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SEAT Arosa Mk2 1.4S 4-speed Automatic 2005 Petrol, purchased for £4695 with 21,000 miles on the clock:
I purchased my SEAT Arosa in December 2009 and have the car on finance for 3 years (damn interest!). As SEAT is part of the VAG (Volkswagen Audi Group), the Arosa benefits from having near enough the same qualities as a VW Lupo, with a smaller price tag. Bonus!
Arosas (like Lupos) only come in 3 doors, regardless of model. It is a spaciously small car, which sounds ironic, but when seen in the flesh you will understand. The "box" shape allows for excellent 360 degree vision for all car occupants which especially important for young, elderly, or inexperienced drivers.
The 1.4 8v automatic has a good driving set up. The driving position is ergonomical and driver aids are within arms reach (if you're 5ft 7" like me). The aids feel of good quality, made of a plastic unlike that of say a 2004 Renault Clio (which I owned previously). The front 2 seats recline and can be height adjusted, as well as slide forwards and backwards. The back 2 seats are comfy and have a side pocket for each passenger.
The steering wheel has an airbag and also operates via power steering, making turning effortless. No other airbags are in the car. There is no glovebox but a continious shelf from N/S to O/S so stuff can/will slide about. The horn sounds similar to most cars and is powerful. Indicator stalks are practical and easy to use, as are the cars exterior lighting controls.
The CD player looks good and is fairly easy to use though can look intimidating so it is worth checking out the manual as there are quite a lot of buttons ; the red of the CD player compliments that of the red dash lighting which is nice at night time.
You get 2 pop-out cup holders below the CD player which are excellent.
Mileage on these automatics seems to be particularly low, which I don't see as a bad thing. My reasoning for this however, is down to the lack of power that the engine gives. Under full throttle and utilising the "kick-down" facility (pressing accelerator pedal right to the floor, activating the kick-down switch), the 60bhp engine sounds meaty, but the car does not pull the quickest. However, at my age of 22 years, my view is biased as a faster car would be nice. Having said that, I have no complaints ; the automatic box changes gear smoothly and well and the car will easily sit at 90mph. On a level surface, you'll get 100mph out of it but the car IS NOT built for speed. The handbrake is very nice on this car ; one click of it, and shifter into P ("park") and you're sorted.
Being an automatic, the car does use more fuel. You'll just have to accept this. If you are light footed with the accelerator, town driving will return acceptable mpg figures. Activating the kick-down, or just flooring it, will use more fuel and you will see the gauge needle seep towards the red. On dual carriageways and motorways however, I'd recommend sitting at 60mph as the engine will be doing about 2750rpm which is rather nice ; this is good for your fuel economy! If you do decide to "gun it" and put your foot down, the car feels stable and wind noise is minimum. However, if it is windy, the cars light weight and box shape go against it so be very careful and drive this car with care.
ANY Mk2 Arosa sits quite high as standard so I would suggest investing in some uprated suspension (especially if you're 22!) ; the ride is slightly bumpier but you get less body roll and the look is a lot more pleasing to the eye.
A VW Lupo has an EuroNCAP safety rating of 4/5 (if I recall correctly). The Mk2 Arosa was never tested but given that it is basically the same car, it would probably fair quite nicely in crash.
The boot is quite small but will fit at least 3 bags of shopping and you can always put down the back seats of required.
The wing mirrors are indeed different sizes with N/S being a "stubby" mirror (quite a bit smaller than O/S). Rear lightbulbs are unbelievably easy to change. Front lightbulbs are a bit more tricky!
Overall a pleasing car to own. Nice car for a young driver to modify, perhaps a Euro look. The front end of this car is completely different to that of the Lupo but each to their own. As of writing, 6 months road tax costs around £96.25 which is quite expensive. Cheap to insure though.
I hope you find this review useful.