By Mike Torpey on 2016-03-01 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Ateca lifts SEAT
into SUV scene
SEAT is on course to launch four new models in the next two years - and first up is a compact offering called the Ateca.
It hits the streets in early summer and, as the brand's first venture into the SUV scene, took centre stage on the Volkswagen-owned Spanish company's stand at the Geneva Motor Show.
The car maker has just embarked on an efficiency drive that is expected to generate annual cost savings of around 100 million euros.
And the Ateca is at the forefront of a plan to develop developing models in areas of the market with a high profit margin by applying the successful Leon formula - with an emphasis on customer satisfaction.
Like most SEAT models the Ateca, which is based on the Leon hatchback, has a name sourced from different areas of Spain, in this case a village near Zaragoza.
Seen as a rival to established performers like the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage, the Ateca will offer plenty of choice with petrol and diesel engines ranging in output from 115 to 190PS and with front or four-wheel drive.
Diesels start with a 1.6 TDI 115PS unit while the 2.0 TDI is available with 150 and 190PS and fuel consumption figures range from 56 to 66mpg. CO2 figures are from 112 to 131g/km.
The entry level petrol engine is the 1.0 TSI with 115PS while the 1.4 TSI comes with cylinder deactivation and produces 150PS.
The consumption and emissions figures for these engines are between 46 and 53mpg and CO2 from 112 to 131g/km.
Technology options extend from full-LED headlights to assistance systems like Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist, plus infotainment set-ups with eight-inch touchscreens and Full Link connectivity.
There are also puddle lights which illuminate the area below the doors, projecting the Ateca's name onto the ground.
And once the driver is in the car, a ring of light surrounding the start button pulsates like a heartbeat, Jaguar-style, indicating the Ateca raring to go.
UK prices will be from £17,990 and order books open next month when the full range specification and pricing is announced.
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