AT THE possibility of covering roads effectively travelled, the SUV market place is bursting at the seams, with every pertinent brand dutifully represented by a higher-stanced sentinel. It is, as a result, a hard segment in which to forge a name, to different your self from the pack.
Volkswagen Team, which owns VW, Skoda, Seat, and Audi between other folks, has entered numerous horses into the race, all with only slightly diverse stripes (I might be mixing my animal metaphors listed here but you get the strategy). The Seat Ateca is a single such beast. Less than its pores and skin you’ll obtain the similar system as types the basis of the VW T-Roc and Skoda Karoq, amid other styles.
Inspite of its now three-strong product lineup, Seat is a relative newcomer to the SUV scene. The Ateca, only four many years outdated, is the veteran of the trio, with the Arona and Tarraco arriving in 2017 and 2018. Unsurprisingly they have been winners for the model, with SUVs now accounting for additional than 50 percent of Seat’s motor vehicle income. Some 300,000 Atecas have been offered considering that the model’s start in 2016, with 40,000 of individuals headed to British isles shores.
Seat is Volkswagen Group’s youth-oriented marque, with the enterprise hoping that people will enter its products lineup as a result of the Spanish brand in advance of generating their way upwards as a result of Skoda and Volkswagen to its premium-badged designs from Audi and Porsche.
For this cause the new Ateca, now with a mid-life facelift, begins with an exceptionally realistic price tag tag. In reality, a few of the Ateca’s six trims (not which includes the Cupra Ateca) are more cost-effective than even the prior design, whilst 1 — the FR Sport (renamed from FR Black to simplify points) — has noticed no selling price adjust at all. Only two of the six — the entry amount SE and the middling FR — have knowledgeable price raises, with the former starting off at £23,670 and the latter priced from £27,680.
That helps make the beginning price just a smidge more highly-priced than the Karoq and a few of grand much more than the ever-preferred Nissan Qashqai, which stays the revenue king of this phase, as the fifth bestselling auto in what has been an admittedly catastrophic calendar year for vehicle makers.
As component of its facelift, the Ateca has obtained some exterior changes, which are most apparent at the rear of the car or truck. As with the new Leon, the phrase “Ateca” has been modified to a faux-handwritten font, which may possibly be polarising but I’ll acknowledge I appreciated the contact of flair, and it sets Seat aside from the rising amount of motor vehicle makers replacing their rear logos with spaced sans serif letters.
A further apparent style change has come in the variety of exhaust pipe covers, an addition designed after session by Seat with target groups. It appears to be the company’s goal audience does not want to see the instruments of the climate’s destruction, in a common situation of “out of sight, out of thoughts.”
Otherwise, the exterior of the Ateca has gained only small tweaks. The recently intended front and rear bumpers make the auto longer but width and height continue being the very same. The grille has been altered from a trapezoid condition to a hexagonal just one, meanwhile, and all trims now occur with LED headlights.
On the within, things haven’t improved a lot either. The greatest update will come in the form of VW’s newest infotainment system, which is a joy to use. There’s a perform that allows you to horizontally break up the 9.2in display into 3, which means you can see a sufficient total of both the media and navigation sections.
Voice manage systems have arrive on promptly in current many years. The Ateca’s is clever enough not only to avoid you from doing the job yourself into a rage seeking to be recognized but really recognises colloquialisms, that means distracting touchscreen conversation is retained to a bare minimum. Most functions are built-in into the infotainment system, whilst the likes of the air con temperature regulate remain individual, just underneath the display screen.
Of the 6 trim stages, we obtained to examination vehicles with the SE Tech and Xperience, which are the second-most inexpensive and next-most pricey alternatives respectively. The SE Tech is good and realistic – a few low-priced plastics are to be uncovered but a leather-based steering wheel and wireless cell phone charging pad indicate it’s not solely devoid of luxuries.
The Xperience, meanwhile, predictably has a a lot more generous scattering of consolation and tech, such as activity seats, a heated windscreen, predictive adaptive cruise command and autonomous crisis braking.
The Ateca is accessible with nine powertrains: 4 diesel and 5 petrol, the latter creating up 85% of sales, apparently. We drove two of the petrol designs: the entry-degree 1.-litre 3 cylinder TSI with 113bhp and a 6-speed handbook gearbox, and a 1.5-litre four cylinder TSI with 148bhp and a DSG automatic’box.
Out of the two, the 1.5-litre DSG is the one we’d endorse. While the computerized equipment shifts aren’t exactly seamless, with the gearbox from time to time shifting cogs significantly at a hint of around-zealousness, it is for the most element very intuitive. Also, the excess 50 % litre and 35bhp make a recognizable variance, in particular at decrease speeds. The decreased finish of next equipment felt particularly lacklustre in the 113bhp variation.
The trip is a bit agency, this means that a couple bumps in the highway can be felt, despite the fact that consolation is normally good. This, plus the actuality that the steering and equipment improvements are both of those featherlight, implies that the Ateca is an absolute breeze to generate. In phrases of area, there is a great deal. At 5ft 10in I healthy in the back with no any distress, and there’s 510 litres of boot house, which is 90 litres a lot more than a Qashqai.
It is, on the other hand, 110 litres fewer than the new Leon Estate, which Driving.co.uk also experienced on examination past 7 days. Even though it does not have the high stance that some shoppers might be on the lookout for, it is as useful (if not far more) than the Ateca, looks better — in my feeling — and drives fantastically. It also has commencing selling price of £22,455, more than £1,000 fewer than the Ateca. Foodstuff for imagined.
You would forecast, even though, that the hundreds of countless numbers buyers who beforehand discovered the Ateca a satisfying and functional proposition will carry on to do so. Improvements that have been made are safe ones, mainly as a outcome of consumer opinions, and it’s wonderful to see Seat eschewing the expectation to make cars even bigger and extra high priced with just about every update. That acceptable value tag, as nicely as the benefit for dollars you get from the Ateca, usually means that Seat’s purpose of bringing audiences into the VW loved ones could be set to perform greater than ever.
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