Updated SEAT Ateca majors on safety tech

  • New safety features and Leon-inspired makeover for Ateca
  • Popular family SUV now more up-to-date than ever
  • Renewed engine range and additional range-topping trim level

SEAT has refreshed its popular Ateca SUV, bringing its styling in line with the all-new Leon as well as improving safety, technology, and efficiency across the board.

The refreshed model is aimed at building on the previous Ateca’s success, having sold more than 300,000 units across Europe since launch in 2016. Sales of the model have actually increased each year since launch, and over 35,000 have found homes in the UK.

2020 SEAT Ateca rear three quarter

Keeping the Ateca up-to-date is very important for SEAT, as it competes in an incredibly well-stocked area of the market. Rivals such as the Peugeot 3008Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai all provide very large boots to fill – and that’s not forgetting in-house competition from the Volkswagen Group such as the Volkswagen Tiguan or Skoda Karoq.

New Leon-inspired design

For 2020, the new model gets a facelift inspired by the more refined styling of the latest SEAT Leon. It’s slightly longer thanks to redesigned front and rear bumpers – 18mm longer overall – but width and height are unchanged.

Features on the front end have undergone very little change in shape, but have been slightly rounded off. There’s also a larger front grille with a chunkier chrome surround that merges with the headlights.

Around the back, changes are even subtler, but the eagle-eyed will notice a redesigned rear apron with larger exhaust surrounds, as well as the new script denoting ‘Ateca’ beneath the number plate.

There are new lights front and rear, which are full LED as standard across the range – and the top two trim levels will also feature dynamic scrolling indicators.

As an affront to the many monochrome pallets you’ll find in SUV configurators, SEAT’s offering several colourful paint shades in the 10 available, including Lava Blue and Velvet Red.

2020 SEAT Ateca interior

There’s little change inside other than the fitment of the very latest SEAT infotainment systems, a redesigned steering wheel and some additional trim around the air vents and gearlever. A heated windscreen is now available, as is an electric driver’s seat.

Better connectivity, better safety

In line with almost every new model, this facelift has added greater connectivity to the Ateca to ensure it’s as up-to-date as possible. Base cars get an 8.25-inch infotainment setup as standard, with a 9.2-inch screen standard on second-rung SE Technology trim and above. There’s also a 10.25-inch digital dial pack.

SEAT’s also fitted a digital assistant, which responds to the slightly cringe-worthy phrase ‘hola hola!’ rather than simply ‘Hey SEAT’. Awkward opening aside, the assistant should be able to control many of the car’s functions through voice commands alone.

Full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity make an appearance, as do four USB Type-C ports – the most up-to-date kind.

Owners can also download the SEAT Connect App, giving them access to a range of remote control functions including locking the car, finding where it’s parked, or setting up speed alerts for other drivers.

As for safety kit, there’s autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and exit assist, which gives a warning on exiting a parking space if an approaching car, cyclist or pedestrian is detected.

2020 SEAT Ateca interior

SEAT’s also fitted predictive cruise control, which monitors GPS and traffic sign data to actively amend the cruise control speed based on the road layout ahead, such as upcoming speed limits, roundabouts or junctions.

Updated and extensive engine range – but no hybrids yet

There are a total of nine powertrain options for the Ateca, at launch – five petrols and four diesels. Notably absent is a hybrid or plug-in hybrid model, though these may follow further on in the Ateca’s lifespan.

Things kick off with a pair of 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engines, offering up 110hp and 115hp respectively. The higher-powered of these two is actually a carryover from the previous car, while the 110hp model is new and uses a different combustion process to improve fuel efficiency by up to 10 per cent. The two engines will be available concurrently but the 115hp model will be dropped from the range fairly soon.

There’s also a 1.5-litre four-cylinder with 150hp and either a manual gearbox or a DSG automatic, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 190hp paired to a DSG and all-wheel drive.

2020 SEAT Ateca puddle light

On the diesel front, there’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder available with either 115hp or 150hp. The former is paired to a manual gearbox while the latter can be manual, DSG, or DSG + all-wheel drive.

Performance and economy figures haven’t yet been revealed.

What does this mean for me?

We’ll know more when SEAT releases full pricing and specifications for the updated Ateca, but on face value this is a welcome update to an already-excellent small SUV.

It’s a shame there are no hybrid or plug-in offerings just yet, but we’ll reserve judgement on the rest of the range until we know more information.

Further reading:

> SEAT Ateca review

> Best SUVs to buy

> Best family cars 2020