Ateca, SEAT’s First SUV, Promises ‘Incredible Fun’

Some Spanish style finally comes to the crossover.

The first SUV from SEAT has been revealed ahead of its Geneva show debut. Named Ateca, the Qashqai-sized car fills a vital hole in the Spanish firms line up.

Taking its stylistic lead from the Ibiza and Leon, the Ateca features sharp lines all round, with distinctive LED daytime running lights keeping things very much within the SEAT family. Some dark plastic cladding low down on the car suggests a hint of rugged ability, but with much under the skin being shared with Volkswagen’s Tiguan, don’t expect to be able to climb to the top of Teide.

While most will undoubtedly be front-wheel drive, an all-wheel drive option will be available, along with manual and dual-clutch automatic gearboxes. The usual VW group engines find their way to Ateca, with the trusty 1.6-litre diesel being joined by a pair of bigger 2.0-litre units. A tiny 1.0-litre petrol sits alongside a 1.4-litre petrol option for those willing to sacrifice economy for refinement.

Best fuel figures in the range will be from he 1.6, with 66mpg promised. CO2 emissions will drop as low as 112g/km.

Step inside and it’s all very German rather than Spanish – the shared platform comes with a lot of shared components up front, so there’s a dashboard that’s instantly recognisable to anybody who has recently set foot in a Volkswagen or Skoda dealer.

That’s not to say it’s bad though. In fact, the driver-centric layout combined with an elevated seating position will leave many pleased, and SEAT is sure to push the boat out on small design touches and technology.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will both be present, allowing full smartphone connectivity, and wireless charging will be available for suitable phones. Safety wise, the Ateca will get Emergency Assist, a system first seen on the Volkswagen Passat that safely brings the car to a complete stop if the driver is unresponsive.

“We have put together an amazing package of technologies and innovations for the Ateca, delivering more safety and utility and the most dynamic driving experience possible. We will set a new standard within the segment with its light-footed, precise handling,” says Dr. Matthias Rabe, vice president of SEAT. “It is incredibly fun to drive, and we have combined this driving experience with compelling utility, making the Ateca a hugely versatile companion for an active urban life.”

Buyers can register their interest in the Ateca from today, with cars expected to arrive in the showroom in September.

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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