► Seat Ateca prices and specs confirmed
► It's the first proper crossover from Spain
► Based on MQB oily bits, aka Tiguan
It's been a long time coming, but Volkswagen's Spanish outpost has finally jumped aboard the fast-moving crossover bandwagon: meet the new Seat Ateca, named after a Spanish town and due in UK showrooms in September 2016, priced from £17,990 for a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol to £29,990 for a top-spec four-wheel drive 2.0 TDI.
That's half a year after its formal debut at the Geneva motor show in March, but they're in no mood to rush this launch. It's a major plank in Barcelona's expansion plans, as it seeks to cast off the shadow cast by super-successful sister brand Skoda: the Ateca is Seat's first fully fledged SUV (barring curios such as the Altea 4Track we last drove in 2007).
It's aimed squarely at the likes of the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and the market-leading Nissan Qashqai. Despite being shorter than Nissan's pioneering family crossover, the Seat has a considerably bigger boot at 510 litres, the company claims. It's also undercutting the Qashqai by around £500 at launch.
Here's the full rundown of UK prices, all-important CO2 ratings and benefit-in-kind tax rates (BIK):
- 1.0 TSI 115 Ecomotive S 123g/km 21% BIK £17,990
- 1.6 TDI 115 Ecomotive S 112g/km 22% BIK £20,175
- 1.0 TSI 115 Ecomotive SE 123g/km 21% BIK £19,590
- 1.4 TSI 150 EcoTSI SE 125g/km 22% BIK £21,015
- 1.6 TDI 115 Ecomotive SE 112g/km 22% BIK £21,900
- 2.0 TDI 150 SE 114g/km 22% BIK £22,930
- 2.0 TDI 150 DSG-auto SE 116g/km 23% BIK £24,275
- 1.4 TSI 150 EcoTSI Xcellence 125g/km 22% BIK £23,905
- 2.0 TDI 150 Xcellence 114g/km 22% BIK £25,815
- 2.0 TDI DSG-auto Xcellence 150 116g/km 23% BIK £27,165
- 2.0 TDI 150 4Drive Xcellence 128g/km 25% BIK £27,425
- 2.0 TDI 190 DSG-auto 4Drive Xcellence 131g/km 26% BIK £29,990
Click here for CAR magazine's guide to the 2016 Geneva motor show
Ateca: the key to unlock future Seat growth
No surprises for guessing why this car is so important. Chairman Luca de Meo predicts the crossover segment will grow by a further 25% in western Europe: this additional model stretches the brand into more family-friendly niches - perfect for those trading up from a Leon hatchback.
And the car will be followed by a smaller SUV, based on the forthcoming VW Polo-based Juke rival being cooked up in secret test labs of Wolfsburg, as well as a larger off-roader. Click here to find out why Seat is developing not one, but three crossovers.
Based on a platform related to that underpinning the new VW Tiguan, the Ateca harnesses the power of the Volkswagen mothership's MQB architecture, here dubbed MQB-A1. That means that most models will be front-wheel drive, but the 4Drive badge on the car pictured in our photo gallery signifies that a Haldex part-time 4wd system is available on higher-spec diesels.
It's clearly not going to challenge a Land Rover Discovery Sport for off-roading class honours, but the torque-shuffling, all-wheel-drive ability means it can scramble out of a gymkhana mudbath and up a snowy drive with minimum drama, vows Seat R&D chief Matthias Rabe.
He also told CAR that the Ateca could easily adopt a hybrid powertrain in future, although there are no current plans to launch this technology.
Gadgets, features and spec
That MQB foundation brings a host of clever-clogs equipment: cameras to check behind you and to the side when ignoring the Highway Code and reversing out onto a main road; a bird's-eye view panoramic camera; foot-waggle-to-open electric tailgates for mums in a rush; and wireless charging of suitably specced mobile phones.
CAR magazine attended the world debut in Barcelona; read on to find out what the car's like inside - and to hear extra info from top brass at Seat.
There's no denying the familiarity of the Golf/Octavia/A3/Leon-alike interior (or exterior, for that matter). But that's the price you pay for leveraging group scales of economy. Both Seat and Skoda are piggybacking the Tiguan for quick-fix SUVs to plug gaping holes in their product portfolios.
And, make no mistake, the cabin is an impressive place to sit: it's very roomy, in both rows, and you get the excellent 8in touchscreen, which controls most of the car's impressive connectivity functions. Apple CarPlay features, as does Mirrorlink and Android's system for hooking up your mobile phone.
The boot's big, too, at 510 litres (shrinking to 485 for 4wd models), and there are nifty levers in the luggage compartment to flop the back seats flat without you lifting a finger. You can spec an electrically hidden towbar and the powered tailgate will be a boon to busy parents.
Engines largely reflect the range available in the Leon - and the Ateca becomes the second model after the Ibiza to sport the group's new 1.0 TSI three-cylinder petrol engine with 113bhp. The most powerful model boasts a brawnier, more Cupra-esque 187bhp. Both 1.6 and 2.0 diesel engines will be offered, the latter with the option of 4wd (badged 4Drive). Key stats are:
- CO2 emissions From 112-141g/km
- Claimed average fuel economy 47-66mpg
- Petrol engines 113bhp 1.0, 148bhp 1.4 (CO2 from 123g/km)
- Diesel engines 113bhp 1.6, 148bhp or 187bhp 2.0 (CO2 from 112g/km)
Equipment, on-sale date
Seat will open the order books on Seat.co.uk from 3 May 2016, and the Ateca will roll into dealerships in time for the new 66-registration number plate in September.
Standard equpiment includes air-con, five-inch touchscreen, USB and SD connectivity, leather steering wheel and gearknob, 16in alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights. Step up to the likely best-selling trim level, the SE, to add cruise control, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors and electrically adjusted and folded, heated door mirrors.
How we reported on the official confirmation of the Seat Ateca
Read more of CAR’s 2016 Geneva motor show coverage here
Click here for CAR’s A-Z guide to the 2016 Geneva motor show