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The Seat Ateca is the Spanish carmaker’s first foray into the SUV market.
It hopes that the car’s good looks, usability and competitive pricing (starting from £17,990) will help it to steal an edge on its rivals.
Going up against the likes of the BMW X1 (£26,660), Nissan Qashqai (£18,490), or Honda CR-V (£21,765) SUVs, the Ateca has a five star Euro NCAP safety rating and a host of features like keyless entry and ignition, wireless mobile phone charger, park assist and a ‘Virtual Pedal,’ more on that one later.
What’s driving the Seat Ateca like?
The driving experience is great, the Seat Ateca is a smooth drive and what’s more, it has a quiet engine!
It is made for city driving with its auto drive features, such as stopping if you get too close to a car in traffic, as well as stopping if you fail to see a car switching lanes due to a blind spot.
The steering wheel is light and makes a three-point turn as easy as can be. The car has 6 gears, and in case you aren’t sure when to change, the screen prompts you – how techy.
The LED headlights on the Seat Ateca are a nice feature and definitely a plus point for me.
LED headlights throw intense light with very little draw on your car’s electrical system, as opposed to the traditional halogen bulbs used in older cars. That’s the tech bit, but what LED lights also do is give this car a futuristic look – it certainly make heads turn.
Tell us about the extra features you can get with the Seat Ateca?
My test model had a few extras – Samoa Orange wing mirrors and trim, as well as bi-color alloy wheels. Smart!
Another great feature is the Welcome Light. Both myself and the kids loved it. I had to park the car a couple of times in badly lit car parks after dusk and not only was I able to locate my car more easily.
It also makes you feel safer as it lights up the area on the floor and the LED lights in the wing mirrors also light up. A good aid when getting kids in and out of the car.
What about the Keyless Entry?
Keyless Entry is a handy feature. Although I have never found it too taxing to click a button on a remote key to unlock a car, the fact you don’t have to dig in the bottom of your bag, or search a multitude of pockets to get your key really saves time and hassle.
Tell us more about the Electric tailgate with ‘Virtual Pedal’
I can see this being the most invaluable feature for busy mums always have their hands full. Imagine, you’re able to put bags/buggies in the boot without first having to put them on the floor in order to open a boot!
I must admit that the Electric tailgate didn’t work every time I tried it. There were times I gave the boot with a swipe of my foot and it didn’t open.
However, I only tested the car for a week, and maybe there was a knack to it, that I just didn’t have the time to find.
How does the Top View Camera Parking assist work?
There is a camera on top of the car that gives you a 360 view when parking, so if you’re reversing or driving into a car parking space you can see it via a little screen on your dashboard.
Being given a 360 degree view of my surroundings was brilliant for me. As someone who has reversed into a lamp post and short, invisible bollards on a couple of occasions, I began to depend on this feature.
It is great at giving you a complete view of what is behind you and to the sides so you feel very confident when reversing out into a busy street or manoevering off. Loved it and miss it now that I don’t have it!
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How does the Park Assist work?
This was again a fabulous feature, although I was totally terrified of trying it the first time round.
That’s because you have to drive up to a space, put the car in gear and let go of the steering wheel (while accelerating slowing) as the car pulls itself into the car parking space. It is a very weird experience the first time you try it out!
But towards the end of my test drive week, I had used it a good few times and gotten used to it.
What’s the Full Link technology with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and wireless phone charger like?
This is the future no doubt. With so many road traffic accidents occurring as people fumble with their phones while driving, this is a must-have.
This feature allows drivers to take urgent calls safely and stop unnecessary use of mobile phones while driving.
And who would say no to a wireless phone charger? We have all been caught out with low batteries and no charger so this is a really great feature to have.
What’s the boot space like on the Seat Ateca?
The boot is spacious – surprisingly so. Can easily store a large pushchair plus bags, coats and all the things mums need to transport. And it is so easy to fold the rear seats down to make it easy to transport large items.
Rear leg space?
I didn’t find the rear leg space was exceptionally large or small. For the size of car, it was ample though.
It’s also worth noting that using rear-facing car seats in the back will limit leg room even more so.
Can it fit 3 car seats in the back?
No, it won’t fit 3 car seats in the rear, in fact, if you have two car seats in the back and a third person has to squeeze in the middle, it is quite tight.
What the Traffic Jam Assist?
Traffic Jam Assist is a very handy feature, especially for those with kids who will yell out during a journey. I have turned around in the past and nearly gone into the car in front, but no more!
The Seat Ateca would stop, giving you more confidence while driving. I don’t think it should mean getting lazy though – still always need to be on full alert!
How does it rate for style and comfort?
This motor has plenty of style. The leather interior is beautiful, the heated seats a godsend for the colder seasons.
I did think the multi-coloured ambient lighting around the sunroof and footwell illumination features were pretty.
How does the Sat Nav work?
I found the Sat Nav easy to operate – the fact that it is touchscreen makes a huge difference as you don’t have to keep scrolling up and down a keyboard, as on other in-car sat navs I have used in the past.
I did use my phone initially but then realised it is very easy to master and by day 2, I was using it all the time.
What are the Ateca’s unique selling points for parents?
The roomy boot and the ease with which the rear seats collapse to provide more space are good features for parents.
The airbag on-off feature is also handy for those who want to place car seats at the front. I didn’t think there was anything else that could be classed as particularly child-friendly.
Is the Seat Ateca good value for money?
The cost of this particular model with the extras is £28,720 – not bad for a SUV car with good looks and handy features.
Overall the Seat Ateca is a very stylish, easy-to-drive family car, that has some fantastic features that once you use, you won’t want to be without as a driver.
Top of line tech, safety features and avery large boot make it an ideal for a one-car family if you are a family of 4, or perhaps 5.