SEAT Ateca Review logo

SEAT Ateca Review

Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image

1/10

Car image

2/10

Car image

3/10

Car image

4/10

Car image

5/10

Car image

6/10

Car image

7/10

Car image

8/10

Car image

9/10

Car image

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2016
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Stylish, sporty crossover SUV ”

Best bits

  • Agile handling
  • Represents good value for money on the used market
  • Should be fairly cheap to run

Not so great

  • Cabin doesn’t feel particularly exciting
  • Ride is firmer than the Skoda Karoq
  • Four-wheel-drive models are thirsty

Read by

SEAT Ateca Front Side View

Overall verdict

SEAT Ateca Front Interior

On the inside

SEAT Ateca Front Side View

Driving

SEAT Ateca Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

SEAT Ateca Bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The SEAT Ateca is one of the best crossovers on the market, providing strong competition to rivals like the Skoda Karoq, Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage. It looks sporty, is good to drive and represents good value for money. It makes for a very compelling used car purchase."

SEAT Ateca Front Side View

Buyers of cars like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf are in declining numbers these days. Everyone wants a crossover SUV with a high seating position, practical cabin and little compromise in the way it drives or how much it costs to run.


The SEAT Ateca is one of many very competent crossovers on the market. It shares its mechanical bits with the Volkswagen Tiguan and Skoda Karoq, although it’s slightly sportier than both of them, and competes with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Kia Sportage.


The cabin is very similar to the SEAT Leon’s, meaning it gets a smart dashboard with an eight-inch media system along with useful buttons for things like climate control. It’s not an exciting interior by any stretch of the imagination, although it feels well made and comfortable. If you’re expecting plush materials, you’d be better looking for a Volkswagen Tiguan.


Still, it’s a very practical choice. There’s loads of room in the front, and even adults in the rear ought to be very comfortable thanks to a generous amount of head- and legroom. You can even squeeze three people side-by-side without too much discomfort.


The boot is one of the most accommodating in its class, capable of lugging up to 510 litres of luggage (note: four-wheel-drive models are slightly less practical). You can drop the rear seats easily if you need more room, although they don’t leave an entirely flat boot floor. There’s no nifty sliding rear bench here, either.


There’s a huge range of petrol and diesel engines on offer, although you’d need to look elsewhere if you want a hybrid variant. You can also choose from manual and automatic gearboxes as well as two- or four-wheel drive. We’d only opt for the latter if you really need it - sure, it’s useful when towing trailers out of muddy fields, but it provides quite a significant drop in fuel economy.


Buy wisely and the SEAT Ateca will be a very affordable car to run. Petrol models return up to early-40s mpg, while the most efficient diesels should be good for mid-50s in the real world. It won’t cost a lost to tax and insure, while depreciation means the Ateca represents particularly good value for money on the used market.


The SEAT Ateca’s pretty easy to drive thanks to good visibility and fairly compact dimensions (not to mention parking sensors and cameras on high-spec models). It also handles better than the Skoda Karoq - remaining very composed during cornering, although the ride is a little on the firm side, especially if you buy one with big alloy wheels.


You’re not going to regret buying a SEAT Ateca. It’s one of the most competent all-rounders in its class, with efficient engines and a strong model line-up. Our main reservation is that the Skoda Karoq is a slightly more comfortable choice.


Is the SEAT Ateca right for you?

If you want a stylish yet incredibly competent crossover SUV, the SEAT Ateca could be the car for you. It’s good to drive, cheap to run and is likely to be a reliable choice. Look elsewhere if you want a forgiving suspension setup but small wheels help in this regard.


What’s the best SEAT Ateca model/engine to choose?

The 1.5-litre petrol will be the best engine for many buyers, combining decent performance with low running costs. There’s no shortage of trim levels to pick from - we’d recommend a mid-spec model such as the Ateca FR.

What other cars are similar to the SEAT Ateca?

There’s no shortage of very competent alternatives to the SEAT Ateca. You should also look at the Skoda Karoq (which is closely related to the Ateca), and slightly more premium Volkswagen Tiguan. We also rate the quirky Peugeot 3008 while the Renault Kadjar is a very competent choice. Of course, there’s also the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai, while the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage both come with a long warranty.


Learn more

SEAT Ateca Front Interior

On the inside

SEAT Ateca Front Side View

Driving

SEAT Ateca Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

SEAT Ateca Bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Does the SEAT Ateca have seven seats?

No, the SEAT Ateca is strictly a five seater. On the plus side, the rear bench is nice and wide, so that it is fairly easy to sit three abreast, but if you want more room, you’ll need the Tarraco.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

Is the SEAT Ateca a good used car?

The SEAT Ateca has been popular, which means there are plenty of relatively low mileage cars around that represent a significant saving on buying brand new. However, when it first went on sale, there was an entry-level ‘S’ version of the Ateca priced just over £18,000, but this model was quite poorly equipped, and we’d avoid it if you are looking for a second hand car.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

Is the SEAT Ateca good to drive?

Yes, in fact it’s one of the best handling family SUVs on sale. However this sharp cornering ability does come with a catch, since the ride is quite firm, especially on poor road surfaces.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

What is the SEAT Ateca based on?

As we mentioned, the SEAT Ateca shares its platform with two other SUVs, but in fact this chassis underpins a huge number of different cars, including the Audi Q2, Seat Leon and Volkswagen Golf.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

Does the SEAT Ateca have four-wheel drive?

Only on the most powerful models. Seat calls its four-wheel drive system 4Drive, but it’s not as sophisticated as the one you’d find in a Subaru Forester or Land Rover Discovery Sport. Instead, it’s there to give you extra grip on slippery roads, rather than taking you off them.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody

How much boot space does the SEAT Ateca have?

The SEAT Ateca’s boxy shape means it has decent load-lugging capability. With the rear seats up it can haul up to 510 litres of gear, that’s a touch more than most of its rivals. Still, if you pick the four-wheel drive version this drops to 485 litres.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross