Seat Ateca Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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What is it like to drive?

The entry-level motor is a 108bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol. It’s a refined, willing and generally good engine in hatchbacks like the Leon, and pretty handy in the bigger, heavier Ateca too. Not at all fast, with a 0-62mph time of 11.3 seconds, but if you don’t load your car up to the gunwales with passengers and kit, odds are it’ll do you just fine. Seat claims 46.3mpg, but we saw 35mpg.

The 148bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol can shut down two of its four cylinders under low load for better fuel consumption, something it does impressively often and entirely unobtrusively. The added grunt does come in handy (nine seconds to 62mph, plus more torque from lower down the rev range), while against Seat’s claimed 42.3mpg (negligible compared to the 1.0-litre), we managed 38mpg. Much closer, then.

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Manual or auto?

We tried the 1.0-litre with the six-speed manual and the 1.5 with the optional (to the tune of £1,600 or so) seven-speed twin-clutch automatic. The former is easy-going, precise and smooth. The latter is smooth enough, but its tendency to shift into high gear whenever it can, and reluctance to kickdown, means it takes a second too long to react if you spy an overtake and put your foot down. 

Combined with the fact that it can also be a bit hesitant when you’re trying to make a quick getaway at a junction, or when you get on the power again after coasting into a roundabout, and we’d save our money and stick with the manual.

Can it handle the school run?

We found both engines smooth and refined in everyday running. Around town you barely notice they’re switched on, it’s only under hard acceleration down slip roads or onto busy roundabouts that they make their presence felt.

Handling is around the top of the class. The Ateca definitely resides at the sportier end of the crossover spectrum – it corners securely and doesn’t roll too much when you throw it through roundabouts and the like. Body control is good and the steering is precise if a bit lifeless. It’s almost hatch-like, just with a bit more mass. The trade-off is the ride, which is on the firmer side, but it’s not at all uncomfortable.

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Other options include a 2.0-litre diesel or 2.0-litre petrol. These 2.0-litre cars are the only Atecas that get all-wheel drive, along with the Cupra of course.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Seat Ateca 2.0 TSI FR 5dr DSG 4Drive
  • 0-627.1s
  • CO2115.0g/km
  • BHP190
  • MPG
  • Price£34,880

the cheapest

Seat Ateca 1.0 TSI 115 Ecomotive SE 5dr
  • 0-6210.7s
  • CO2117.0g/km
  • BHP115
  • MPG
  • Price£23,400

the greenest

Seat Ateca 2.0 TDI 150 Xperience Edition 5DR
  • 0-629.3s
  • CO2115.0g/km
  • BHP150
  • MPG
  • Price£32,255

Variants We Have Tested

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