SEAT Ateca Review

Stylish and steady: the Seat Ateca is a top-performing family crossover

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Better value than many rivals
  • Plenty of technology options
  • High level of safety equipment
  • Hard ride
  • Basic models lack kit
  • High lip on boot
SEAT Ateca prices from £9,999.
Finance from £163.30 / month.

Seat Ateca prices from £9,999  Finance from £163.30 per month

The Ateca is Seat’s first crossover car: it takes the mechanical parts from the Leon family hatchback and uses them in a taller design to build an off-road style car. In theory, this should result in a vehicle with a high driving position and lots of interior space, with the comfort and low running costs of a hatchback.

And in many respects, the Ateca hits the nail on the head. There’s enough space inside for five adults to travel in comfort, with a boot that’s larger than many rivals, including the Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai.

And unlike those cars, the Seat’s angular styling makes the car look sporty, so you don’t feel like you’re driving a bloated big family car. It feels a bit sportier to drive than most other crossovers too. In corners the Ateca is extremely steady: it doesn’t lean very much, even at fast speeds and isn’t unsettled by potholes or bumps.

It makes the Ateca more comfortable than most other crossovers when driving through a series of bends, but there is a small price to pay on straighter tarmac. Here, you feel the car bumping over road imperfections a little more than in smoother crossovers such as the Skoda Karoq or Peugeot 3008. It’s not uncomfortable - just a bit less relaxing.

Inside, there are plenty of options to make your life easier, including an all-round camera, self-parking system and an electric bootlid that you can open hands-free by poking your foot underneath the back bumper.

Loading big objects is less of a breeze, though. The rear seats do fold down, but protrude above the boot floor, which means that you can’t slide objects through: they need to be lifted over a lip.

The engine range is frugal and inexpensive to run. Every one of the four different engines has an official fuel consumption figure in excess of 50 mpg.

The Ateca was independently crash tested and assessed for safety by Euro NCAP in 2016, when it was awarded a full five stars out of five. It's fitted with two sets of Isofix mounts in the rear seats for securely attaching child seats.


Key facts

Warranty Three years / 60,000 miles
Boot size 510 litres
Width 1841mm
Length 4363mm
Height 1601mm
Tax £165-515 in the first year, £140 thereafter

Best SEAT Ateca for...

Best for Economy – Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI 115PS

This diesel engine delivers fuel economy of 65.7mpg and low CO2 emissions of just 112g/km. A useful jack-of-all-engines option, there’s also decent performance to offer a useful compromise.

Best for Families – Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150PS

Good for short journeys around town – you know, the mum/dad taxi service – this flexible and economical petrol engine is a good all-rounder that makes it ideal for families.

Best for Performance – Seat Ateca 2.0 TDI 190PS 4Drive

Extra power, combined with four-wheel drive to ensure plenty of control, makes this the top of the engine range.


  • September 2016: The first Seat Atecas are delivered in Britain
  • August 2017: Addition of FR trim version to range

Understanding SEAT Ateca names

Trim level SE

There are three trim levels. S is the basic one and more equipment comes as standard as you move up the grades to SE and then Excellence.

Engine 1.6 TDI Ecomotive 190 PS

The engine size is shown in litres (eg 1.6). Diesel engines are badged TDI, while petrol engines carry the TSI label. The power ratings are shown in horsepower, which is also written as PS and Seat gives its most efficient engines an Ecomotive badge.

Gearbox 6-speed manual

The 6-speed indicates the number of gears in the manual gearbox. Automatic gearboxes are called DSG.

Driven wheels 4 Drive

Atecas are available in two-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive, which offers more control on slippery surfaces. These cars are badged 4 Drive.

SEAT Ateca Engines

1.0 TFSI, 1.4 TSI, 2.0 TSI, 1.6 TDI, 2.0 TDI

The engine at the bottom of the range is a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0 TFSI generating 115PS. It doesn’t exactly struggle for power, but neither does it offer any real urge: it cruises perfectly well, though, so if you’re not usually in any hurry to get somewhere, it should fit the bill.

The 1.4 TSI is a flexible, usable petrol engine with cylinder deactivation technology that shuts down two of the four cylinders when the engine doesn’t need them. This changeover is smooth, so the driver won’t even notice it’s in operation – not even when extra acceleration is required and all four cylinders kick in.

An option with somewhat limited appeal will be the 2.0 TSI petrol unit that produces 190PS (which is only available with a DSG dual-clutch gearbox and four-wheel drive). However, as it's not faster to 62mph from a standing start than the 2.0 TDI diesel, there aren’t even real performance reasons for opting for this variant (let alone the official 40.4mpg and 159g/km of CO2).

The less powerful 1.6 TDI diesel is the economy sweet spot in the range, with fuel consumption in the mid-60s mpg – which will particularly suit drivers piling on the miles on an annual basis.

The larger 2.0 TDI is available in 150 PS and 190 PS guises. The 150 PS version comes with a number of alternatives: it can be combined with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic gearbox, and with either front-wheel or four-wheel drive. The 190 PS – which feels powerful and refined, especially at motorway speeds – is only available with an automatic and four-wheel drive.



Fuel economy


Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

1.0 TSI 115 PS Ecomotive






1.4 TSI 150 PS EcoTSI






1.6 TDI 115 PS Ecomotive






2.0 TDI 150 PS






2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG






2.0 TDI 150 PS 4Drive






2.0 TDI 190 PS 4Drive DSG






2.0 TSI 4Drive DSG Petrol 40.4mpg 190hp 7.9s 132mph

SEAT Ateca Trims

S, SE, Xcellence, FR

The entry-level S trim level has a good level of standard equipment, including 16-inch alloy wheels, electric door mirrors, LED daytime running lights, tinted windows, Media System Touch dashboard screen system with a 5.0-inch monochrome touchscreen, air conditioning and an autonomous emergency braking system as standard.

If you spend an extra £1,725, the SE trim adds an upgraded media system with an 8.0-inch colour screen (plus voice control and Bluetooth to the navigation), 17-inch alloys, LED tail-lights, roof rails, and Full Link connectivity – which enables smartphone syncing and integration with Mirrorlink, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

At the top of the range, the Xcellence trim (an extra £2,890 on top of the price of a SE model) adds LED headlights and rear lights, 18-inch wheels, leather front sports seats, plus numerous trim features.

FR adds a number of sporty exterior features, including a high-gloss black grille, special 18-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured wheel arch surrounds, front and rear bumpers that are unique to FR models, dark-tinted rear windows, side skirts, a rear spoiler, and aluminium roof rails and door mouldings. Other additions include a Drive Profile system, that changes the driving modes, LED headlights and rear lights, multi-colour ambient cabin lights, dual-zone climate control, rear-view camera, front sports seats with Alcantara upholstery, eight-inch colour touchscreen, a dashboard screen system that features a navigation system and smartphone integration, with Mirror Link, Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto.

There’s a full list of options and packages, such as a full-length glass roof (£1,085), self-parking park assist (£325) and an Advanced driving assistance pack (£790).

SEAT Ateca Reliability and warranty

The Seat Ateca has a decent showing in the 2018 Driver Power list of best cars to own, while in the most recent table of the most reliable manufacturers, Seat came in a very creditable 6th (out of 27).

In terms of warranty, the Ateca shares Seat’s standard three-year vehicle warranty. That includes a two-year unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty and a third-year warranty up to 60,000 miles. This would a perfectly decent offering, if it weren’t for longer warranties (five or seven years) currently being offered by Hyundai and Kia.

Used SEAT Ateca

The Ateca has been smashing previous sales records for Seat, so there should be a stream of models gradually coming on to the market over the next couple of years.

Residual values suggest that the Ateca will achieve an impressive 52.6% of its value on average across the range after three years/30,000 miles.

But, there are still used examples popping up. At time of writing, a nearly new 1.6 TDI SE Technology (with 5,480 miles on the clock) is available on BuyaCar for £21,000, which is a useful £3,660 off the price of a new car.