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Promoted: The new SEAT Ateca – what the readers think

What Car? teamed up with SEAT to give a select group of readers an exclusive look at the new Ateca SUV

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The rapid growth in the SUV segment is simple to explain: people want cars that are spacious, comfortable, practical and easy to drive. The new SEAT Ateca ticks all those boxes, while also retaining the distinctive style the Barcelona firm has become known for.

That quickly became clear when What Car? and SEAT hosted a special unveiling of the Ateca in London recently. The small group of readers selected to attend weren’t told which SUV they’d be getting the chance to see until the cover was pulled back – and their responses were very positive.

β€œIt’s a striking looking vehicle. SEAT do have a flair for design, and it shows in this vehicle,” said reader Marek Kolodziej, who lives in London. β€œIt’s certainly not run of the mill.”Once the readers were able to inspect the Ateca in more detail, it was clear they were just as impressed by the car’s space, features and technology – all designed to make it a superbly practical machine.

To find out more, just watch this video.

To discover more about the SEAT Ateca, click here.

To pre-order the SEAT Ateca, click here.

After the Ateca was revealed to the What Car? readers, Steve Mirfin, SEAT UK’s product manager for the Ateca, was on hand to explain the key features of SEAT’s first SUV - and how it had been engineered to meet the varying needs of the British public.

β€œThe people of Britain are quite diverse, but this car will suit you if you live in the country or city,” said Steve Mirfin. β€œThe city streets are increasingly crowded, so there are features like Park Assist, where the car will park itself. If you live in the countryside the Drive Profile will be useful - there are six settings that adjust the driving experience, and you can switch to off-road mode if you really need to go somewhere rural.”

That feature certainly stood out to What Car?’s readers. Alan Syrett said: β€œThat’s an amazing feature. I don’t have to do anything to open the boot. I just wave my foot and up she comes.”

It’s just one example of the technology available for the Ateca that’s designed to make life easier for drivers and passengers. Other features include the Media System Plus touchscreen with SEAT Full Link, Traffic Jam Assist, a lane-departure warning system and a Top View Camera, which uses four cameras to create an overhead 360 image of the Ateca’s surrounding to make tight maneuvers easier.

Another notable option is a wireless mobile phone charging compartment. β€œIt’s such a cool feature,” said Steve Mirfin. β€œYou just throw your phone in, and while you’re driving it charges up. We’re almost future proofing the car - technology in the mobile phone world moves on so quickly, but we’re one step ahead and almost waiting for the phone industry to catch up.”

The touchscreen caught the eye of reader David Shardlow, who called it β€œfabulous.” He added: β€œIt’s very responsive, very clear. Even the satnav screen is very responsive. You can easily zoom in with your fingers - it’s very up-to-the-minute.”

The readers weren’t able to drive the Ateca at the event, but Steve Mirfin promises they won’t be disappointed. He said: β€œIf you look back in SEAT’s history, there’s a strong DNA link to motorsport, and having driven this car there’s a firmness and a lack of body roll about the drive. People who have driven a SEAT expect them to deliver a precise drive with lots of steering feel and plenty of comfort.”

Another well-established SEAT trait is that sense of design flair, and Steve Mirfin was clearly pleased the Ateca’s appearance attracted such a positive reaction from the moment the cover was pulled back to reveal the LED running lights.

β€œI think it’s going to be a real hit for the market,” said Steve Mirfin. β€œIt’s extremely similar to other cars in its class from a size point of view, but from a styling point of view it’s completely different. It’s quite sharp in its design, and compact in its appearance. But the compactness is overridden by the space inside.”

To discover more about the SEAT Ateca, click here.

To pre-order the SEAT Ateca, click here.