front sensor, rear-view camera and Park Assist.

t launch, the new Arona will be available with a choice of five powertrains that represent the best of modern engine technology, all featuring direct injection, turbocharging and an automatic stop-start function.

There are three petrol units, each with an aluminium block. In order of output, they start with the 1.0 TSI 95 PS, matched to a five-speed manual gearbox; this is also available in 115 PS, and with an extra gear duly added to the transmission. Combined fuel economy is up to 57.6 miles per gallon with 111 g/km of CO2 emissions. The more powerful version of this three-cylinder unit will also be offered with DSG automatic transmission. FR and FR Sport models will live up to their dynamic looks with exclusive use of the 1.5 TSI 150 EVO engine, which makes adept use of automatic cylinder de-activation. The new Arona will also feature a 1.6 TDI engine, with 95 or 115 PS – the former optionally available with DSG.

On-the-road prices for the new Arona start at £16,555 for the SE 1.0 TSI 95. Orders can be placed now, ahead of UK showroom launch on 17 November 2017.