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Car Review

Seat Ateca review

£23,400 - £31,405
Published: 12 Dec 2023


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 0-62mph taking 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 with the 1.0-litre), we managed 38mpg. Much closer, then.

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Manual or auto?

We've tried the 1.0-litre with the six-speed manual and the 1.5 with the optional seven-speed twin-clutch automatic. The former is easygoing, precise and smooth. The latter is smooth enough, but its tendency to shift into high gear whenever it can - and reluctance to kick down - 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 be tempted to save £1,600 or so 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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If you're looking for something more than a car-like experience and want the assurance of a steadier drive, the 4x4 powertrains have all been saved for the fancier Cupra version of the Ateca

Highlights from the range

the fastest

1.5 TSI EVO Xperience Lux 5dr
  • 0-628.5s
  • CO2121.0g/km
  • BHP147.5
  • MPG
  • Price£30,025

the cheapest

1.0 TSI SE 5dr
  • 0-6211.4s
  • CO2
  • BHP108.6
  • MPG
  • Price£23,400

the greenest

1.5 TSI EVO Xperience Lux 5dr DSG
  • 0-628.6s
  • CO2121.0g/km
  • BHP147.5
  • MPG
  • Price£31,405

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