Spanish carmaker SEAT is working quickly to expand its SUV lineup – fresh from unveiling its first, the Ateca last year, the Volkswagen subsidiary has come up with a second, smaller model called the SEAT Arona.

Built on the same modular MQB A0 platform as the new Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo, the new car forms the bottom end of SEAT’s three-pronged SUV offensive, with a larger model – likely based on the Skoda Kodiaq – coming in 2018. Looks wise, the Arona appears like a shrunken Ateca, with sharp headlights that flank a six-point upper grille, a large trapezoidal lower grille, upswept window line and two-piece tail lights.

However, there are certain design elements that inject a more youthful feel, including a contrasting roof colour option highlighted by aluminium-look window trim that flows into the rear spoiler, as well as bold slashes along the side surfaces.

As with the Leon, Ibiza and Ateca, the Arona will be available in Reference, Style, sportier FR and more rugged Xcellence trims. Aside from the more aggressive aesthetic, the FR also comes with dual-mode suspension and the SEAT Drive Profile system with Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual modes.

Inside, the Arona looks pretty much identical to the Ibiza, with the same horizontal dashboard design that SEAT says emphasises the car’s size. Increased headroom, a larger 400 litre boot and a higher driving position are promised, thanks to it being 79 mm longer and 99 mm taller than its hatchback sibling.

Options include ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control and a six-speaker, 300 watt BeatsAudio sound system, and there’s also Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connectivity, a reverse camera camera, an eight-inch black panel touchscreen and a wireless smartphone charger with a GSM signal amplifier.

Safety-wise, the Arona is available with Front Assist autonomous braking, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go functionality, Hill Hold control, Fatigue Detection and Multi-Collision Brake. Buyers can specify Rear Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection and the Park Assistance System, which provides autonomous parallel and perpendicular parking.

The engine range consists of three petrol and two diesel mills, with the entry-level powertrain being a 95 PS 1.0 litre TSI three-pot mated to a five-speed manual transmission. A 115 PS version is paired to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, while a 150 PS 1.5 litre TSI four-pot with a six-speed manual is available exclusively with the FR model.

On the diesel side, there’s a 1.6 litre TDI four-pot in 95 PS and 115 PS guises, with the former mated to a five-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG, and the latter to a six-speed manual. There will also be a 90 PS 1.0 TSI powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) that will be coming in mid-2018, as well as a 110 PS 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated MPI engine with either a manual or automatic gearbox in certain markets.