The Seat didn’t have any SUV offering till recently, which was an unpopular move in the ever growing world of ones. Last year Spanish carmaker finally went to green zone again in its financial reports, and the first SUV was revealed. It was Ateca, a compact crossover, and very soon bigger compact crossover Formentor and sub-compact one, Arona, are going to follow, as the company was highly pleased with its first SUV sales.
Interestingly success gave wings to Spaniards, and hot Cupra version of Ateca is in preparation, expected to deliver around 300 hp from turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 while bringing sporty appearance and dose of visual racy aggression. Until that happens, you do have something half way there if you are about for something spicier than the regular model. We are referring to 2018 Seat Ateca FR.
2018 Seat Ateca FR STYLING
It will be all about styling here, as FR is basically just a trim. It offers the same amount of luxury as top Xcellence version while adding special design touches. In its case we have different mashing of the grille which is also gloss black now, all lower body panels are colored in body paint, roof rails and window frames are black, we have silver colored side skirts while meshing above diffuser at the back becomes more visible since the whole rear bumper is painted.
Add to that special 19-inch wheels and bigger roof spoiler, and you can be sure that you can differentiate this Ateca easily from the regular one. If you are still not sure, a couple of FR logos will remind you of that.
Interior also received its dose of special touches. You have a flat-bottomed steering wheel, red contrast stitching, gloss black trim for the dash and doors, sporty seats with Alcantara, aluminum pedals and once again FR badges.
Anyway, Ateca cabin is quite decent in all trims, while it is pretty much borrowed from Leon model, which signifies fair build quality and some dose of visual vigorous connotations, making it appealing. It doesn’t feature materials as nice as in brotherly Tiguan but it is cheaper than it by few grand and design of the interior is much more interesting than in bigger and pricier Kodiaq.
2018 Seat Ateca FR Engine
As we mentioned, FR is just a trim, so it doesn’t imply the use of some special and powerful engine. That is the reason why it is half way behind upcoming Cupra, which will, behind special visual touches, also bring few tweaks under the hood. As for FR, that means you can pair it with any engine, apart from base petrol one, which is 1.0-liter TSI and base diesel one, 1.6-liter TDI, both delivering 115 hp.
So, you can go for 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged I4 rated at 150 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, or diesel 2.0-liter TDI turbocharged I4 producing 150 hp and 251 lb-ft or 190 hp and 295 lb-ft. We also have 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged inline-four petrol unit boosting 190 hp that is on the way. You can go with manual or opt for 7-speed DSG automatic transmission, while also you can check AWD on the options list if you want.
2018 Seat Ateca FR is going to represent the top offer for Ateca until Cupra comes, but that will be a completely different story. Ateca is more visually appealing than Tiguan or Kodiaq, while it also outshines Skoda inside in styling sense and it is cheaper than both since it occupies the lower part of the compact SUV segment.
We have to admit that it is visually simpler than direct rivals as Tuscon, Sportage, Kuga or redesigned Qashqai, but in FR version it does come with special appeal. Plus, its fit and finish are better than in competition mentioned above as it is part of the VW group after all. Price is unknown at this moment but count on around €30k ($32K) with less powerful diesel and around €33k ($35K) with stronger one.
Petrol versions can shave a couple of grand from that figure, so price range is going to be quite decent when this version arrives in May during Barcelona International Motor Show. In the end, it is a thing worth of consideration for sure.