In 2015, SEAT announced that would be unveiling their first SUV. Roll on to 2016 and it's here. This is the brand new SEAT ATECA. To be honest, SEAT has done an excellent job in drumming up publicity for this car, and we've been waiting for it for a long time. Well, it's here and to date, it has been receiving excellent feedback from journalists around the world. One of the big questions though is whether or not SEAT as come to the party too late?
SEAT appear to be tipping their toe in our market and at present Irish customers can only opt for 2.0 litre TDI engines. These are available as front-wheel or all-wheel drive and are available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The big seller in Ireland will offer 150bhp, but if you want a bit more horses behind your power, then there is a 190bhp model available. On paper, the 150bhp model will bring you from 0-100km/h in between 8.5 and 9 seconds, depending on the driven wheels. The 190bhp version covers the same distance in 7.5 seconds.
We're yet to fully test drive the ATECA, but so far the feedback has been all positive. One outlet even says that the ATECA is among the best when it comes to lack of body lean and body roll. Word on the street is that if you do opt for one of these, the ride should be nicer on smaller wheels, which can be said about many cars.
We've been told that there is a bit of grunt off the 2.0 litre TDI engine when put under pressure, as is the case with many other cars though, things become quieter at cruising speeds and once there are not too many revs pushed onto the engine. Apart from that, the car is said to be well-padded and hushed.
In general, SEAT offers a very good interior. Their infotainment systems are extremely easy to use and their upholstery and plastics are generally of high quality. We will update more on this when we get our first full test dive of the vehicle.
The ATECA scored a full five stars in the Euro NCAP. It achieved 3% for adult occupancy, 84% for child occupancy and 71% for pedestrian safety. It received 60% for its safety assistance technologies.
The all-wheel drive versions of the ATECA offer 485 litres of boot space, while the two-wheel drive models offer slightly more at 510 litres. We believe that interior space is excellent.