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The Seat Ateca has a tough job to live up to its little brother’s reputation

Reviews | Published:

Jack Evans has taken delivery of Seat’s newest SUV – but can it beat the Ibiza Cupra it replaces?

You may have read recently that I was rather fond of ‘my’ old long termer, the Seat Ibiza Cupra. It was fun to drive, relatively practical and – in my eyes – it looked almost spot-on. I’ve handed the keys over for the last time, though, and I’ve taken delivery of something far larger and more grown-up, an Ateca.

It was tough to say goodbye to the Cupra
(PA)

Sitting as the Spanish brand’s latest SUV, it’s based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Tiguan – a car I’ve spent plenty of time in and have found to be a pretty decent all-rounder.

So what is ‘our’ Ateca then? It’s a top-of-the-range XCellence model, which means it’s loaded with standard equipment and a reasonably powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine driven to all four wheels (this is an option, too) via a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

I was lucky enough to choose the specification for this car, and picked a variety of (what I feel at least) to be worthwhile options. A 360-degree overhead view camera was a £475 option, while a panoramic sunroof came in at a hefty £945. Adaptive cruise control was another must at £505. I held back on paint shades, opting for standard Mediterranean Blue. Resisting the urge to specify another red car, I can’t help but think the Ateca looks a little underplayed in this colour. It may be one of those shades that grows on you, however.

Finally, a bike holder was essential for me. This didn’t break the bank at £150. That said, these options still amounted to a reasonably large total of £2,055, pushing the car’s price from £30,645 to £32,700. It’s a lot of car for the money, but is the same amount you’d pay for a top-spec Volkswagen Tiguan – without any of the option boxes ticked.

The lineage is clear between the two cars
(PA)

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The list of standard equipment is pretty impressive. XCellence trim brings sports leather seats, automatic rain-sensing wipers and 18-inch ‘Performance’ alloy wheels, among other features. In short, there’s little that hasn’t been left out in the Ateca.

Though quite different, both cars offer a good drive
(PA)

So what’s it like to drive? First and foremost, there’s the ride. It’s just on the right side of firm, and feels well-judged for UK roads. Of course, I’ll only find out what it’s really like over the next six months. The steering lacks any real feel, but then that’s something that comes with the vast majority of cars on sale today. In terms of economy, Seat claims that it’ll return 53.3mpg on a combined cycle but, again, we’re going to have to spend a little more time in the drivers to see how realistic this is. In truth, with four-wheel-drive and a relatively powerful engine, I’m struggling to see how it’ll reach this figure.

First impressions are, all-in-all, very good. Sure, it’s a lot more ‘grown-up’ than the Cupra – and it’s a darn sight slower too – but it’s looking like a fine replacement for what was a very good long termer.

Current mileage: 3,100
Model: Seat Ateca
Engine: 2.0-litre Power: 187bhp
Max speed: 132mph
0-60mph: 7.3seconds
Emissions: 135g/km
Mpg: 53.3 (combined)

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