SEAT Ateca review.
For – Stylish, high quality, high-tech, with class-winning residual values and low running costs
Against – Can’t think of anything, unless you’re a brand victim
Manchester – SEAT has finally entered the SUV market which is one of the fastest growing .
It is a little confusing; German Audi Q3s are made in the SEAT factory at Martorell Spain, yet the not dissimilar new SEAT Ateca is made in Ŝkoda’s Kvasiny plant in the Czech Republic. For that matter, the SEAT Mii is built in Slovakia and the Alhambra MPV is made in Portugal. That’s globalisation and it seems to work. I remember, 20 years ago, seeing Volkswagen Polo Estates on the same line as SEAT Cordoba Estates at SEAT’s Martorell plant.
In line with SEAT policy the name Ateca comes from a place in Spain, a village west of Zaragoza.
I think it is true to say that SEAT does not actually compete with Volkswagen and while the Tiguan is directly comparable with the Ateca, it is unlikely that the two cars would be on the same shopping list. SEAT marketeers see the Ateca’s rivals as Renault Kadjar, Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson.
It is likely the Ateca’s customers will be younger and less conservative than Tiguan buyers although SEAT press information does state potential customers as ‘Wealthy Homesteads’ (50+), whoever they are and Modern Parents.
The Ateca, built on the Volkswagen Group MQB ‘A’ platform obviously shares its underpinnings with the new Tiguan although the two cars are set up very differently with the SEAT by far the ‘sharper’ of the two in both dynamics and looks.
At launch, the Ateca offers a choice of two petrol engines: 1.0-litre, 115PS and 1.4-litre, 150 PS and three diesels: 1.6-litre, 115PS; 2.0-litre, 150 and 190 PS.
Most Atecas are front wheel drive with four-wheel drive available on the Xcellence 2.0 TDI, 150 PS with manual gearbox tested here and the Xcellence 2.0 TDI, 190 PS with DSG automatic transmission.
There are four levels of trim: S, SE, SE Technology and Xcellence and even the S models are extremely well equipped in line with SEAT’s policy. There are 16” alloy wheels; all – round electric windows and mirrors; air conditioning; LED running lights; touchscreen sound system with MP3 / WMA / USB / SD and four speakers; leather – trimmed, multi-function steering wheel; hill hold; city emergency braking; tyre pressure monitoring and seven airbags.
The SE also features 17” alloy wheels; LED taillights; cornering front fog lights; Bluetooth; eight speakers; rear armrest; cruise control; dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors.
The SE Technology adds 18” alloy wheels; satellite navigation and DAB radio. The Xcellence also offers sports front seats; leather upholstery; automatic lights, wipers and rear view mirror and keyless entry.
There are two versions that particularly stand out, one at the bottom of the range and one at the top. The 1.0-litre, 115 PS engine is fantastic, so much nicer than the 1.6-litre diesel with the same power. With a black cloud over diesel, the little petrol is a much better car and £2,290 cheaper which will not be compensated by the better diesel fuel consumption. The other star is the four-wheel drive 2.0 TDI, 190PS DSG which can easily take on premium cars like the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque.
Back in the mid-1990s everyone was surprised when the SEAT Alhambra maintained its value better than the Volkswagen Sharan. Well, according to leading trade guide, CAP Monitor, SEAT has done it again. The guide shows the Ateca 1.6 TDI S will hold on to 45% of its value after 3 years, 60,000 miles against 40% for the new Tiguan equivalent. This means running costs for the Ateca of 26.29 pence per mile against 32.5 for the Tiguan.
The Ateca is the beginning of SEAT’s latest push for volume and profitability and thanks to Volkswagen Group committing €3.3 billion to SEAT R and D over the next three years, there will be another three new models by the end of next year including a smaller SUV.
It is a good job SEATs tend not to be on the shopping lists of Volkswagen buyers as the Ateca does everything the Tiguan does for much lower running coats and arguably looks better and offers a more rewarding driving experience.
(SEAT supplied rail fare, hotel)
|SEAT Ateca 2.0TDI 4×4 Xcellence|
|Engine:||2.0 litre, 4-cylinder diesel|
|Power:||150 hp @ 3,500-4,000 rpm|
|Torque:||189 Nm @ 1,750-3,000 rpm|
|Acceleration:||0-60 mph-100 km/h 9.0 seconds|
|Top Speed:||122 mph-196 km/h|
|Fuel Consumption:||claimed combined 55.4|
|CO2:||claimed 129 g/km|
|Emissions class:||Euro 6|
|Warranty:||3 year-60,000 miles (first two years unlimited mileage)|
|Boot capacity:||485 litres|
|Competition:||Renault Kadjar, Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson.|
|For:||Stylish, high quality, high-tech, with class-winning residual values and low running costs|
|Against||Can’t think of anything unless you’re a ‘brand victim’|