- Stylish aesthetics
- Fun to drive
- Immensely practical
- Entry-level petrol is underpowered
- Not as comfortable as some rivals
- Not a lot else
Small SUV is one of the leaders in its class.
Seat is one of the latest manufacturers to the SUV game. Before 2016, when the Ateca was introduced, they hadn’t yet built an SUV. But with the Ateca, they seem to have got it spot on first time round. The Ateca is stylish on the outside, and well-built on the inside. It’s also great to drive for an SUV, and offers enough practical space to attract family buyers. Equipment levels are also decent, whilst there’s a good range of economical engines. There’s very little to fault with the Ateca, and it’s clear that that it’s going to be a hugely popular car going forward.
Solid build quality, with impressive practicality.
The interior of the Ateca is exactly as you’d expect from a modern Seat. It features VW-level build quality, though the design isn’t the most inspiring. But with tremendous practicality, and decent levels of kit, it really is a great family package.
Step inside an Ateca and it’ll all seem fairly familiar, especially if you’ve been inside any other recent Seat. The design isn’t one that’s going to win any awards, but it’s clean, modern, and will stand the tests of time. Build quality is also excellent. There are some nice soft-touch materials across the dash, whilst higher-spec models get attractive gloss black trim. Controls are also logically laid out, nicely damped, and easy to use. It really is an impressive interior.
Practicality is of huge importance to family buyers on the lookout for their next small SUV. The Ateca doesn’t disappoint. There’s more than enough space in the rear seats for adults to travel comfortably over long distances. Both headroom and legroom are ample. The 510 litre boot capacity is class-leading as well. Beating key rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai (430 litres), and the Kia Sportage (491 litres). There’s even enough room for a full family’s worth of travel luggage in the boot.
Equipment levels in the Ateca are pretty good across the range, though you’ll get more kit as standard with the Kia Sportage. The entry-level S trim comes with air-con, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, and a 5” infotainment system. SE trim adds bigger alloy wheels, cruise control, an upgraded 8” infotainment system, climate control, Bluetooth, smartphone integration, and parking sensors. SE Technology adds sat-nav, whilst range topping Xcellence adds a DAB radio, heated seats, and a reversing camera.
Overall the interior of the Ateca is a hugely impressive affair. It’s smart, well-built, and simple and easy to get used to. You’ll get decent amounts of kit for your money as well. And with the tremendous practicality that the Ateca offers, it’s a great buy from families.
SUVs aren’t known for their handling prowess, but the Ateca is actually a really fun car to drive. It’s without doubt the most entertaining car in its class. There’s very little body lean through the corners, whilst the tyres provide plenty of grip, making the Ateca agile through the corners. The steering only enhances the experience, offering plenty of driver-focused feedback. Four wheel drive is available on some models, which will be attractive to those who want to remain safe in poor weather conditions.
Suspension and Chassis
Despite the Ateca’s stiff suspension setup, it’s actually pretty comfortable. It’s not quite as supple over large bumps as a Nissan Qashqai, but it won’t leave you with a sore bum. Big potholes do occasionally send mild shudders through into the cabin, but loose surfaces are easily dealt with. The Ateca is not only comfortable, it’s also superbly refined. Road and wind noise are well contained, even at speed, making the Ateca a refined long distance motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Ateca come in two guises. The most common in the range is a six-speed manual transmission. It performs reasonably well, though there are more accurate manuals on the market. Quite a lot of buyers will opt for the DSG dual-clutch automatic. This setup is one of the very best on the market, offering smooth gear changes, whilst still being responsive when you need a quick burst of acceleration.
A solid range of petrol and diesel engines.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Ateca, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. All of the engines in the range perform pretty well, though the entry-level petrol model can feel a little underpowered at times.
If you want the power and performance to match the Ateca’s fantastic handling, the best engine to go for is the diesel-powered 2.0 TDI 190PS. It produces 187bhp, and will get you from 0-62mph in just 7.5 seconds. It’s not hot-hatch material, but for a family SUV it certainly feels quick enough. And with claimed fuel economy of up to 53mpg, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to run each week.
Eco-conscious buyers will be reasonably happy with the engines in the Ateca range, but it’s not the class-leader. The greenest engine is the diesel-powered 1.6 TDI 115PS model, which produces just 113g/km of CO2 emissions. The best Qashqai is better for the planet, but for an SUV, the Ateca’s figures are still mightily impressive. This model is also the best option for money savers. Not only will it only cost £30 in road tax each year, it’ll also return 66mpg. With all that money saved, you can afford to spend more money treating yourself, and your family.
Whichever engine you go for in your Ateca, you’re not going to be disappointed. Seat has developed these engines over a number of years, and they’re all proven in their other models. Most buyers will want to go for one of the diesel units. The petrols are decent enough, but aren’t really suited to the character of an SUV.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with an impressive range of safety features.
Like nearly every car in its class, the Seat Ateca easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 93% in adult safety, 84% in child safety, 71% in pedestrian safety, and 60% in safety assist, the Ateca is amongst the safest cars in its class. Especially when you consider that in 2016, when the Ateca was tested, tests were the most stringent ever.
No matter which Ateca you go for, you’re going to get plenty of safety equipment as standard. All models come with a full set of airbags, tyre-pressure monitoring, emergency city braking, and the essential Isofix child seat points. No SUV in the Ateca’s price range offers quite so much equipment as standard. So you can always feel safe behind the wheel.
Exceptional value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation.
The Seat Ateca is one of the best value small family SUVs on the market. This obviously varies between model to model, but generally speaking CO2 levels are low throughout the range, with no model exhaling more than 123g/km. Tax bands are low because of this. Fuel economy is also pretty impressive, no matter which model you go for. Ultimately though, if you really want to get great value for money, you should stick with one of the diesels.
Insurance groups for the Ateca again depend on which model you go for. Relatively speaking however, all of the models in the Ateca range are a little lower than that of rivals. The range starts in group 8 for the entry-level 1.0 TSI Ecomotive S, and climb up towards group 21 for the range topping 2.0 TDI Xcellence 4WD DSG model.
As with all cars, depreciation will be a factor with the Ateca, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation set to be as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
If you’re on the lookout for a family-focused small SUV, the Seat Ateca should be high up your shortlist. Seat have really hit the nail on the head with the Ateca. It’s fun to drive, stylish, practical, and safe. And with a solid range of economical engines, it won’t cost a lot to run. Most significantly, the Ateca is cheaper to buy than a lot of its rivals. So if you’re looking for top quality, without a huge price tag, this little Spanish SUV really is a great buy.
Buying a used Seat Ateca online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Seat Ateca for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Ateca. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Seat Ateca online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Seat? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Seat Ateca, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Ateca, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Seat to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.