SEAT Ateca review
The smart-looking SEAT Ateca is a crossover-style SUV that’s practical to own and fun to drive
SEAT's first SUV had to be a good one, and the Ateca has scored a direct hit. The Spanish brand's sharp design language and the Ateca's combination of style, space, quality and value ensures that it's still one of the smartest-looking cars of its kind.
There's substance underneath, too, with a wide range of punchy and efficient engines and a well-tuned chassis making the Ateca one of the best in its class to drive. A slightly dull interior may deter some, but the impressive space on offer, general air of solidity and availability of front or four-wheel drive gives the Ateca all it needs to be a front runner in the crossover class.
About the SEAT Ateca
Crossover buyers are spoiled for choice, but the SEAT Ateca is definitely one of the best models on sale. While it was SEAT's first entry into the class, it uses tried-and-tested features from the Leon hatchback and other models within the VW Group family, and the end result is a convincing crossover package.
The Ateca comes in a single body style with five doors and a five seat layout. In many ways it's the SUV equivalent of the Leon, as the sharp lines and creases of the bodywork look largely the same as the hatchback. There's method in this, because not only does the Ateca have a similar corporate look, it shares much of its running gear with the Leon, too.
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As a result, the engine range features a range of turbocharged TSI petrol and TDI diesel units. Petrol units come in 1.0 110PS, 1.5 150PS and 2.0 TSI 190PS guises, with 113bhp, 148bhp and 187bhp respectively.
The 1.5 has the same transmission (a seven-speed DSG auto is optional) and features cylinder deactivation to boost economy. As a result, the larger 1.5 petrol unit will marginally better the three-cylinder 1.0 TSI's fuel economy - 44.1mpg vs 43.5mpg. At the top of the range, the 2.0 TSI comes with the seven-speed DSG box and 4Drive four-wheel drive as standard.
Go for a diesel engine, and your options are narrower. The 2.0 TDI 115PS has 113bhp, while the 2.0 TDI 150PS has 148bhp. The lower powered 2.0 TDI comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the 150PS version is available with the seven-speed DSG box with 4Drive 4WD.
The current Ateca range comprises SE, SE Technology, FR, FR Sport, Xperience and Xperience Lux. Not every engine is offered in every trim, but there's enough crossover between trims, drive systems and powerplants to ensure there's an Ateca to suit your budget.
All cars come with air conditioning, a responsive touchscreen infotainment system with USB connection, a leather trimmed steering wheel and split-folding rear seats with reclining seat backs as standard. Go for a Technology model, and you get sat-nav and LED headlights, while FR models add a sporty bodykit and Dynamic Chasis Control that can switch between comfort, eco and sport driving modes.
Xperience adds suede-effect front seats and a rear view camera plus adaptive cruise control, while Lux gives you 19-inch wheels and a leather interior, Digital Cockpit instrument panel, an electric tailgate and Pre-Crash Assist, which winds up the windows and tightens your seatbelt if it thinks you’re going to crash.
Prices for the Ateca range from around £26,000 to more than £38,000, so it matches its crossover rivals for cost. The Ateca is one of the class leaders, though, and we'd recommend it alongside the Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008 at the top of the crossover tree. Other models that come close to this trio are the Mazda CX-5, and Nissan Qashqai, while the Volkswagen Tiguan is a pricier alternative, as are Toyota's RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. The closely related Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson are also worth considering, as is the Ford Kuga.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe smart-looking SEAT Ateca is a crossover-style SUV that’s practical to own and fun to drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveGreat to drive for an SUV, the Ateca features good body control and punchy petrol and diesel engines
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsGood real-world fuel economy, reasonable insurance premiums and decent residual values will appeal to cost-conscious buyers
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Ateca looks great on the outside and has a clean, minimalist interior, although it's a bit bland in places
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Ateca has a larger boot and more passenger space than most rivals, which will be a big selling point
- 6Reliability and SafetyFive-star Euro NCAP rating is as good as it gets, while a raft of safety kit is available