55: Seat Arona – sidesteps our criticisms of these cars and is quite good to drive

Top cars for 2020: spacious in the cabin and in the boot and the 1-litre engine is all you need


The compact crossover species has generally been something of an un-Darwinian thing up to now. In that we mean that these small SUVs have usually been lacking for quality, space, and dynamism compared to their hatchback or compact estate brethren, but have proved wildly popular, to the point where they’re starting to kill off these more conventional rivals.

The Arona is, at least, a car which sidesteps many of the criticisms we’ve had of this class of car in the past. It’s actually quite good to drive, has decent space in the cabin and boot, and isn’t at all bad looking (although we actually prefer the more upright styling of the mechanically identical VW T-Cross).

The 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder petrol engine is all the powerplant you’ll ever need, and the Arona’s sharp pricing structure makes it a very tempting prospect indeed. Not the most exciting car in the world, but we can see why you’d buy one.

Best model: Arona XCellence Plus 1.0 TSI for €25,795

Price range: €22,190 to €27,470 Finance from €199 per month.

Co2 emissions: 108 to 114g/km

Sum up: A compact SUV you can get behind.

* A note on Co2 figures: For almost all the cars in the Top 100, we’ve quoted the stricter WLTP figures for Co2 emissions. A few are still quoted on their older NEDC2 figure, and that’s the number they’ll be taxed on. If you’re confused at all, just consult your local dealer for specific data for the make and model in which you’re interested