Seat Ateca review


The SEAT Ateca is one of those ‘banker’ cars you can happily list off as a good family car. The Ateca has received a mid-life cycle facelift that adds a new grille, improved connectivity, safety features, plus there is a new 9.2 inch Navi system. The Ateca’s platform remains the same so it continues with its classic SUV chunky looks. The old slogan “it does what it says on the tin” is so true with Ateca. Power comes from either petrol or diesel powered engines. There’s no hybrid or plug-in hybrid option with this generation. 

The Ateca’s exterior gets a mild makeover with a new and larger front grille plus full LED lights front and rear. The exhaust pipes are now hidden with faux trim on the rear bumper hinting to its internal combustion power. Dynamic indicators can also be had to add a touch of premium to the Ateca’s on street presence.

Overall the Ateca is slap bang in the middle ground in terms of looks and road presence. It is a fine example of the compact SUV body form and is relatively well priced. The new SEAT Leon Sportstourer (estate) e-Hybrid represents the next generation of SEATs – and is a good bit cheaper than the Ateca and has greener credentials too. The Leon only lacks the coveted tall driving position that Ateca delivers to make it the better family car.

Inside, depending on the grade, there is wireless smartphone connectivity through SEAT’s ‘Full Link’ technology. ‘SEAT Connect’ allows Android and Apple phone users to use an app to interact with their Ateca. Functions like remote climate setting, parking location, anti-theft and area alert are featured options. Voice recognition also features, activated by a “Hola Hola” – that’s enough to make you miss Spanish holidays! The centre display 9.2-inch display on our test car is Seat’s latest so it can be split in three and is swipeable. From the driver’s seat we get a 10.25-inch digital cockpit that again can be split in to three sections and customised to your tastes.

The engine range starts with a 1 litre TSI petrol manual with 110hp, a 1.5 litre TSI with 150hp that can be had with a manual or automatic gearbox. Two 2 litre diesels with 115hp and 150hp deliver the best fuel consumption and lowest CO2 emissions. Our diesel test car feels quite old school to drive and is utterly unremarkable behind the wheel. The diesel engine is economical and its handling is devoid of any vices.

The Ateca is absolutely fine for everyday use with great all round visibility and a familiar driving position. It is not an exciting or dynamic car but does possess the famed VW Group quality and solid feel that we all know well. Driving safety features such as Front Assist (brake warning), Emergency Assist (auto braking), Travel Assist (semi-autonomous driving), adaptive cruise control that interacts with the navigation system and speed limits and Side Assist (blind spot).

SEAT Ateca pricing in Ireland starts from €32,290. The Ateca’s six trim grades are: SE, SE Plus (from €33,450), FR (from €38,990), FR Plus (from €39,690), Xperience (from €39,155) and Xperience Plus (from €40,350). Our test car is the TDI Xperience. The SEAT Ateca’s facelift will see it continue as a solid family car at a good price relative to its siblings in the VW Group.


About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan is a senior and highly respected motoring journalist based in Ireland. He is a frequently heard voice on motoring, transport and mobility matters and has multiple credits on national television, national print media, national and local radio and other outlets. Michael Sheridan has been a Car of the Year Judge for more 20 years (& more recently a Van of the Year judge). Michael has produced and directed many international and national motoring TV programmes and documentaries both on cars and motorcycles - including four films on the iconic Route 66. Michael Sheridan is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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