Category winner...

The Seat Ateca was a real slam-dunk of a car when it came out, going straight to the top of the class. Here was a high-riding small SUV that worked brilliantly as a family car because of its big boot, wide-opening doors and smart, wellequipped interior. At the same time, it handled better than it had any right to.

For a while, used prices remained strong, because demand outstripped supply. However, as more Atecas have filtered onto used forecourts, prices have softened, with the result that an early example now looks like a very tempting buy.

In addition to all of these attractive attributes, you get a good choice of petrol and diesel engines. And whichever one you choose, you can be sure you’ll get punchy performance and impressive fuel efficiency.

Granted, the Ateca isn’t the cheapest car in this class, but it’s better value than the pricier Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s also smarter, more spacious and nicer to drive than the other nominee here, the Renault Captur – all of which help to seal its victory.

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