Seat is the â€˜fun oneâ€™ in the VW group line-up, aimed at a more youthful buyer than sober offerings from Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda.
With names conjuring up sun-kissed locations â€“ think Leon, Ibiza, Toledo and Ateca â€“ sharp styling and competitive pricing, Seat tries to add a little Spanish flair to its German-engineered platforms.
The latest Mediterranean location to find itself immortalised in chrome lettering is Arona, a region of southern Tenerife home to holiday haven Los Christianos.
Read more:Â Review: Hyundai Kona
The Arona is Seatâ€™s first compact SUV, but looks wise itâ€™s not just the larger Ateca in miniature. It bears more resemblance to a beefed-up Ibiza with chunky plastic trim and various off-road design cues.
The demonstrator I drove was the entry-level specification SE model. And by entry level, I mean entry level. I was surprised to read in the specification that not a single optional extra was fitted, even the metallic red paint and contrast roof colour included in the carâ€™s Â£16,555 list price.
Seat Arona SE
Engine: 1.0-litre, three-
cylinder, turbo petrol
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Top speed: 107mph
0-62mph: 11.2 seconds
CO2 emissions: 111g/km
The 1.0-litre TSI engine, paired with the manual gearbox is the least expensive drivetrain option as well so, refreshingly, we were sent the least expensive Arona money can buy â€“ a contrast to the usual optioned-to-the-hilt press demonstrators.
Without the distraction of huge infotainment screens, seats that would be at home in an upmarket cinema and race-ready alloy wheels, it was easy to focus on the important bits of the car.
Firstly, the little three-cylinder engine is a peach. This isnâ€™t a car geared up for performance, but with 89 horsepower, a light gearbox and peak power arriving nice and early itâ€™s nippy enough and makes a great noise.
That noise does roughen up a bit if you push it too close to the 6,000rpm red line, however.
Like its B-segment stablemate the Ibiza, the Arona handles very well for its class. Thereâ€™s very little body roll â€“ something you canâ€™t say for many of its direct competitors â€“ and the steering is well-weighted and precise in city situations, if a little light at higher speeds for my liking.
The interior is basic â€“ as befits an entry-level car â€“ but it feels well put together, and I like Seatâ€™s sharp-edged styling. Despite having reservations about the need for small two-wheel-drive SUVs as a class, I have to admit that the comfortable ride and surprisingly big 400-litre boot make the Arona an appealing prospect, particularly at this price point.
The 16k price tag puts it up against strong offerings from Kia, in the Stonic, and Hyundaiâ€™s Kona.
Like those cars, itâ€™s better looking than the more established Ford Ecosport and Vauxhallâ€™s frumpy-looking Crossland and less off-the-wall than Nissanâ€™s trailblazing Juke.
The Arona ought to strike a chord with buyers looking for something a bit more grown-up than a B-segment hatch, who still like a little fun in the sun.