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Review: Gracias Ateca


I MUST confess that it took all of five minutes to appreciate Seat’s new Ateca.

Underneath the sharp bodywork is essentially the same mechanicals that sits beneath the much more expensive Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Spanish brand has put together a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) that has the ability to shake up the established order.

There’s a wide range of engines to choose from with five options, ranging from a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol with 114bhp, right up to a 2.0-litre diesel with 187bhp.

First up the Ateca is one of the best handling small SUVs on the market. It takes corners with aplomb and when you put your foot down it moves like a vehicle worth a whole lot more. I had the 1.4 TSI for a week’s evaluation and I was sad to see it go to be fair.

There’s a wide range of adjustment for both the steering wheel and seat while most models receive adjustable lumbar support as standard.

All models feature a height adjustable driver’s seat and a steering wheel that adjusts for both reach and rake. The pedals, seat and steering wheel are also nicely aligned, helping to keep you relaxed on lengthy trips.

In keeping with the sporty image, the seats in all models have more side support than many rivals.

Fans of the latest technology should be happy with the car’s connectivity, which includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, allowing you to access many of your apps on the central infotainment screen and via the steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Options include a navigation system that Includes a 8-inch touchscreen, 3D map display, high resolution colour driver’s display, two SD card slots and DAB radio, (£525), park assist which consists of front and rear parking sensors (£330) and a top view camera (with rear view camera) (£650).
The Ateca is also loaded with safety kit and scored the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash-testing, with a mightily impressive 93% for adult occupant protection.

And of course it is hugely practical. Fittingly I had some major load-lugging to execute during my week with the Ateca and it gobbled up various items with ease.

The load bay is a nice, square shape with a wide aperture for loading broad items.

A height-adjustable boot floor is a fairly cheap option and, when set to its highest position, there’s virtually no load lip at the entrance and no big step in the floor of the extended load bay when the rear seats are folded.

The Ateca ticked most of the boxes that you’ll want filling when you are on the brink of parting with
your money.

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