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New Skoda Karoq vs Seat Ateca

The Seat Ateca has been so successful that affiliated brand Skoda has borrowed the design for the new Karoq. Is our favourite small SUV about to be usurped?

Words By What Car? team

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Seat Ateca rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Both of our test cars came with optional panoramic roofs, which limit head room in the front and even more so in the rear – particularly in the Karoq. It’s not quite to the degree that six-footers will have their heads jammed against the ceiling, but we’d recommend trying before buying.

No need to worry about leg room, though. There’s plenty in the front and rear of both. But high central tunnels running the length of their floors cramp things up for a rear middle-seat passenger.

Seating flexibility is an area of distinction. The Ateca’s 60/40 split-folding rear seats are unremarkable, while the Karoq, in this trim, has Skoda’s VarioFlex seats. These are split into three individual chairs that slide back and forth, recline or can be removed entirely.

Even without removing those rear seats, it’s a win for the Karoq regarding boot space. Despite having a lower claimed minimum volume, being longer helped it swallow nine carry-on suitcases, without us sliding the rear seats forward. That said, the Ateca’s boot still managed eight cases.

The Ateca has handy levers next to the tailgate opening to fold down the rear seats and the option of a height-adjustable boot floor (Β£120). You can’t have either in the Karoq. It’s a shame, because a height-adjustable floor would level out the step up to the rear seats when they’re folded down.


Seat Ateca

Official boot capacity 510-1604 litres Suitcase capacity 8

Front leg and head room are good and largely the same in both cars. Rear head and leg room are slightly better in the Ateca, although rear seats offer less adjustment. The slightly shorter boot means it swallowed one less suitcase.

Skoda Karoq

Official boot capacity 479-1605 litres Suitcase capacity 9

The 40/20/40 rear seats slide, recline and can be removed entirely, offering buyers the option of passengers or more boot space. The only downsides are that the seats are heavy to remove and you need to have space to store them.

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