What is the SEAT Ateca?
The SEAT Ateca is a family-size SUV – and one of a number of similar (though rarely identical) models now sold by the Volkswagen Group. It fits into the SEAT range above the Arona and below the Taracco. So, although it's closely related to the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, and looks familiar as a consequence, it's designed to drive very differently.
Compared with its Volkswagen Group cousins, the Ateca impresses with its sharp styling, keen driving experience and typical SEAT value. This is a good all-round choice, which does most things well. Rival models include the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Kuga. This is a crowded marketplace, but the SEAT still has the talent to stand out.
- Top speed: 112-132mph
- 0-62mph: 7.1-11.5 seconds
- Fuel economy: 32.5-50.4mpg
- Emissions: 122-156g/km CO2
- Boot space: 485-1,579 litres
Which versions of the SEAT Ateca are available?
The Ateca only comes in a single, five-door SUV bodystyle – no SUV-coupes for SEAT just yet – but it is available with a broad choice of excellent modern turbocharged engines. Kicking things off is the 1.0-litre TSI turbo-petrol, a tiddly three-cylinder engine that produces 115hp and claims to return over 40mpg.
Your other petrol choice is the charismatic 1.5-litre TSI EVO with 150hp and the ability to shut down two of its four cylinders to save fuel when conditions allow. Diesel options start with a 115hp 1.6-litre TDI, then switch to 2.0-litre TDI units with either 150hp or 190hp. Each offers a good balance between economy and performance.
All but the entry-level petrol can be combined with a DSG automatic transmission, while any Ateca with 150hp or more is available with 4Drive four-wheel drive as an upgrade over the standard front-wheel drive – except the 190hp motor, which is 4Drive only.
SEAT offers the Ateca in a particularly wide choice of trim levels, with even the most basic coming with plenty of choice standard equipment, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, automatic parking capability, driving mode selector, 17-inch alloys and stacks of safety kit. Value is not in short supply here.
How does the Cupra Ateca fit into the SEAT Ateca range?
In addition to the above engines, you can buy a Cupra Ateca model – which is the same basic SUV relabelled and restyled as the launch model for the new, standalone Cupra marque.
As this Cupra officially a different brand now, this Ateca is dealt with separately. But let’s just say a 300hp turbo petrol engine makes it worth a closer look.
SEAT Ateca styling and engineering
SEAT loves sharply creased metalwork, and the Ateca is an excellent example of the latest Spanish styling direction. It’s a good-looking vehicle, which disguises its bulk well.
The edgy exterior sets up the interior for a bit of a fall, though, as this is comparatively dull and plain, and almost overwhelming in its use of dark plastic. Still, there’s plenty of space for five passengers on board, and a large boot, so practicality isn’t an issue. You get absolutely loads of standard equipment, too.
The Ateca is based on the Volkswagen Group’s exceptionally ubiquitous MQB platform, which means it’s related to a huge number of other SEAT, VW, Skoda and Audi vehicles, ranging from the Volkswagen Golf hatchback to the Audi TT sports car.
Is the SEAT Ateca good to drive?
You’ll find few complaints about the SEAT Ateca driving experience here. The ride is firm but supple enough to deal successfully with British road surfaces, the Ateca changes direction with confidence and handles challenging roads well.
The generally feel of the vehicle is precise but not razor sharp, and its responses tend to flatter the driver. It’s a good compromise, overall. For much more detailed driving impressions, head on over to the SEAT Ateca full review.
How much does the SEAT Ateca cost?
SEAT is generally one of the best value marques in the UK – not necessarily the cheapest, but you always get a lot in return for the prices you pay. Finance costs are typically highly competitive as well.
Want to find out what other buyers think? Read our comprehensive SEAT Ateca owners' reviews.
SEAT Ateca Model History
Current generation SEAT Ateca SUV model history
June 2016 – Pre-orders open for the new SEAT Ateca, available in S, SE, Xcellence and First Edition trims, with first deliveries in September. Engines available at launch are a 1.0 TSI 115, 1.4 TSI 150, 1.6 TDI 115 and 2.0 TDI with either 150 or 190hp. Four-wheel drive available on diesels, while DSG available on particular examples, too.
July 2017 – Ateca FR added to the line-up with a sportier look thanks to body kit and new wheel design. Available with 1.4 TSI, both 2.0-litre TDIs and new 2.0-litre TSI with 190hp.
February 2018 - Performance-focussed Cupra Ateca announced. Powered by a 300hp 2.0-litre TSI engine, fitted with a seven-speed DSG gearbox and all-wheel drive
May 2018 - S models taken off sale.
July 2018 - SE L, FR Sport and Xcellence Lux added to the range. 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine replaced with 1.5-litre.
December 2018 - Cupra Ateca hit showrooms with deliveries in the same month.
There are no previous versions of the SEAT Ateca. In fact, SEAT is in its first generation of SUV building in every class.
Read more: What are the best SUVs you can buy?