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Seat Ateca SUV 2.0 TDI FR Manual from £191.71 + VAT a month.
The Seat Ateca broke new ground for Seat, because the Spanish brand had previously built as many SUVs as it had spaceships. But while Seat was more than fashionably late to the party, it turned up with an absolute cracker.
Underneath the sharply styled bodywork are essentially the same mechanicals that sit beneath the Skoda Karoq and the more expensive Volkswagen Tiguan. True, the Ateca misses out on some of those cars’ practical features, such as reclining and sliding rear seats, but it still has a large boot and masses of rear-seat space.
Other rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai offer lower CO2 emissions, but the Ateca is more than respectable on this front. It compares favourably with the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, for example, while offering strong performance from a wide range of petrol and diesel engines.
Seat Ateca estate performance
With 113bhp, the entry-level 1.0 turbocharged petrol is fine if you spend most of your time in and around town, but we’d advise choosing a more muscular engine if you plan on doing regular motorway work or lugging around heavy loads.
The 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol is our favourite, because while it won’t match the fuel economy of the diesels, it’s still respectably efficient. With solid mid-range shove and a willingness to rev, it’s also surprisingly nippy when you want it to be.
The 113bhp 1.6 TDI diesel is worth a look if you’re a company car driver or do above-average mileage; it’s no ball of fire but pulls suitably strongly from low revs. Meanwhile, the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel is available exclusively with four-wheel drive, so we’d only recommend it if you really need the extra traction; it’s more expensive and you pay a fuel economy and CO2 emissions penalty for the all-weather ability. That said, it’s much punchier than the cheaper 1.6 diesel at all revs, with acceleration more on a par with the 1.4-litre petrol.
Want even more power? The 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel is the fastest-accelerating engine in the Ateca range, but it’s very expensive. There’s also a 187bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol but, given how punchy the 1.4 is, we really wouldn’t bother
Seat Ateca estate ride
True, it’s firmer than some rivals, including the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Karoq, so it can feel a bit fidgety over smaller undulations. However, because the body stays well controlled over larger disturbances, such as sleeping policemen, the Ateca doesn’t continue to bounce and jostle you about once the bump has been and gone. The only time you feel a thud is over sharp-edged ridges and potholes.
As is often the case, you’ll find that smaller-wheeled models ride better than those fitted with large wheels, so try to avoid the optional 19in alloys. And it’s worth noting that the petrol models are generally more forgiving than the diesels
Seat Ateca estate handling
The suspension is firm enough to ensure you don’t get too much body lean when cornering, helping to make the Ateca feel agile. Meanwhile, the steering is precise and offers decent feedback, making it easy to place the nose of the car where you want it.
There’s plenty of grip, too, and four-wheel-drive models are even more fun because you can subtly feel power being sent to the rear wheels. Put simply, if you like driving and need a family SUV, the Ateca should be at the top of your list. The direct rival that comes closest is the nifty-handling Toyota C-HR.
- 18" Performance machined alloy wheels 36/2 with 215/50 R18 92W tyres
- 8 speakers
- 8 speakers and 2 additional USB ports in rear with storage net
- CD Player
- Combined USB/Aux-in port
- DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting)
- Digital radio reception
- Dual Zone Climate Control
- Exterior mirrors
- FM Radio
- Front and rear electric windows
- Full LED headlights (includes dipped and mainbeam)
- High resolution colour driver's display
- Integrated voice control
- LED rear combination lamps
- Navigation system with 3D Map display
- Navigation System with 8.0" colour touchscreen with proximity sensor
- SD card slot
- SD card slot x2
- separately heated