Atractive SUV to

have some swooning

SEAT Ateca, front static
SEAT Ateca, front action
SEAT Ateca, rear action
SEAT Ateca, rear static
SEAT Ateca, interior
SEAT Ateca, boot
SEAT Ateca, interior rear
SEAT Ateca, upright

THE link between sexual attractiveness and personal transport has endured down the ages.

Boudicca off-roading with her massive hubcaps, Lord Nelson impressing Lady Hamilton with his stance on the fo'c'sle, that sort of thing.

I doubt many of us can honestly say that some shallow and tawdry romance or other has not been sparked by a well-positioned pair of chrome tailpipes.

Frankly the only time I expect to have the female form cling to my neck is shouldI be offering rescue services in a particularly deep lake or the wife is trying to strangle me.

But there it was before me, a lady of a certain age declaring undying love and happiness that I had become the hero of the hour, although not too late in the day as I need my sleep.

Turns out it was all the doing of SEAT.

Now, here is a car maker with a direct link to the god of sexiness; to young things with a long mortgage ahead of them anything with Cupra in the name will quicken pulses.

But an Ateca?

Too sensible for jiggy-jiggy surely, too caravan club by far?

Seems not and my reply in the positive that she should consider buying one brought the sort of reaction I normally get from the dog after a week away.

Which annoyed her husband who had his heart set on a second-hand Range Rover from the carboniferous period.

So, what's all the excitement about a car named after a Spanish village with only 2,000 residents?

Well, put simply, a lot for a little. This is SEAT‘s challenger to the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage and knocks one into the proverbial pointed hat on price and the other on refinement.

Looking specifically at the SE 1.4 Eco TSI manual there is an attractive combination of economy, the average is claimed at 53mpg, and performance with the small 148bhp SUVreaching 62mph in 8.5 seconds.

Normally this is the sort of car which has a 1.6 diesel and lots of fans who can see no further but the petrol engine is one of interest with light throttle use causing it to run on just two cylinders.

It sounds the dog's too, with a decent throat when you push on while smooth and easy going over longer cruises.

It is, however, only available with a manual gearbox so look away now if you want an automatic and don't need to know it is a slick changing box. But then that is something Volkswagen and associated companies has always been noted for.

How does it drive?

Take any corners with passion and the Ateca belies its SUV heritage, it is tight, fun and not prone to political leaning to left or right.

Of course you may need to cover a good number of motorway mile and while this means you will be missing out on youthful enjoymentand will be aware of a degree of road noise the overall feeling is of refinement.

There is plenty of room in the Ateca and you can specify a split floor in the boot for a bit extra.

Equipment is generous even on the entry level models. SE trim adds LED tail lights, cornering fogs, loads of ambient interior illumination and plenty of storage.

Climate control is dual zone, there is cruise as standard and infotainment has the essentials via a touch screen with voice activation.

All that is on top of a long list of safety features protecting passengers and pedestrians including tiredness recognition.

Starting price for the 1.4 is an attractive £21,000 but the navigator will cost an extra £525 and a full parking sensor and assistance pack adds a further £790 without the £640 camera.

On the other hand who can put a price on attractive middle-aged women throwing themselves at you when you are two-thirds of the way to life's departure lounge?

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