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Driving report Seat Ateca (2016): Spanish SUV convinces

Driving report new Seat Ateca (2016)
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Seat is expanding: With the current Leon, the VW subsidiary achieved the long-awaited breakthrough and the Spaniards established themselves again after years among the brands with significant sales figures. But one particularly important type of vehicle was still missing from the portfolio: an SUV that would compensate for the decline in sales of vans like the Alhambra. This means that S eat for a long time.

The Ateca comes at the right time for Seat

From July 2016 the Ateca this gap. Almost 4.50 meters long, subtly raised but clearly marked with the Seat DNA, the Ateca rolls onto our streets. The compact SUV based on the modular transverse matrix (such as the Golf, Leon and Tiguan) can already be ordered at a competitive price of only 19,990 euros for the basic version. Seat is hoping for the second best sales figures from its new SUV after the Leon, which - as we know - also drives excellently. Does that also apply to the Ateca?

Let's get in first. It's easy, and if we hadn't known, we could swear we climbed into an Alhambra. You don't sit very high. The sublime SUV feeling, the overview from above, that's missing in the Seat Ateca.

Good, but you can feel the weight: The Ateca drives like a fat Seat Leon. Recommendation: manual transmission.

190 PS TDI in the Seat Ateca as the most powerful engine

The Ateca we drive drives a 190 PS strong 2.0 TDI. However, this version costs at least 35,580 euros. she comesbut with all-wheel drive ex works and the new 7-speed direct shift transmission. And so it goes fast forward: Thanks to a maximum torque of 400 Nm, it only takes 7.0 seconds to light the 1.5 tonne Seat Ateca has accelerated to 100 km /h. Considerable for an SUV. It doesn't get any faster at the moment, the most powerful petrol engine available only has 150 hp. But that's all you really need.

The compact SUV circles the tight curves in the hinterland of Barcelona in a neutral and not helplessly understeering manner, and - be careful: this SUV can be really fun! Also as a 150 hp version and above all as a manual switch that we could drive for a short time. Here the gearshift lever slips through the streets as jaggedly as on a Leon Cupra.

The DSG also works reliably under normal conditions, but during the test drive in normal mode, the engine speed dropped well below 1,200 rpm. The result: In order to accelerate again, the drive unit first had to be brought out of deep sleep. It works better in sport mode, but then the engine speed is kept almost too high to be relaxed on the road. And let's be honest: Who constantly pushes a compact SUV to the extreme? Consolation: The double coupler should be able to learn. In addition, it decouples the drive train in eco mode and sails along in idle.

Unexpected: With the right tires, the Ateca can also handle rough terrain.

Seat Ateca with firm, but comfortable chassis

The variable steering feels extremely smooth in eco and normal mode. Sport fits best in terms of the ease of steering: not too heavy, not too light. Feedback is not much received, but the Hockenheimring will hardly be explored with the Ateca at the weekend.

The chassis and suspension are convincing: Although the Ateca springs comparatively tightly, for example at BMW X1 level, it does report bumps in the asphalt. You can find that good, after all, it doesn't leave you in rocky ignorance. And the Seat is also suitable for long journeys, even if damper adjustment cannot be ordered at the moment. That comesbut also, Seat lets you know on request.

Generous rear and trunk in the Ateca

There is not enough space The Seat Ateca does not: there is more than enough space for two people in the rear, even if the person in front measures two meters. The luggage of every family of four fits in the trunk with 510 liters (front wheel variants) or 485 liters (all-wheel drive).

Made space: the Ateca trunk holds 510 liters for all front-wheel drive vehicles, and 485 liters for all-wheel drive vehicles.

The convenient opening of the tailgate helps with a kicking movement under the bumper. If you are particularly into Messi, you can tap the imaginary soccer ball under the Ateca again. Then the trunk closes again. Clever, especially when unloading beverage crates or the like.

New infotainment and many assistance systems

To the infotainment Seat also thought fans: A new 8-inch touchscreen integrates all known functions. Navigating, making music, making calls. As with the Leon or Ibiza, the system reacts when a hand approaches and then shows options that would otherwise remain hidden. Particularly cool: the mobile phone can be charged inductively if it supports this feature. Apple's iPhone can only do this with a special case; wireless charging already works with devices from Samsung or Sony.

The systems that support the driver while driving include more than just adaptive cruise control Emergency brake assistant, but also an emergency system that automatically calls for help should the driver collapse. The Seat Ateca also has cameras on the front and rear aprons and in the exterior mirrors. This helps when maneuvering and parking. The front and side cameras are very useful in the event that the Ateca is ever to be used off-road. We were able to test that and did not get stuck even on muddy terrain with extreme slope angles. But the first Seat SUV should rarely see mud and rubble.


With the Ateca, Seat remains conservative and does not dare to risk any risky experiments. It looks like a long-legged Leon, and it drives like that. But it is more pleasant than a Alhambra and cheaper than a VW Tiguan. Sovereign, but there is no wow factor. Unless you drive off-road.


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