For those of you who didn’t make it through to the end of last month’s thrilling instalment, the big news was that I decided I like the Arona after all. Having spent much of the previous five months railing against its poor ride quality and more besides, the SEAT had wormed its way into my affections just as it appeared as though our time together was coming to an end. But no, I – we – have been granted a reprieve. I have another month with a car that has really proved its worth of late.
Life has a habit of taking an unexpected turn, and, without wishing to sound cryptic, that has certainly been the case of late. I have embarked on endless trips back and forth between Shropshire and Northamptonshire, week in, week out, for a variety of closely-related reasons, the upshot being that the return journey often requires me to bring plenty back. I also make several shorter trips while I am there. It is going to be the case for the foreseeable future, and the SEAT has been my trusty companion.
It’s a horrible journey, one that comprises a few good bits (lots of twisty stuff before you get to the motorway), but rather more that infuriates: the M6, some of it in roadworks, and then the M1 (ditto). The Arona is still discombobulated by expansion joints, but I don’t seem to notice the endless jitters any more. That said, it dawned on me during one of our treks that the more heavily laden it is, the better the ride quality becomes. Seriously, load the Arona to the gunwales and it smooths out appreciably. Maybe that was where I have been going wrong: I should have lugged a chest of drawers around.
Another thing I cannot wrap my head around is this: I haven’t been able to get close to the manufacturer’s claimed mpg figures since the car arrived last October. However, more than 8,000 miles in, I am now getting the best fuel mileage ever, but only when it’s heavily laden. I don’t get it. It doesn’t compute. It isn’t as though my driving style has changed. I am not complaining, mind. Given the egregious cost of petrol these days, it would be churlish to do so. I am merely grateful but baffled.
Last month, I talked about the lack of faults with the Arona. It still hasn’t developed any, but I have noticed one thing of late: the tailgate doesn’t seem to close first time. More often than not, it’s the third. It’s a minor issue, and I don’t consider it a fault per se, more a foible. And despite our mutual love-in, I mustn’t miss this opportunity to say yet again how useless the navigation system is. Seriously, it is either dithery or ill-informed.
That aside, I remain if not a complete Arona convert, definitely someone who has been won over by its capability. I have also belatedly decided that I like the colour, so about six months after everyone else. On many levels, that is a metaphor for my life.
Arrived 19th October 2021
Economy 47.9-53.3mpg (combined) 43.6mpg (on test)