Motoring: The SEAT Ateca blends performance and value for money




SEAT’s Ateca was the Spanish manufacturer’s first-ever SUV.

Quite an entrance it made, too, getting impressive reviews when it was launched – and, several years on, it’s still going strong.

It is no surprise, though, as SEAT is part of the Volkswagen group. So, it’s based on the same platform as the Skoda Karoq and VW’s Tiguan, which are also highly regarded.

There are many trims, but the Xperience version is tested here. It includes 18-inch alloys, front comfort seats in Microsuede, a heated windscreen and a rear-view camera.

There are a few engines to choose from in the Ateca range, but I drove the 1.5-litre petrol. You can choose an automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

It is arguably the best engine in the line-up, providing a lovely blend of performance and value for money. Although not lightning quick, the 1.5-litre makes good progress with a thick dollop of low-end performance, which helps you move away without delay.

It returns 42.2mpg with the automatic, as driven for this review, producing 151g/km of CO2.

The ride is comfortable but firmer than its nearest rivals, but the stiffer setup means it handles very well for a taller car. It is responsive when chucked into a bend, and it’s pretty fun to drive.

Inside, the Ateca impresses, with lots of silver trim brightening things up. The SEAT is roomy in the front and back, too.

The infotainment system has a high resolution, and it’s nice to look at. But some of the icons on the screen are on the small side, so they’re tricky to operate unless you’re stationary.

Boot capacity is 510 litres, expanding to 1,604 litres with the rear seats down, which fold away in a 60/40 split.

The Ateca was awarded a five-star rating by Euro NCAP, with safety systems including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traction control, a driver tiredness alert, traffic sign recognition and rain-sensing wipers.

Overall, the Ateca is an excellent all-rounder, offering sharp handling, good equipment levels and all the practicality you need in an SUV.

The Xperience trim is quite expensive, but if you’re after a small SUV, the Ateca deserves serious consideration.

Fast Facts – SEAT Ateca (Xperience trim, 1.5 TSI, 7-speed Auto) as tested:

  • Max speed: 126 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 9.0 secs
  • Combined mpg: 42.2
  • Engine layout: 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol
  • Max. power (PS): 150
  • CO2: 151 g/km
  • Price: £31,900

Photos: All courtesy of SEAT Ateca

Tim Barnes-Clay

Tim Barnes-Clay is Sorted Magazine’s Motoring Editor. He test-drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches around the world. The dad-of-three has a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism and has been a presenter and producer at ITV Central. He has also worked as a radio reporter and undertakes video and voiceover work. You can follow and interact with Tim on Instagram @tbarnesclay

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