Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
You could argue that an MG HS offers more space for less money, but the Ateca is a better car in many respects. Besides, it’s a comparative bargain next to premium-badged alternatives, such as the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40, and it competes favourably against the Kia Sportage. Like-for-like versions of the Skoda Karoq are a bit cheaper, though.
If you’re looking at leasing or buying on PCP finance, the Ateca is usually a bit more expensive than the rival Karoq, but not by much. The Ateca should hold onto its value relatively well, too, and is one of the cheapest cars in the class to service.
CO2 emissions are comparatively high, which is something worth bearing in mind if you're a company car driver paying benefit-in-kind (BIK)) tax. Perhaps surprisingly, it's the 1.0 TSI and 1.5 TSI petrol versions that offer the lowest monthly BIK bills.
Equipment, options and extras
Entry-level SE trim is great value for money, coming with all the essentials you really need, including cruise control, dual-zone climate control and the 8.0in touchscreen system we mentioned earlier. SE Technology adds a few more features including 18in alloys, but if regular SE trim isn't enough we'd advise jumping straight to FR trim.
You get a sportier look with a gloss-black grille, twin exhausts, body-coloured wheel arches and sports seats. But more importantly you also get a Convenience pack, which brings an auto-dimming rear view mirror, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers. The more desirable styling is why FR models are expected to hold onto their value better than the cheaper trims.
Xcellence trim adds creature comforts such as heated seats, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry, while the range-topping Xcellence Plus comes with 19in alloys, full leather upholstery and a few extra safety aids we'll detail in the safety section further down the page.
Read more on the best way to spec an Ateca, including which options we recommend and which to avoid.
The Ateca performed averagely well in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing middle of the pile in the family SUV category. It suffer fewer faults than the Qashqai or Karoq, but the Tiguan was found to be more dependable than all of those cars.
Meanwhile, Seat as a brand finished in 15th place (out of 31 manufacturers) in the overall league table – ahead of Volkswagen but behind Kia, Skoda and Ford.
A three-year warranty, limited to 60,000 miles, comes as standard with every Seat. That’s typical of most car makers but not as good as Hyundai’s five years' cover or Kia’s seven-year deal.
Safety and security
All versions come with automatic emergency braking (AEB) and plenty of other electronic safety wizardry. However, lane-keeping assistance and blindspot monitoring are available only on range-topping Xcellence Lux trim, which is seriously pricey.
The Ateca was awarded five stars by Euro NCAP for safety, with good scores in the individual categories. It's important to note that this was back in 2016 and standards have since improved. However, we can tell you the adult occupant crash protection was found to be almost identical to that of the Karoq, while child protection was shown to be slightly better.
As for security, an alarm and engine immobiliser come as standard on all versions.
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