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Used test: Seat Ateca vs Skoda Karoq

Two of our favourite family SUVs go head-to-head to find out which one makes the most sense used. Read on to find out...

Seat Ateca side
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What Car? team
27 Sep 2018 08:00

What are they like inside?

With near-identical design fundamentals, it comes as little surprise that the two cars feel similar from behind the wheel. Both offer terrific driving positions, with driver’s seat height and lumbar adjustment as standard. The Karoq’s optional electrically adjustable seat doesn’t sink quite as low as the Ateca’s manually adjusted standard sports seat, but these points are small beer.

Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI EVO FR [EZ] - interior

It’s also tough to split them in terms of build quality because both feel robust. The Karoq’s more modern-looking dashboard includes extra soft-touch plastics around the centre console; the Ateca’s cloth-lined front door trims feel nicer than the Karoq’s hard plastic ones. But, all in all, the Karoq has the edge over the Ateca.

With their traditional lofty SUV driving positions, both cars are easy to see out of. Even where visibility isn’t quite so good around the rear quarters, reversing isn’t tricky, thanks to standard rear-view cameras and rear parking sensors. The Karoq has sensors at the front, too.

1: Skoda Karoq - interior

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 it had the option of a height-adjustable boot floor. 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.

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