The SEAT Ateca is Spanish brand SEAT’s first step into the realm of SUVs. Car enthusiasts have been surprised it’s taken them so long, with most popular manufactures much further ahead in the SUV market. As part of the Volkswagen Group, we can expect the SEAT Ateca to share some of expertise that went into designing the Volkswagen Tiguan. With its UK release date this month, now is a great time to review the new model as it rolls onto the market.
Driving the SEAT Ateca
The new SEAT Ateca is a stylish alternative in the crowded SUVs market. It has the same sharp bodywork and sporty aesthetics that we’ve come to expect from the SEAT range. It has already been praised for its fantastic handling as a small SUV and its comfortable driving. It’s not Ford Fiesta, but as a taller car, it strikes a balance between keen handling and supple ride. The suspension is firm enough to reduce the lean on corners but keeps the car agile for everyday driving. Essentially the mechanics are very similar to those that sit beneath the much more expensive VW Tiguan. There is the option of four-wheel drive if you get the diesel engine but unless you plan to be off-roading, it isn’t really necessary.
Different engine options
Another bonus for the Ateca is there are five engine options: two petrol and three diesels, each offering a strong performance for SEAT’s inexperienced first attempt. At one end you could choose the 114bhp 1.0-litre turbo engine and the other a 2.0-litre diesel with 187bhp. We expect the 1.0-litre turbo to stand out because it is a unique option in this class and the middle 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine to be the most popular, as a great combination of power and economy. Although rivals to the SEAT Ateca offer lower CO2 emissions, it is still more than respectable when compared to others in the market.
Although possessing a spacious interior, there are some downsides to this aspect of the model. The SEAT Ateca does not have reclining or sliding rear seats which is a key feature many of its rivals enjoy. The lack of flexible seating might bother some buyers but there is an impressive boot to compensative for this, measuring 510 litres without four-wheel drive. There’s also a very flexible driving position with a wide range of adjustment for both the steering wheel and seat.
While not exactly plush, the spacious five-seater still has a strong offering of added features. There are three trim levels available – S, SE and XCELLENCE – with even the entry-level S model including a decent number of features such as alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a five-inch monochrome touchscreen and a leather steering wheel.
The mid-range SE models and above get Bluetooth, an eight-inch colour touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors, LED taillights, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. At the very top, the XCELLENCE model has even more bonus features like SEAT’s Connectivity Hub, which adds wireless phone charging, keyless entry and ignition, a sat-nav system, leather seats and a rear-view camera.
Prices for the Ateca range from £17,990 for the standard model and go up to £29,990 for the top-end XCELLENCE. The lower end of the price range places SEAT’s first SUV below many of its competitors, making it a strong alternative to the rivals like the Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan and Kia Sportage.
The keen pricing and great handling of the SEAT Ateca makes it a strong competition in the SUV market. Along with its stylish looks and various engine options, SEAT have created an impressive first attempt at joining its rivals in this crowded section of the automotive industry.
Are you considering taking the SEAT Ateca for a test drive once it reaches dealerships? What’s your verdict on this first SUV for the Spanish car brand? Let us know in the comments section below on or join the conversation on Twitter (@WeWantAnyCar)