Latest News: SEAT’s eagerly awaited New 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 is its first foray into the crucial compact crossover class, and it also ushers in an innovative new approach to simplifying customer choice for easier car buying. The New Arona, named after a town on the sun-kissed island of Tenerife, is the baby brother to the Ateca SUV and will be looking to replicate the huge success which its larger sibling has had in its own class in recent months. The SEAT Arona is the first compact crossover in the Volkswagen Group to use the state-of-the-art vehicle platform, MQB A0, the same as New Ibiza, majoring on stylish design, flexible practicality, top-draw quality and technology. One of the key aspects to the launch of the New Arona, is SEAT’s bold approach to making the car buying process as easy as possible. Whether it’s online or in showroom, potential buyers will be heartened to see that the forward-thinking brand has introduced a stress-free range line-up. In short, to find their ideal model, customers simply choose from three elements: trim level, engine and colour. It’s that easy. 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. To accommodate this thinking, the New Arona is being offered in six trims, each equipped with features today’s customers want and which will help the vehicle retain its value. 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. Model grades and equipment The SE grade may be “step one” in the new Arona range, but it’s several rungs up the specification ladder compared to many entry-level models, including metallic paint as standard, usually a £500-plus extra with its competition. 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. Powertrains At 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. Colours The new Arona offers a bright spectrum of colours (including Desire Red and Mystery Blue) and the chance for customers to make their car stand out with up to 30 different combinations, matching or contrasting the finish for the lower body and roof and pillars. Three roof colour choices are available – black, grey and orange. New Arona Pricing 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.
Finance Plans Explained at Motorvogue
From PCP to hire purchase, here's everything you need to know about financing your next car.
Car finance might seem daunting, but in reality it's just a simple two-stage process.
The first stage is to decide on the type of car deal you want: loan, lease, hire purchase, or dealer finance. Then it's a simple matter of choosing the provider whose product best suits your needs.
Personal Contract Hire (PCH)
The word 'Hire' tells you what PCH is all about. Basically you're renting a car for (typically) two or three years, with an agreed mileage limit of (typically) 10,000 miles a year. There's no option to buy the car at the end of the contract; you just hand the keys back to the finance provider. In effect, your payments are only covering the car's depreciation.
While you're running it, you're responsible for the car's upkeep. On the plus side, the deposit is low (three or six months' rental is common), as are the fixed monthly repayments, and you can blunt the impact of repair bills by incorporating a maintenance element into the agreement. Check that a separate manufacturer servicing package won't be cheaper before you tick that box, however.
Cars that hold their value well are a good PCH option, because the difference in their new and three-year-old values will be smaller, so you'll repay a lower amount. Cars that plummet in value from new are a bad choice, because you'll repay a much larger amount.
Just as with PCP, you'll need to make sure the car is in good condition when you hand it back, or you could face additional fees as the finance firm cleans it up.
Go for PCH if you say yes to one or more of these statements:
You don't want to own a car, or suffer its depreciation
You like being able to change cars frequently
You like the idea of driving better cars than you could normally afford
You don't mind looking after cars
Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)
It's a bit like HP in that there's a deposit to pay, a fixed interest rate, and monthly repayments over a choice of lending terms, which are usually between 12 and 36 months.
Where PCP differs from HP is at the end of the term. Then you'll have three choices. You can:
- Return the car to the supplier
- Keep the car
- Trade the car in against a replacement
The first option, returning the car, costs nothing, unless you've gone over an agreed mileage or failed to return it in good condition. In either case there'll be an excess to pay.
Keeping the car means making a final 'balloon' payment. This amount is the car's guaranteed future value, or GFV, which is set at the start of the agreement.
The GFV is based on various factors, including the length of the loan and the anticipated mileage as well as the car's projected retail value. If you exercise this final buying option, you can of course keep running the car, or you can sell it, pocketing any equity above the GFV that you've paid back to the lease company.
If you're trading the car in, any GFV equity can be used as a deposit towards the next one.
Just bear in mind that the GFV doesn't always contain a huge amount of equity at the end of the term - so when you're working out monthly costs, it's probably wise to factor in a few extra pounds per month that you can put away in preparation for the next deposit at the end of two or three years.
If the car has gone into negative equity – which can happen – you'll have to find all of that deposit if you want a further PCP. Shorter leases are more likely to come with more accurate GFVs and manufacturers are quite proactive in trying to get you out of a car early if they think there's scope to get you into a new one on a decent monthly rate; it's not uncommon dealers to call customers on three-year deals about a year early - because doing a new PCP keeps the buyer tied to that manufacturer for a further period of time.
Go for PCP if you say yes to one or more of these statements:
- You want lower monthly repayments
- You like the flexibility of options at the end of the agreement
- You can confidently and accurately nominate your mileage
Under HP agreements, there's a deposit to pay – typically 10% – followed by fixed monthly payments. The car is owned by the HP company until the final payment – and any 'option to purchase' ownership-transfer fee – has been paid. Up to that point, the person making the payments has no legal right to sell the vehicle.
Nevertheless, some 'owners' do sell 'their' cars before the final payment. The good news for buyers of these 'non-paid-up' HP cars is that the law clearly protects private purchasers who buy without notice of any undischarged HP agreement.
No matter what the police or anyone else might tell you, you'll get a good title to the car if you buy an HP car under these circumstances. The finance company can take action against the seller if they wish, but it's not your problem.
The credit on an HP agreement is secured against the car, so it's like dealer finance in that the only the car can be seized in the event of a default. If you need to sell the car before the end of the agreement, you'll have to repay the outstanding debt first – and 'early settlement' fees may apply.
Go for HP if you say yes to one or more of these statements:
- Eventual ownership is important to you
- Your budget and circumstances suit fixed monthly repayments
- Your disposable income is likely to decrease over the agreement term (eg if you're planning a family)
- You like low-risk credit secured against the car only
- You don't mind not owning the car until the debt is fully repaid
CONSUMER CREDIT & GENERAL INSURANCE
Motorvogue (Northampton)Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd’s permissions as a Principal Firm allows Motorvogue (Northampton)Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance mediation activities only.