The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
In addition to being great to drive, the Ateca is near the top of its class for driver comfort. There's a wide range of adjustment in both the steering wheel and seat, plus all models come with adjustable lumbar support as standard. The pedals, seat and steering wheel are nicely aligned, helping to keep you comfortable on longer trips.
In keeping with the sporty theme, the seats have more side support than those in many rivals – particularly FR and Xcellence Lux vesions. This means you don’t find yourself hanging onto the steering wheel to stop yourself sliding around the car through bends.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Thanks to its relatively high-set driver's seat, the Ateca gives you a great view down the road. And its windscreen pillars aren’t too thick, meaning pulling out of junctions is never an act of faith. However, we do wish over-the-shoulder visibility was a little better; the Skoda Karoq’s larger rear-quarter windows make it less compromised in this respect.
Fortunately, all models come with front and rear sensors to help with parking, while Xcellence models also have a rear-view camera. The range-topping Xcellence Lux even has a bird’s eye-view camera, which makes it easier to see how close you are to obstacles. It's a shame this isn't available as an option on the cheaper trims.
Full LED headlights are standard on SE Technology trim and up. These are much more powerful than the halogen units you get on the entry-level SE.
Sat nav and infotainment
Go for entry-level SE trim and you'll get a full-colour 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. You'll have to make do without a built-in sat nav or a DAB radio, but you will get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, so you can run navigation or radio apps on your phone.
Move up to SE Technology trim and an in-built sat nav and a DAB radio come as standard. However, all trim levels have the same eight-speaker sound system, which is decent enough but it is a shame there's no option to upgrade.
As touchscreens go, the Ateca's is easy to get to grips with, thanks to its logical menus and reasonably snappy response times. It's just a pity that the definition of the display isn't as good as in some of Seat's cheaper models, including the Leon – or in the Ateca’s sibling, the Skoda Karoq, for that matter. Wireless phone charging is only available range-topping Xcellence models.
The interior of the Ateca is a match for those of many similarly priced rivals, including the Qashqai and Kia Sportage. Sure, there is some scratchy plastic on lower surfaces – as there is on all SUVs at this price point – but there’s also plenty of squidgy plastic on the dashboard and door tops.
Most of the buttons and switches are borrowed from the previous-generation Seat Leon, but they feel suitably solid. The Karoq, despite being a very similar car underneath, looks and feels marginally plusher overall, but if you want a really classy interior in your family SUV, you'll need to fork out for a BMW X1 or Volvo XC40.
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