The SEAT Ateca offers the well-trusted German engineering of the VW Group, without the pricetag of the VW badge

“The SEAT Ateca offers the well-trusted German engineering of the VW Group, without the pricetag of the VW badge

  • Sporty good looks

  • Value for money

  • Generous levels of equipment

80%

Overall Rating

  • Has roomier rivals

  • Interior not as good as VW siblings

  • May not hold its value as well as them

Overall Rating

Overview

The SEAT Ateca is the sporty Spanish offering from the Volkswagen Group’s latest batch of hugely successful SUVs. Sharing many of its nuts and bolts with the upmarket Volkswagen Tiguan and the fiercely practical Skoda Kodiaq, the Ateca is not just arguably the best-looking, but also the least expensive of the three.

We’ll spare you the usual spiel about flair and Latin spirit – but it really is a very handsome machine. Heavily inspired by the Leon, the taut curves and sharp lines the brand is famous for translate surprisingly well into SUV form, and give it a sporty edge that’s still subtle enough not to offend anyone.

What will grab people’s attention more so however, is the price. Starting at just €25,120 – it undercuts the already keenly priced Renault Kadjar, Nissan Qashqai, and just about everything else out there at the moment.

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Space & Practicality

It also measures up quite well against rivals in terms of practicality. The boot is at the larger end of the class at 510 litres. That’s bigger than the Nissan Qashqai, but a few litres shy of the Renault Kadjar. It’s also a lot smaller than the Volkswagen Tiguan’s massive 610 litres, but it is quite a practical shape. It’s got a wide square opening, a handy hidden floor, and seats that can be dropped at the pull of a lever to create an enormous, flat load area.

When those seats are back up, room in the back is also generous. There’s decent head and legroom, it’s wide enough for three, and there are some nice comfort features such as a folding centre armrest when you’re carrying less than that.

Equipment and Safety

Ateca trim levels are exceptionally generous. We were very impressed to see that in addition to alloy wheels, air conditioning and LED daytime running lights, you also get a 5 inch touchscreen multimedia system as standard on the entry level S model – something you quite often have to upgrade to a mid-spec model for.

If you choose to do so anyway the SE adds some nice touches like parking sensors and cruise control, larger 17” wheels and an upgraded 8 inch touchscreen system.

Then the top of the line Xcellence model comes fully loaded with all the latest technology. Highlights include a drive selector, ambient lighting in the cabin, automatic lights and wipers, and even a welcome light which will project the ‘Ateca’ badge onto the ground in the evening. Now there’s something we never thought we’d see on a SEAT.

Performance & Running Costs

The engine line up will consist of two petrols in the 1.4l TSI (150hp), and the entry level 1.0l TSI (115hp). Two good options for city and suburban drivers, but while petrol uptake is certainly improving, diesel is still making up the majority of sales here.

These will be spread between the well-tested 1.6 and 2.0l TDI options, all of which offer the predictably impressive fuel economy and low tax rates that diesel drivers demand. The 2.0l will come in either a 150hp manual or 190hp automatic guise, with the option of a very capable four-wheel drive system.

It was a feature on our 2.0l 150hp TDI test car, and while it does give it a more rugged go anywhere feel with its extra grip, it probably won’t be a deal-breaker for what will likely be a more urban customer base. Back in the suburbs, the driving position is good and the suspension very comfortable. The responsive steering and overall feeling of lightness makes it feel nimble and easy to manoeuvre. Anyone upsizing from a smaller hatchback is not going to find this to be a huge leap.

Reliability & Residuals

The Ateca ticks an awful lot of vital boxes when it comes to what most people want from an SUV. That is something that looks good, isn’t too expensive to buy or to run, and that they can rely on. This is where SEAT really holds its trump card, as it can offer the reassuring German engineering of the VW badge, without the price associated with the actual VW badge. One of our top picks for this segment.

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