SEAT Ateca review - Interior, design and technology
The Ateca looks great on the outside and has a clean, minimalist interior, although it's a bit bland in places
In the same way it did with the engines and the chassis, SEAT has looked again to its tried and tested Leon when it comes to the exterior and interior of the Ateca. That means smart, clean and well-proportioned looks on the outside, with the usual smattering of rugged body cladding and a raised ride height that typifies an SUV.
The Ateca feels very much like a jacked-up Leon, and this extends to the cabin design, which is carried over almost unchanged from the well finished hatchback. The materials used across the top of the dash are soft and high quality but look lower down on the centre console and the doors and you'll find a few hard and scratchy plastics. It's not a deal-breaker though, especially given the price: The level of quality in the VW Tiguan is better but that's a considerably more expensive car.
Entry level S models don’t come with a huge amount of kit, with air-conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, a five-inch touchscreen and seven airbags. There is also autonomous emergency braking, however, which is good to see for this price of car.
Still we'd recommend stepping up to SE spec, as SEAT throws in larger 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and rear parking sensors. These versions also come with SEAT's Full Link smartphone connectivity system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.
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FR cars get a sportier bodykit, bigger wheels and body-coloured trim, while top-spec Xcellence models come with a full leather interior, LED headlights and reversing camera. SEAT expects the most popular trim to be mid-spec SE, which offers the best in terms of value for money.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The infotainment system used in the Ateca will be familiar to anyone who has been in a Skoda, VW or SEAT before. The system is very intuitive to use and can be operated by the dials on the dashboard or with the touchscreen itself.
Those who go for an entry-level model will be disappointed by the fact that their Ateca will only come fitted with a tiny five-inch display that looks rather small on the dashboard. It also means navigation is not even an option on entry-level cars. Above that, the SEAT's optional sat-nav is reasonably priced when compared to rivals, at around £550.
SE Technology adds sat-nav as standard to the Ateca’s 8.0-inch Full Link infotainment system, which gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Smartphone integration is so good that there’s a case for only using your mobile device’s functions, with apps such as Spotify and Maps supported. DAB and Bluetooth are standard across the range, too.
The SEAT’s touchscreen is easy to use, but the graphics aren’t quite as sharp, so it looks a little grainier. However, it doesn’t ever lag behind your inputs like the Peugeot 3008’s system sometimes does. It’s clearly not as advanced, though, as the Ateca doesn’t get a full digital dash, even as an option, which means it feels a step behind the Peugeot here.
Voice control is standard and works across all areas of the system. It functions fairly well, too, as you don’t have to go through many frustrating procedures to confirm your commands.
In this review
- 1SEAT Ateca reviewThe SEAT Ateca crossover delivers sharp looks, fun handling and a practical, solid cabin
- 2Engines, performance and driveGreat to drive for an SUV, with good body control and punchy engines
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Ateca’s most efficient engines will keep running costs down
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe Ateca looks great on the outside and has a clean, minimalist interior, although it's a bit bland in places
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA larger boot and more passenger space than most rivals will be a big selling point
- 6Reliability and SafetyFive star Euro NCAP rating is as good as it gets, while raft of safety kit is available