By on 2023-04-28 -
SEAT Ateca - Used
Summer traffic in holiday times can really mess up any journey but if you use a map as well as sat nav, there is often an alternative route heading in roughly the same direction.
These can use minor A and B roads and occasionally smaller unclassified ones, and they may take longer than staying in the traffic on the motorway.
But they make for a much more pleasant journey - even if they do get a little narrow sometimes and you get to see parts of our beautiful country you might never otherwise have seen.
This came to mind when checking out the SEAT Ateca secondhand - a wonderful SUV with loads to recommend it.
While driving one a few years ago, massive hold ups ahead made me look for an alternative route and the narrow lane I ended up on came to a dead end - or so I thought at first.
But right behind the no through road sign was another even narrower lane not shown on map or sat nav so I took it - expecting to end up in a farmyard.
Lo and behold it was a through route and despite no passing places, was just what I needed.
The Ateca was a two wheel drive 1.6 TDI diesel from the lower end of the range, but it had proved itself very capable over that 230 mile trip.
Of course it is also available with more powerful diesels and petrols and with four wheel drive. The 1.6 TDI boasts just 115bhp but that's enough for a zero to 60 miles an hour time of 11.1 seconds, with a very best of 62 miles per gallon.
I have to say that it felt quicker than that when I drove it and never seemed to lack urge when needed
Above that are two 2.0 TDIs. A 150bhp unit comes with 4WD and brings the sprint down to 8.7 seconds while managing a best of 55mpg, and the top 190bhp models come with both 4WD and the superb VW Group DSG automatic gearbox. They are good for 53mpg and get to 60 in a very good 7.4 seconds.
Petrol power starts with a 1.0 TSI turbo that has 115bhp and sprints to 60 in 10.6 seconds while managing a very good 62mpg.
Then comes a 1.5 EcoTSI with 150bhp that brings up 60 in 8.2 and can do 52mpg, and finally there's a 2.0 litre TSI with 190bhp, 4WD and the auto gearbox. It's the fastest of the lot, getting to 60 in under 7 seconds and yet is still capable of 40mpg.
The automatic gearbox is available with most of the engines as well as being standard on the top two models.
The Ateca is one of the sharpest of the new breed of SUVs, with excellent agility through the corners, great steering and very good passenger space inside reasonable dimensions.
The six speed manual gearbox is easy to use, the steering beautifully weighted, and the handling and roadholding excellent despite it being rather tall sided..
It's comfortable over most surfaces, only slightly unsettled now and again. As usual, when fitted with large alloys and low profile tyres, the ride is affected and smaller wheels and larger tyres would probably make it more comfortable without affecting the excellent level of grip.
The SEAT automatic electric parking brake deserves a mention because it's so helpful. It comes on automatically as soon as you stop, and disengages automatically as you pull away again - a marvellous piece of kit.
Overall, the Ateca is easy and engaging to drive and the interior has a lovely ambiance, with a beautiful, very clear dash and binnacle, and excellent seats.
Mid-range SE Tech specification has very good equipment, including excellent sat nav, electric auto folding mirrors, DAB radio with USB and aux, alarm, easy fold rear seats, traction control, cruise, remote audio controls, parking sensors and climate.
Pay about Â£13,900 for a ‘19 19-reg 1.0 TSI SE, or Â£20,500 2.0 TDI 150bhp FR.
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