“I think it’s been designed really well,” he said. “I always expect a car from SEAT to have a really smart design, and the Arona lives up to those expectations. The LED lights and contrasting roof make it look classy.
Braking performance was good, with the firm pedal offering plenty of feel and easy modulation. It’s well placed for heel-and-toe rev-matched shifting, too. The manual gearshift of the six-speed transmission has a nice weight and precise action.
sDrive models are front-wheel drive, while xDrive versions offer four-wheel drive. In any case, an automatic gearbox is standard, with seven speeds in petrol models and eight speeds in diesel versions.
To get a real insight into the views of the people who are making the crossover boom happen, we arranged a secret unveil event, inviting a cross-section of Auto Express readers to give us their views on the Arona. The readers were told they were attending an unveil of an all-new SUV, but they weren’t aware which brand of car it was.
Vision to the side and back is scary at first but you get used to it, mostly thanks to a convex mirror insert on the outside rearviews. You can’t see behind you unless you’re backing up and looking at the backup camera, and even then the screen is really hard to see. Some backups were done on faith. Give a wide berth to everything within about two blocks.
Racing with Toyota at Le Mans and other endurance races should give him better luck than he had this season with McLaren-Honda in F1 and at Indy. Though Toyota has never won Le Mans, it is known to be developing a new WEC car.
Opel has already dipped its toes into the Chinese and Russian markets. It sold about 5,000 cars annually in China in the early part of the decade, but sales were limited because of high tariffs on imports. The brand was also launched in Russia with some success over a decade ago, but sales came to an end when GM pulled out of the country in 2015 following a major market downturn.
As standard, every X2 will come with BMW's iDrive infotainment and navigation system presented on a 6.5in screen (although that can grow to an 8.8in touchscreen if drivers select an upgraded set-up). The system is similar to that in the new 5 Series this year and can be had in conjunction with an optional head-up display, which projects speed and navigation instructions directly into the driver's field of vision.