Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI SE Ecomotive review
12 October 2016
Seat has waited some time for this Nissan Qashqai-rivalling crossover that provides a third string to its bow alongside the Ibiza supermini and, particularly in fleet, the lower medium Leon.
The Ateca is based on the regular VW Group platform, and on the inside much is recognisable from the wealth of group models that now populate this middle ground of lower and upper medium hatchbacks, SUVs and crossovers.
The most popular model in the corporate sector will be the 1.6 SE driven here, and, offering 113g/km, it's more frugal than Kia's Sportage at 119g/km, but not particularly close to the 99g/km that its other main rivals - the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar - both manage. The 115hp diesel requires a little work to make serious progress, but is pretty refined, save a noticeable drone at speed.
Interior quality is decent, with the eight-inch touchscreen system fitted to all but the entry S trim a particularly straightforward user experience. There are, though, some harder plastics lower down the cabin, which don't match the more pleasant atmosphere further up.
Kit levels compare well with the rest of the sector, with elements like a collision warning system, parking sensors and roof rails far from universally offered at lower-spec levels of the competition.
Interior passenger space is good, and the 510-litre boot outpoints rivals.
RVs for this sector are traditionally higher than most, and the Ateca's 40.9% looks impressive - until you realise the Kadjar is at 41.3% and the Sportage an almost unbelievable 43.8%. But competitive pricing and decent all-round costs mean the 44.9p per mile costs figure falls level with the Sportage, is 0.8ppm better than the Nissan Qashqai, though 1.1ppm behind the class-leading Renault Kadjar.
The Ateca is right in among its rivals in every way, and the smart looks and all-round competitiveness means it's no surprise that Seat is claiming previously unseen levels of interest in its latest model.