You could argue that the Ssangyong Korando and MG GS offer similar sized SUVs for less money, but the Ateca certainly feels worth the extra cash. It’s a comparative bargain compared with the BMW X1and VW Tiguan, and it compares favourably with the Qashqai and Sportage.
If you’re looking at leasing or buying on PCP finance, the Ateca is a bit more expensive than some rivals, but not unbearably so.
The Ateca should hold more of its value after three years than the Qashqai or Sportage, though, and is one of the cheapest cars in the sector to service and insure.
No Ateca dips below the magic 100g/km CO2 emissions mark; the lowest you can get is 113g/km with the 1.6 TDI. It’s worth bearing in mind that the quicker, smoother 1.4 TSI 150 petrol offers cheaper company car tax than the 1.6 TDI, but won’t quite match its average fuel economy.
Even entry-level S models get 16in alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and a 5.0in infotainment system. We’d advise spending a little extra to upgrade to SE trim, though. This adds 17in wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors, an 8.0in colour touchscreen, smartphone integration, climate control and a rear armrest.
SE Technology makes the most sense, adding LED headlights and sat-nav to all the stuff you get with regular SE trim. Sadly, this trim is only available with the 1.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines.
Range-topping Xcellence trim gains sat-nav, a DAB radio, heated seats, a reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing LED lights, but we’d stick to one of the cheaper trims.
There are plenty of tempting options. We’d definitely add a height-adjustable ‘double’ boot floor and sat-nav, if going for SE trim. However, avoid going too mad with items like the panoramic roof, which limits head room, and 19in alloys that spoil the ride.
Read more on how best to spec a Seat Ateca, including which options we recommend, and which to avoid.
Seat Ateca reliability
The Ateca is far too new to be included in any reliability surveys but Seat was mid-table in our last reliability survey. The Spanish brand actually finished ahead of VW but behind Kia and Nissan.
A three-year warranty, limited to 60,000 miles, comes as standard with every Seat. That’s typical of most carmakers but not as good as Hyundai’s five years or Kia’s seven.
Seat Ateca safety & security
The Ateca received five stars (out of five) for safety from Euro NCAP, scoring 93% for adult protection, 84% for child protection and 71% for pedestrian protection. That puts it ahead of the Kia Sportage but slightly behind the VW Tiguan.
All Atecas come with driver and passenger front airbags plus side, curtain and even a driver’s knee airbag. You also get a tyre pressure monitoring system and ISOFIX child seat fixings on the outer rear seats. An alarm, engine immobiliser and remote locking all come as standard, too.
Crucially, all models get a front collision warning including automatic emergency city braking with pedestrian detection. That’s more than you get in all but the range topping Kia Sportage.
You can add blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert – a system that warns you if you’re about to reverse out of your drive into the path of another car. Range-topping Xcellence models get a reversing camera as standard, and this can be optioned on lesser trims.
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Entry-level S trim gets you 16in alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a multi-function steering wheel and a 5.0in touchscreen infotainment system. As well as a raft of airbags, you also get automatic emergency braking. We’d advise upgrading to SE, though
Our pick SE
SE adds 17in alloys, cruise control, rear parking sensors, an 8.0in colour touchscreen (with smartphone integration) Bluetooth, climate control and a rear armrest. We’d be tempted to add sat-nav, a height-adjustable boot floor and call it a day.
Adds sat-nav and LED headlights to everything you get on regular SE trim. Shame it’s only available with two engines, the entry-level 1.0 petrol and the 1.6-litre diesel. If you’re buying either of those engines, it’s the trim to go for.
This top-of-the-range trim is available only with the more powerful engines and come with plenty of kit, including sat-nav, heated leather seats, a reversing camera, automatic wipers and dusk-sensing LED headlights. Unless you really love your creature comforts, we’d stick with one of the cheaper trims.