There’s no shortage of SUVs on today’s market, but a new model always seems to attract attention and bring something new to the table. It certainly brings best from competition and the end user benefits from more options. The widely anticipated 2016 Seat Ateca is almost here, but what can we expect?
Seat is a brand that isn’t afraid to try new things. Ever since they’ve received back-up from the VW Group, they’ve kept rolling out new and improved models year after year. They’ve got the compact small hatchback sector pretty much covered. The sedan one has been entered with the Exeo model too and they’ve even got sport hatchbacks that are direct competitors to the GTIs and the Ford RS’s. Well, now they’ve decided it’s time to enter the very popular SUV segment.
The Ateca is Seat’s SUV crossover model, and on the face of it, things are looking good for the new model. Looks are a subjective thing, but this new model follows the current design profile of the entire Seat range, and that’s not a bad thing considering the positive feedback that has been received. The angular shapes are still there, and, by now, traditional Seat headlights, like the ones on the Leon are present for this all-new model.
This new car is aimed squarely at the competitors from the SUV segment, two of which are from the VW Group, the Tiguan, and the Skoda Yeti. Its intentions are clear. Bring Seat the sustainability and profitability it needs to keep developing new models. It’s just the first of three new models announced for the upcoming future from the company.
The Ateca looks just like a bigger Seat Leon. It’s not exactly big, but it’s not small either measuring 4.36 meters giving a good base for top of the line offer. The front and the back look like a Lion, but the lights and the grille are noticeably higher. The styling is conventional to say the least, but for most buyers that’s a good thing. Having something that follows already established patterns is a good way of knowing the car is heading in the right direction.
As mentioned, it sits on the same platform as the Tiguan so expectantly, it’s nearly identical in size. The rear overhang is a bit shorter, but not by much. Trunk space is respectable at 510 liters allowing families to easily store their luggage even for longer vacations. There are many similarities between this one and the Tiguan, and among the main goals of these models was to beat the Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai. It is a good question if they made it, read on and find out more what is offered.
2016 Seat Ateca Interior
Inside, you’ll find the usual VW Group fit and finish, as soon as you enter you will find well known pieces and recognizable design. Just like the outside, the inside is very reminiscent of the Leon and everything is where you’d find it in the mentioned hatchback. There’s a great infotainment system, a five-inch display on the standard models and company derived SEAT Full Link. A system which incorporates your smart phone into the car’s infotainment system and can even charge it wirelessly, provided the phone allows it of course.
Engines and Transmission
Versatility is the name of the game with cars like these. There are engine choices to suit every potential owner. The entry-level gasoline model is a small 1.0 liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine with just 114 horsepower and front-wheel drive. Interestingly enough, the same engine almost made it into the Tiguan, but VW didn’t offer it due to the fact that not a lot of people would opt for it considering how big the car is.
The second gas engine on offer is a much more powerful 1.4 liter four-cylinder with a more respectable 148 horsepower. This engine is found in the Golf and Leon, and should do a good job of moving the Ateca around.
The diesels are where this car is happiest, however, and will probably be the selling point for this model. There are two engine displacements and three power figures. The 1.6 TDI develops 114 horsepower, but is much better than the 1.4 petrol due to the bigger torque output, and there’s a 2.0 liter TDI with two different states of tune. One with 148 and a more powerful 187 horsepower option. The latter is the best engine for the car, as all that power and especially torque really make this relatively large SUV run with ease.
Lovers of fast SUVs should probably wait, rumors of a faster Ateca Cupra are out and it’s probably going to happen in the near future. Such a model would surely be a compelling alternative even to the sportier hatchbacks. All of the power is directed to the ground via the front wheels on most models, although a four-wheel drive option will be most likely offered on nearly all models except the 1.0-liter three-cylinder. The engines are mated to a manual gearbox or a DSG on the higher end versions.
There’s no shortage of safety systems either. There’s Traffic Jam Assist, a system that will drive the car in heavy traffic situations with lots of stop-start situations and even Emergency assist, a system which monitors the driver and can stop the car should it detect that the driver is inactive.
As mentioned, the Ateca is just the beginning for Seat in the SUV sector. There’s two more models lined up for release later in the year or maybe even next year. If the 2016 Seat Ateca is anything to go by, expect even more competition in this segment.
The Ateca has everything the average driver would want, and then some. It’s loaded with all of the latest safety and infotainment equipment, has lots of engine choices and comes as a manual for the enthusiasts or with a DSG for people preferring automatics. It certainly doesn’t lack in choices, and it’s even a looker in our book.
Price and Release Date
If you’re tempted you’ll have to wait until September when the Ateca launches. Prices start at £18,000 for the base model, although can go up to £30,000 for the most powerful diesel with all-wheel drive and all the bells and whistles you can spec on the car. It is on the pricier end of the scale, but value for money is still superb, even compared to the Qashqai for example. The base model is around £500 cheaper. These prices are for UK market and we are not sure if this SUV will come to the US.
Seat is eager to get the new model rolling out of the factories and into the streets. If you’re tempted by one, we suggest you go for it. It’s excellent value for money, and you get all the VW quality and equipment for a lot less.