Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
You could argue the Seat Ateca that offers less space and costs more than an MG HS, but the Ateca’s 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.
Official CO2 emissions are comparatively high. The lowest figure belongs to the entry-level 1.0 TSI, petrol engine, which emits 139g/km, putting it in a reasonable benefit-in-kind (BIK) bracket. This is something worth bearing in mind if you're a company car driver.
We have yet to put the latest Ateca through our True MPG tests, but on a mixed test route the 1.5-litre petrol returned a reasonable 37mpg.
Use our True MPG calculator and see what your car really does to the gallon.
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 8.25in touchscreen system we mentioned earlier. SE Technology adds a few more features including 18in alloys, the larger 9.2in infotainment system and Seat Connect, which allows drivers to access their driving data remotely via an app.
FR trim is well worth looking at, especially if you value a sportier look both inside and out. This gives you dark tinted rear windows, a subtle spoiler, sports seats and aluminium pedals. More importantly, though, you also get a Convenience pack that includes automatic lights and wipers, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror. The more desirable styling is why FR models are expected to hold onto their value better than the cheaper trims.
Splashing out on an FR Sport model brings a digital instrument cluster and heated seats among other creature comforts, while Xperience and Xperience Lux cars grant niceties including a rear-view camera, keyless entry and an electric tailgate. It’s worth knowing there’s not much room for chopping and changing features among the trim levels – beyond metallic paint there are hardly any optional extras to choose from, so you best choose your trim level carefully.
Middle of the road is the best way to describe the Seat Ateca’s performance in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey. In the Family SUV category, it tied in 13th place with diesel-engined versions of the Volkswagen Tiguan, with a score of 94.3%. Although it beat rivals including the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X, it in turn was beaten by the Karoq, Hyundai Tucson and XC40.
As a brand, Seat finished in 19th place out of 31 manufacturers – a fall of four places compared with our 2019 Reliability Survey. Seat finished just ahead of sister brand Volkswagen, but was trumped by Skoda as well as Hyundai, Mazda 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 blind spot monitoring are available only on Xperience versions and above, which are pretty pricey. Range-topping Xperience Lux cars get side assist, which can stop you steering into a lane occupied by another car, and exit assist, which keeps an eye out behind your car while you’re reversing out of a parking space.
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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