Corners like it's on trails: Seat Ateca SUV revealed, CAR+ March 2016

Published: 17 February 2016

► We take a look at the new Seat Ateca
► Based on the VW MQB platform
► Seat promises a light, capable SUV 

Given how long Seat has been itching to build a crossover SUV, it seems odd this Ateca is less Spanish flair and more Spanish square. But such are the rules of VW Group’s portfolio management: it allows Seat to finally have that critical off-roader, but also means it has to do duty as a Tiguan and – crucially – a Skoda. While Seat design chief Alejandro Mesonero says the look was ‘100% developed in Martorell’, he also acknowledges the Ateca shares ‘some synergies’ with its forthcoming Czech cousin.

Predictably, the Ateca is a) named for a Spanish village, and b) based on the MQB platform – as per the Leon and the Golf. In fact, the Ateca’s 2.64m wheelbase matches the five-door Leon’s, as does the 1.81m width; however, the 4.36m overall length is 10cm greater, and the 1.6m roofline stands 14cm taller. For context, that’s around 4cm shorter but slightly wider and higher than a Qashqai. Seat is promising the SUV is both light and very rigid.

Rear cross traffic alert, autonomous braking and adaptive cruise control are all available – alongside 360-degree Top View camera technology and an off-road setting for the drive mode selector on gnarlier versions. The Ateca is ‘not hardcore’ in this respect ‘but it can do a bit’; both front- and four-wheel drive will be offered, the latter based on the latest fifth-gen Haldex system.

Power output ranges from 113bhp to 188bhp, including Seat’s first application of the 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol three-pot, as well as the usual 1.6 and 2.0 diesels, CO2 spans 112-141g/km and fuel economy 47-66mpg. On sale in the summer, the Ateca is expected to cost from around £22,000.

Read more from the March 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count