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

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

Published: 17 February 2016 Updated: 18 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

Head of the Bauer Digital Automotive Hub and former Associate Editor of CAR. Road tester, organiser, reporter and professional enthusiast, putting the driver first