Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
You could argue that a Ssangyong Korando or an MG GS offers similar space for less money, but the Ateca is a much, much better car than either of those. Besides, it’s a comparative bargain next to the BMW X1 and Volkswagen Tiguan, and it competes favourably against the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage. Like-for-like models of the Skoda Karoq are a bit cheaper, though.
If you’re looking at leasing or buying on PCP finance, the Ateca is a bit more expensive than the rival Karoq, but not unbearably so. The Ateca should hold more of its value after three years than most of its rivals, too, and is one of the cheapest cars in the class to service and insure.
No Ateca dips below the magic 100g/km CO2 emissions mark; the lowest you can get is 118g/km with the 1.6 TDI. It’s worth bearing in mind that the quicker, smoother 1.4 EcoTSI 150 petrol offers cheaper company car tax than the 1.6 TDI, although it won’t match the diesel's average fuel economy.
Equipment, options and extras
Even entry-level S models get 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning and a multi-function steering wheel. We’d advise spending a little extra to upgrade to at least SE trim, though. This adds 17in wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors, an 8.0in colour touchscreen, climate control and a rear armrest. SE Technology makes even more sense, adding LED headlights and sat-nav to all the stuff you get with regular SE trim.
However, we reckon FR trim makes the most sense of all, coming with 18in alloy wheels, a gloss-black grille, twin exhausts, body-coloured wheel arch surrounds and sports seats. You also get LED headlights and a rear-view camera. The more desirable styling means FR models should hold onto their value better than lesser versions.
Range-topping Xcellence trim gains heated seats, keyless entry and a wireless phone charger, but it's very pricey. We’d stick to one of the cheaper trims.
There are plenty of tempting options. We’d definitely add a height-adjustable boot floor and, if you're going for SE trim, sat-nav. A pack that brings the convenience of keyless entry and go, along with a powered tailgate and wireless phone-charging, is worth considering, but avoid going crazy with items such as the panoramic roof, which limits head room, and 19in alloys that spoil the ride.
Read more on how best to spec an Ateca, including which options we recommend and which to avoid.
The Ateca didn't fare particularly well in our latest reliability survey. Granted, the sample size wasn't massive, but owners reported a relatively high number of faults. The Tiguan was found to be considerably more dependable, although the Qashqai suffered even more glitches than the Ateca.
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 one.
Safety and 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 means the Ateca matches the Karoq for adult safety, beats it for child protection and is slightly behind for pedestrian safety.
All Atecas come with twin front airbags, plus side, curtain and even driver’s knee airbags. 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.
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 Sportage.
You can add blindspot monitoring, lane assist 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 – but these are part of pricey option packs.
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