SEAT Ateca review - strong start from sporty Spanish SUV - SEAT Ateca performance and 0-60mph time

SEAT's first SUV is among the better cars of its type, but you'll have to wait for the Cupra for any real excitement

Evo rating
Price
from £17,990
  • Good value, well-equipped, neat handling
  • Little to enthral or excite until the Cupra arrives

The quickest Ateca is unsurprisingly the one that’ll cost you to the most to buy; with 187bhp, all-wheel drive and a dual-clutch transmission, it’s the top 2.0 TDI that delivers the quickest acceleration figures, sprinting to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. It’ll eventually reach 132mph too, 10mph more (and 1.5 seconds quicker) than the 148bhp 2.0 TDI that sits below it in the Ateca lineup. On the road, both diesels feel fairly brisk, if not particularly entertaining to drive, but they do offer plenty of torque from low revs so it’s not difficult to get along the road at a decent pace.

SEAT’s (or to be specific, the VW Group’s) 1.4-litre EcoTSI four-cylinder petrol is the kind of engine you’d opt for instead were it not for greater fuel costs. It’s a more lively powerplant than the diesels, and smoother and quieter too, with enough urge to propel the Ateca from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds (8.6 if you opt for DSG) and on to 125mph (or 123mph, with the auto). We’re yet to confirm if the weight benefit (at 1349kg in manual form, it’s over 200kg lighter than the 2.0 TDI overall) makes it the better handler too, but it could prove to be the choice for family buyers unwilling to sacrifice a bit of back-road fun.

The 1.0 TSI and 1.6 TDI languish at the bottom of the Ateca performance pile, but of the pair the three-pot petrol is the quicker and also the more interesting. We’ve tried the engine in other VW Group products and it’s a game little unit, happy to rev to the red line and smooth as it does so. 0-62mph here comes up in 11 seconds, with up to 114mph achievable, though it’s an engine for which we’d recommend caution as it may have its work cut out to carry a full complement of passengers and luggage.

Slower on paper, at 11.5sec to 62mph, the 1.6 TDI may be better for such a task, but it’s less refined than the petrol and still not as punchy as the larger 2.0 TDIs. It boasts the same 114mph top speed as the 1.0 TSI.

Most Popular

Used car deals of the week
Used car deals main
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
2 Dec 2021
Car pictures of the week
Tolman Peugeot 205 GTI
Peugeot 205 GTi hatchback

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures from issue 292, we look at the highlights from Adam Towler’s drive in the Tolman Peugeot 205 GTI
3 Dec 2021
Aston Martin V12 Vantage officially coming in 2022
V12 Vantage teaser
Aston Martin Vantage

Aston Martin V12 Vantage officially coming in 2022

Aston Martin’s dreamy small body/big engine combo is back, a new V12 Vantage is coming next year
1 Dec 2021