With more than 100 different SUVs of various sizes and shapes on today’s roads it is fair to say that the estate car, once affectionately known as a shooting brake, has gone forever.

The latest SUV to appear is the new SEAT Arona, a comparative small version, which has just been awarded the Best Product Design 2018 accolade by the Red Dot Award design competition.

Since 1954, the Red Dot Award has giving international recognition to quality and innovation and the Product Design award is among the most competitive.

The fresh, dynamic and robust style and ergonomics of the SEAT Arona got it the prize and it’s easy to see why.

It looks good and of the small SUVs around it is probably the best with its handling, performance and fun driving.

The Red Dot jury was comprised of 40 experts from all over the world, who were not permitted to be part of any industrial manufacturing company nor could they participate in voting for products they have been involved in.

So it would be fair to say that this is a good car!

Apart from the design the Arona is great to drive, handles well and zooms around lanes or motorways, just take your pick.

You can tell the Arona is a SEAT with its special triangular shaped lights and it looks like a smaller version of the Ateca, which I suppose is its bigger brother or sister.

But as the blurb says it has its own personality and I would have to agree with that and probably more fun to drive than the larger Ateca.

A total 25,000 units were sold 
in the first three months of it arriving in dealerships and by the end of the year, SEAT will release the Arona TGI, which will be the first SUV with a compressed natural gas engine.

Now that will be interesting and I look forward to it.

The Arona is divided into two colours switching the lower body and the roof and as a result there are 68 possible colour combinations.

The range has five versions the SE, the sport version FR and FR Sport, and the more luxurious XCELLENCE and XCELLENCE Lux.

Most Aronas come with 17in alloy wheels as standard, although there are different designs to help you distinguish between SE, FR and EXCELLENCE. FR Sport and XCELLENCE Lux models get 18-inchers.

All Aronas have front-wheel drive and the engine line-up has petrol versions with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit producing either 94bhp or 114bhp, and a 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder motor and two diesels which are both 1.6-litre with 110g/km of CO2 emissions.

The Arona gets plenty of equipment as standard so even the entry-level model in the range, the SE, gets a leather steering wheel, handbrake lever and gear knob.

The Arona has a boot of more than 800 litres when the back seats are put down and there is a reasonable space in the back so larger people shouldn’t be badly affected. There is a double boot floor as standard across the range and there are two useful hooks at the sides of the boot for shopping bags.

In the cab there is a high console which affects the safety and ergonomics of the vehicle. Every element is positioned so that the driver barely has to look away from the road while driving. Particular attention has been paid to the driver’s seat, and all of the instruments are orientated towards the driver.

Everything is within reach, allowing for easy adjustments and increased safety. The comfortable seats provide excellent back and lumbar support, with bolsters to ensure occupants are seated safely at all times.

The middle of the range Arona will set you back around £20,000, the combined mpg approaches almost 60 and the top speed is 113mph. 0-60mph is just under 10 seconds.

The SEAT Arona comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty and the company offers fixed-price servicing on all its models with a courtesy car, video reports and a two-year warranty on all parts.

SEAT designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain and is a member of the Volkswagen Group. But it appears to have got away with the emission row which is costing VW dearly.

Its headquarters is in Barcelona and it exports 80 per cent of its vehicles, to 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships.

Last year the company achieved worldwide sales of 470,000 vehicles.

The SEAT Group employs around 15,000 people in Spain where it manufactures the Ibiza, Leon and Arona. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.