SEAT Ateca Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

SEAT is a relative newcomer to the SUV market, launching the Ateca in 2016. It’s a mid-sized crossover, suited to smaller families, that offers a lower-cost alternative to the Volkswagen Tiguan despite sharing many of its mechanics. It has a wide range of economical diesel or petrol engines with performance options that should meet the needs of most buyers. Practical and well-balanced, it’s a spacious and pleasant offering that seriously challenges its established rivals in this busy segment.

Visit the SEAT Ateca model page to explore available vehicles and learn more.

What we think about the SEAT Ateca

Safe, reliable, practical and the promise of stress-free motoring make the SEAT Ateca an appealing buy.



Five-star safety rating


Spacious and well-appointed


Easy to drive


Firm ride on some specs

Not especially exciting

There are currently six trim levels for the 2021 Ateca: SE, SE Technology, FR, FR Sport, Xperience and Xperience Lux. Previously-available specs were the First Edition and Xcellence, which you’ll find on the used market along with additional limited-edition models.

Driving performance of the Seat Ateca

Our Driving Rating9 / 10

There’s a wide range of petrol and diesel engines available for the Ateca. In terms of balancing performance and fuel efficiency, the pick of the petrols is the punchy yet economical 1.5 TSI (or 1.4 Eco TSI on earlier models) and, for the diesels, it’s the 150 bhp 2.0-litre. Transmission is provided by solidly-performing manual and auto ‘boxes, but the latter isn’t available with every engine. The Ateca handles well and the ride is comfortable despite being quite firm, particularly on some models.

Safety and reliability of the Seat Ateca

Our Safety Rating8 / 10

The Ateca was rated for safety by Euro NCAP in 2016 and received the maximum five stars, including 93% for adult occupants and 84% for child occupants. There’s plenty of safety tech as standard, including automatic emergency braking and tiredness recognition, and much more available as options. The latest models come well equipped however they’re spec’d, and even looking used should get you an SUV with great safety features. In terms of reliability, the Ateca shares many parts with tried-and-tested Volkswagen Group models and is based on the ever-dependable SEAT Leon, which has a great reliability record.

Under the bonnet of the Seat Ateca

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

At every trim level the Ateca offers a great range of engines, with six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic transmissions on offer too. Even the base engine of the Ateca, the 1.0 TSI petrol, is surprisingly punchy. The same goes for the base level on the 2021 models, a similar 1.5-litre. That said, these are best suited to short journeys, and with a 0-62 mph of 11 seconds on the 1.0 it’s not going to feel quick. Step up to the 1.4 or 1.5 TSI petrol units and you’ll get a spritelier run to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds (8.6 with an automatic transmission). If you’re looking for a diesel, the 1.6 TDI offers the best fuel economy and a satisfying, low down grunt, but it’s slightly slower than the base petrol at getting from 0-62mph. The latest 2.0-litre TDI diesels offer similarly good economy and solid performance in both manual and automatic variants.

What you'll find in the Seat Ateca

Our Design Rating7 / 10

The SEAT Ateca is modern-looking and sleek, with 2020 seeing it freshened up around the lights and bumpers – you’ve got to move with the times, after all. There’s not really anything inspirational about the design, though, and it feels more ‘okay’ than ‘blow you away’. But if it’s a practical, family vehicle you’re after, that won’t bother you one bit. It looks best in FR Sport trim thanks to the bold, dark-grey 19-inch alloys and a black front grille – these features particularly pop out against the metallic Velvet Red paint.

Comfort and interiors in the Seat Ateca

Our Comfort Rating8 / 10

The interior is a pleasant place to be, feeling refined and well laid out but, like the exterior, it’s more serviceable than breathtaking. There’s a surprising amount of space within the cabin though, offering ample headroom and legroom for all. Access to the rear seats is easy too, which is handy if you’re taking a car seat in and out, and loading into the boot is straightforward. With regards to the boot, there’s more than adequate storage here, and there’s even the option to add a double floor system.

Grey Seat Ateca

What features you'll find in the Seat Ateca

Our Features Rating8 / 10

The base SE trim gets all the aforementioned safety tech, so no worries there. It’s also furnished with Bluetooth and a touchscreen infotainment system, which should keep most tecchies occupied and satisfied here. The screen is a little small on this one though, so we’d perhaps recommend you step up to SE Technology to get the larger, eight-inch screen that includes satnav and DAB radio as standard. This trim also comes with voice control capabilities, meaning you can safely use the tech while driving. If you’re looking for a more executive experience, higher trims like the Xperience Lux will get you heated seats and tinted windows.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Seat Ateca

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

The best fuel economy comes (unsurprisingly) from the diesels, with the best of these being the 1.6 TDI – 49.6 mpg to 54.3 mpg (44.1 mpg to 50.4 mpg with the DSG automatic). The 2.0 TDI 150 offers better performance without sacrificing much efficiency, capable of 47.1 mpg to 50.4 mpg with the manual transmission. Moving on to the petrols, the 1.5 TSI is where you’ll find the best balance of power and economy – 38.7 to 42.2 mpg (or 36.7 to 40.4 mpg as an automatic).

Running costs of the Seat Ateca

Our Cost Rating8 / 10

That good fuel efficiency should keep costs down, you’ll be pleased to hear, but keep in mind that the most powerful diesel is not especially efficient thanks to its performance, all-wheel drive and automatic transmission as standard. Generally speaking though, costs should stay fairly minimal. This takes into account relatively inexpensive servicing and low insurance groups – the previous 1.0-litre petrol in S trim is in insurance group two.

Our verdict of the Seat Ateca

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

The Ateca has a lot going for it: it's spacious, reliable, economical and well-appointed. We'd certainly suggest you add it to your list if you're still weighing up SUV options.