Seat Ateca Review

The SEAT Ateca was first introduced in 2016 and is named after the Ateca village which is west of Zaragoza and near the SEAT headquarters in Barcelona. Within the SEAT range it sits between the Arona and the Tarraco in the C-SUV segment and is also included in the Cupra family as the Cupra Ateca.

Whilst it may have been a later addition to the family SUV market it's often regarded as incredibly competent and a great alternative to some larger and more expensive SUVs available. It received a facelift model in 2020 which updated some of the features that buyers had grumbled about and also altered the names of the trim levels to what is currently available.

Our SEAT Ateca review will guide you through the latest model and help you to decide which options will suit you and your needs best.

Design and Style

The SEAT Ateca SUV is built on the VW group MQB A1 platform which is shared with the Skoda Karoq and the Volkswagen T-Roc. Whilst it doesn't necessarily look identical to these it does share many of the components that are under the bonnet, giving you peace of mind that it's reliable and well tested.

It's also influenced by the SEAT Leon with smart and well proportioned looks with tougher looking body styling and more height to give it the characteristics of an SUV. It's visibility is generally very good thanks to a combination of its high driving position and well sized windscreen pillars, although the Skoda Karoq has larger windows if you're really fussy about your rear view.

It was facelifted in June 2020 to include redesigned bumpers, new LED headlights and tail lights, redesigned fog lights, and updated the printed logo to a hand-written script as is on the newest version of the SEAT Leon. The rear light units share a similar design to the SEAT Tarraco and also have sequential indicators on the FR and XPERIENCE trims.


The SEAT Ateca's interior was also given a facelift to include a leather steering wheel, updated door cards, new upholstery designs, an eight way adjustable driver's seat, a pair of USB C ports, multi-colour ambient lighting, and voice recognition.

Every SEAT Ateca model has an 8.25 inch screen in the centre console for the infotainment system as standard. From the SE Technology onwards this is upgraded to a 9.2 inch screen and if you opt for either an FR Sport or XPERIENCE Lux you also have a digital cockpit to further enhance your experience.

Wireless Full Link smartphone integration and wireless phone charging is standard across the range too which means you can use Apple Carplay and Android Auto to your heart's content and not have to worry about wires wearing down or being forgotten on a trip.

Comfort and Practicality

The SEAT Ateca SUV is incredibly generous in room for its passengers. Those in the front seats benefit from 1063mm of headroom whilst those in the rear seats will have 1020mm, more than the VW Tiguan offers, so there's no danger that tall passengers will feel like they're skimming the ceiling.

They'll also benefit from cloth comfort seats as standard and these are upgraded to Dinamica and leather upholstery on higher trim levels.

The boot space of the SEAT Ateca is 510 litres with all five seats in use, for comparison the Nissan Qashqai offers 504 litres and the Volkswagen Tiguan is even more at 615 litres.

Folding the rears down will open the boot floor up to offer 1604 litres. The Nissan Qashqai pales in comparison at 1447 whilst the gap is closed on the Volkswagen Tiguan which comes in at 1655 litres.

Performance and Engine Options

Across the full range of the SEAT Ateca has five engine options; a combination of petrol and diesel engines and front wheel drive and four wheel drive options.

The first petrol option is a 1.0 turbocharged engine capable of 110PS and is only available with 6 speed manual gearbox. It's fairly economical with a combined mpg of 46.3 and CO2 emissions of 146g/km. It's the same offering and performance that you would get from the equivalent engine in a Skoda Karoq.

The 1.5 litre turbocharged engine is available on every trim level that the SEAT Ateca offers. It's the first option with either a 6 speed manual gearbox or 7 speed DSG automatic gearbox and offers 44.8 mpg combined. It's emissions are a little higher than its predecessor at 153g/km but is over two seconds faster in its 0-62mph time.

The most powerful engine in the range is the 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine. This is a 7 speed automatic gearbox that comes as four wheel drive only and gives 190PS. As with most powerful engines this has a much lower fuel economy than the other petrol engines at 35.3 mpg combined. It's quicker too, with a 0-62mph time of 7.1 seconds. This is available from the SEAT Ateca FR onwards.

The SEAT Ateca has two diesel engines available. The 2.0 litre TDI 115PS comes only as a 6 speed manual and you can expect a 0-62mph time of 10.9 seconds, one of the slower options that SEAT have in the Ateca range.

The 2.0 TDI 150PS diesel engine rounds out the selection and is also the most versatile option on the list. It can be chosen as either a 6 speed manual, a 7 speed automatic gearbox in front wheel drive, or a 7 speed automatic in four wheel drive. At it's best it will offer 58.9 mpg combined but lowers to 44.1 mpg for the four wheel drive option.

If you're looking for a greener option then you'll need to look at the SEAT Leon e-Hybrid or the Seat Tarraco E-Hybrid elsewhere in the SEAT range.

Trim Levels

The SEAT Ateca SUV has six trim levels available: SE, SE Technology, FR, FR Sport, XPERIENCE, and XPERIENCE Lux.

The entry level SEAT Ateca is the SE trim. You can expect 17 inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, led front fog lights, wireless smart phone integration, wireless phone charging, front comfort seats, dual zone climate control, park assist which has front, rear, and side parking sensors, a tiredness recognition system, and keyless entry and go.

Stepping up will take you to the SE Technology - 18 inch alloy wheels, chrome roof rails, sat nav, a 9.2 inch colour touchscreen, and SEAT Connect: safety, service, remote, and online. This gives you a 12 month subscription to SEAT's online infotainment which includes online map updates, online traffic information, online route calculation, and parking and petrol locations.

Upgrading again will bring you to the SEAT Ateca FR and 18 inch alloys, dark tinted rear windows, a rear spoiler, body coloured wheel arch surrounds, visible twin exhaust pipes, the convenience pack (auto dimming rear view mirror, auto headlights with automatic coming and leaving home function, rain sensor), and SEAT drive profile (four different modes, steering and throttle response).

The FR Sport adds a few additional comforts such as an electric driver's seat, leather upholstered and heated front seats, and 19 inch alloy wheels. It's also only one of two trim levels which offers the 10.3 inch digital cockpit in place of analogue instruments. This is ideal for putting the most important driving information, such as sat nav directions, directly in front of you.

The XPERIENCE will give 18 inch alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, ambient lighting, convenience pack, a Climacoat windscreen, a rear view camera, SEAT drive profile, safety and driving pack (front assist with autonomous emergency braking, predictive adaptive cruise control) lane assist, traffic sign recognition, and high beam control.

The XPERIENCE Lux models then come with 19 inch alloy wheels, a digital cockpit, leather front seats, an electric tailgate with virtual pedal, top view camera, heated front seats, side assist and exit assist.

Reliability and Safety

The SEAT Ateca received a five star safety rating from Euro NCAP which puts it on par with the Nissan Qashqai and the Kia Sportage, although the rating for the latter has now expired. It easily out performs the Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka, which both have four stars and the Dacia Duster which has 3 stars.

Some of the safety features that contribute to this include front assist with autonomous emergency braking, ABS, traction control system, electronic stability control, electronic differential lock system, and a driver alert system.

SEAT has a three year/60,000 mile warranty on all of its new cars which can be extended to four years/75,000 miles or five years/90,000 miles and is transferable to a new owner if you sell your car whilst it is in place.


The SEAT Ateca is a great option when considering family SUVs thanks to its great selection of engines, great price point, and good equipment options across its trim levels.

Our teams at John Clark SEAT in Dundee and Aberdeen are always on hand to answer any further questions that you might have about the model and to help you choose your next car!