What are they like inside?
With their high roofs and lofty driving positions, each of our trio feels like a proper SUV from behind the wheel. You look down on VW Golf and Ford Focus drivers, even though those cars are only slightly shorter and narrower, although pull up alongside a Range Rover and you’re swiftly put back in your place.
You shouldn’t have much trouble finding a comfortable driving position in any of our contenders, either, and the fact that adjustable lumbar support comes as standard only enhances their mile-munching credentials. The Nissan Qashqai’s electrically adjustable driver’s seat is a real boon when you’re trying to set everything up just so, although the Seat Ateca’s front seats are actually the most comfortable and supportive. The Kia Sportage’s, meanwhile, could do with a bit more support around the shoulder area.
Two adults will fit comfortably in the back of all three cars. Rear knee room is similar across the board and although the Ateca has loads more head room than its rivals, this will only really be appreciated by those seriously long in the body. However, anyone who fancies a snooze will certainly enjoy the Kia’s reclining rear seats – a feature that isn’t offered on the Ateca or Qashqai.
The Ateca also has the biggest boot, although not by as much as the official figures would lead you to believe. Its load bay is easily the tallest, but it’s actually the narrowest, while the Sportage’s can swallow the longest loads. You’ll easily fit a couple of big buggies or several large suitcases in the back of any of our protagonists, though, and if you need more space all three cars have 60/40 split rear seats that fold to give similar-sized extended load bays.
To make life even easier, the Qashqai and Sportage have false boot floors which, when slotted into place, raise the base of the loadbay to flush with the boot lip and mean there’s no annoying step in the floor when the rear seats are folded. This handy feature costs £155 on the Ateca.
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