In-depth reviews

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.

SEAT no longer offers the Ateca in basic S trim, so the new entry-level SE version isn't too bad a place to start in terms of standard equipment. It includes 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, cruise control and park assist - a self parking function which includes front and rear parking sensors. SEAT's Full Link smartphone connectivity system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, is also included at no extra cost.

SE Technology cars are priced from around £25,000 and add 18-inch alloys, LED headlights and taillights, a DAB radio, two USB ports and navigation.

FR cars get a sportier bodykit and body-coloured trim, along with front sports seats, auto headlights and rain-sensing wipers. The FR Sport receives darkened windows, 19-inch wheels, leather-trimmed heated front sports seats and SEAT's digital cockpit system.

The top-spec Xcellence Lux starts from just over £30,000, but for that price you pretty much have everything you could ask for. The interior includes heated leather sports seats, a digital cockpit, a top view camera and wireless phone charger, while other highlights are an electric tailgate, a heated windscreen and adaptive cruise control. Safety kit is also improved with high beam assist, lane assist and blind spot detection as standard.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Ateca’s last facelift introduced two new infotainment systems. SE models get an 8.25-inch media touchscreen, while all other cars feature this 9.2-inch navigation set-up. That’s small compared with some of its rivals, but it’s the biggest screen that can be fitted, due to the limitations of the Ateca’s dashboard design.

The screen’s position is fine, but the operating system isn’t the most intuitive to use. It’s a full touchscreen, and the colourful graphics at least add some brightness, but the menu system isn’t the easiest to navigate.

There are small shortcut buttons across the bottom of the screen, while the three-way split on the main menu is simple enough, but navigating back to a desired menu is harder than it needs to be. The touch-sensitive volume controls to the side of the screen are also frustrating to use, although there are steering wheel controls for this as well. SEAT’s digital dials look smart, but they’re not as big or as impressive as you'll find in the new Kia Sportage.

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