With 113bhp, the entry-level 1.0 turbocharged petrol is fine if you spend most of your time in and around town, but we'd advise choosing a more muscular engine if you plan on doing regular motorway work or lugging around heavy loads.
The 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol is our favourite, because while it won't match the fuel economy of the diesels, it's still respectably efficient. With solid mid-range shove and a willingness to rev, it’s also surprisingly nippy when you want it to be.
The 113bhp 1.6 TDI diesel is worth a look if you're a company car driver or do above-average mileage; it's no ball of fire but pulls suitably strongly from low revs. Meanwhile, the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel is available exclusively with four-wheel drive, so we'd only recommend it if you really need the extra traction; it’s more expensive and you pay a fuel economy and CO2 emissions penalty for the all-weather ability. That said, it's much punchier than the cheaper 1.6 diesel at all revs, with acceleration more on a par with the 1.4-litre petrol.
Want even more power? The 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel is the fastest-accelerating engine in the Ateca range, but it's very expensive. There's also a 187bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol but, given how punchy the 1.4 is, we really wouldn't bother.