Best cars & vans

SEAT Ateca 2.0 TDI - Best diesels

SEAT’s latest plunge into the SUV sector is a definite winner in the diesel car stakes, and not least because we named the SEAT Ateca our 2016 Crossover of the Year at our New Car Awards.

SEAT Ateca - front

SEAT’s latest plunge into the SUV sector is a definite winner in the diesel car stakes, and not least because we named the SEAT Ateca our 2016 Crossover of the Year at our New Car Awards.

Designed to take on rivals like Nissan QashqaiFord Kuga and Renault Kadjar, the Ateca is not only great value, but a great performer too. The new SEAT arrives with a choice of three diesel engine options, starting with a 114bhp 1.6-litre. Our favourite though, is the muscular 2.0-litre which comes in either 148bhp or 197bhp guise. In our test we found it a little clattery at low speeds, but it pulls like a train and is super-smooth when mated with SEAT’s seven-speed automatic gearbox. The 187bhp Ateca will do 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, which isn’t lightning fast but is more than adequate, and although the ride is relatively firm it does handle with a sharpness and accuracy that makes it more fun to drive than most of its rivals. With four-wheel-drive it will also return 56.5mpg and emit 131g/km of C02, so it’s by no means the most efficient model in the line up. The 1.6-litre diesel pushes economy up to 65.7mg and emissions down to 112g.km, which isn’t bad for a relatively large car.

With stylish looks and a practical interior, there’s not much to criticise about the Ateca, although the Leon-inspired interior is a little on the uninspired side, and there are a few cheap feeling plastics. But as a family all-rounder it really hits the spot.

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