SEAT Ateca review: Stirring up the compact SUV sector

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SEAT's first SUV, Ateca, is temptingly priced from £17,990. the Barcelona-based marque is looking to make quite an impact in the UK's compact SUV market.

Which, judging by the initial signs for SEAT's latest creation, staking its claim in the fast-growing segment shouldn't be too difficult. Just this week the Ateca opened its honours account in style, claiming the Best Crossover title on its first appearance in the Auto Express New Car Awards.

Kicking things off, the entry-level S has all the essential kit which a growing family or young-at-heart couple might need. On the inside, the interior includes air conditioning, Media System Touch five-inch touchscreen with USB and SD connectivity, leather steering wheel and gearknob, plus split-folding rear seats with reclining function. On the outside, Ateca's stylish lines are complemented by 16-inch 'Design' alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights.

Moving up to the expected UK best-selling trim level, SE, brings in an array of comfort, convenience and style features, including dual-zone climate control, cruise control, electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors and rear parking sensors.

As buyers have come to expect from the Spanish marque, technology touches also abound. Among them is Full Link (SEAT's seamless three-in-one connectivity solution for smartphones and tablets), together with an upgraded infotainment in the form of Media System Plus with eight-inch colour touchscreen, USB/Aux-in port, SD card slot, eight speakers, voice control and Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free system. Externally, the mid-trim level looks sharp with 17-inch 'Dynamic' alloy wheels, LED taillights and black roof rails.

The Ateca comes with a variety of safety features as standard

Going up the trim level there are a number of premium features, including four new innovations for SEAT. The first is a Connectivity Hub with Wireless Phone Charger which also boosts in-car phone signal, as well as multi-colour interior ambient lighting with LED interior illumination and a choice of eight colours.

Penultimately, comes an 'Ateca' welcome light silhouette which is projected onto the ground from the bottom of the door mirrors, and finally, SEAT Drive Profile with Driving Experience selector.

This latest evolution of the brand's tried and tested technology allows the driver to adjust Ateca's set-up (steering, throttle response and gear change speeds – the latter on DSG-equipped versions) according to road and weather conditions or personal preferences, including off-road and snow modes on four-wheel-drive versions.


An array of safety aids and systems come as standard on every Ateca, including new Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Protection, plus Tiredness Recognition. Also featuring across the range are ASR traction control, ESC, electronic differential lock (XDS), seven airbags, Hill Hold Control, and last, but by no means least, tyre pressure monitor.

Every Ateca comes with plenty of standard equipment, but, for those seeking even more creature comforts, there are plenty of options. Some of the most noteworthy are its technology highlights, several of which are debuting on this model.

The innovative electric tailgate with Virtual Pedal, for both opening and closing, is available from £415, with Top View Camera, offering a 360-degree view to assist with parking and manoeuvring at £470.

Lane Assist, costs £470 as part of a Driving Assistance Pack with High Beam Assist, while Blind Spot Detection, complete with new Rear Cross Traffic Alert, is also available as part of a pack, from £620.


Several convenience features are also likely to catch the eye, including a double boot floor for £115, Park Assist (self parking functionality) for £325, and again, a first for SEAT, a heated windscreen from £155.

For added style and cachet, buyers will probably tick the options box alongside electric panoramic sunroof for £935 and 19-inch 'Exclusive' machined alloy wheels on XCELLENCE which come in at £670.

The new SEAT Ateca is available with a wide choice of engines, including a frugal 1.6 TDI capable of 65.7 mpg, as well as several over 150 PS, to suit those seeking a decent amount of performance to power their SUV. A total of five engines feature in total, comprised of two petrol and three diesel, ranging in power from 115 PS to 190 PS and all mated to either six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG-auto transmissions.

The three-cylinder 1.0 TSI 115 PS is available on the S and SE, while the 1.6 TDI 115 PS also features on S and SE. Upping the power stakes to 150 PS brings in both the 1.4 EcoTSI with Active Cylinder Shutdown, as well as the highly-regarded 2.0 TDI, both of which appear across SE and XCELLENCE trims. The 2.0 TDI 190, is exclusively available on the range-topping XCELLENCE, and comes with DSG and 4Drive, SEAT's four-wheel-drive system. 4Drive is also an option with the 2.0 TDI 150.

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