The 2021 SEAT Ateca on test for Changing Lanes!
The 2021 SEAT Ateca on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 SEAT Ateca!

At its launch in 2016, the SEAT Ateca brought a new dimension to the mid-size SUV market; the perfect match for urban and country life, offering a spacious, practical, and versatile SUV with a unique style we’ve come to expect from the brand ‘Created in Barcelona’.

Recently updated, SEAT has enhanced the Ateca and gone for a more luxe feel with the new Ateca Xperience, which replaces the old Xcellence trim line. Visually, it gets new all-terrain inspired styling – aluminium finish to the front and rear bumpers, body-coloured wheel arch surrounds, and side mouldings in an aluminium finish.

These rugged trim elements complement the already precise lines and muscular wheel arches, with striking LED headlamps and rear lamps with dynamic, sweeping indicators on the FR and Xperience trims. ‘Ateca’ is now spelt across the rear in a new handwriting style.

What’s so special about the SEAT Ateca Xperience?

Priced from €37,900, the SEAT Ateca Xperience commands a more premium feeling inside and out, and a high specification, among an excellent engine line-up.

The SEAT Ateca range kicks off from €31,910 in a well-specced SE grade, offering consumers an already well-tuned mix of comfort, design, and practicality, with a choice of petrol and diesel engine. There are also FR models, which look and feel more sporty.

The Ateca Xperience range kicks off from €37,900 in Ireland
The Ateca Xperience range kicks off from €37,900 in Ireland

With buyers abandoning traditional hatchbacks in recent years, it’s clear to see why you might quickly mellow at the sight of the Ateca. With a raised ride height and the chunky looks of an SUV and sharp lines of a classic SEAT, it’s no surprise.

While the latest SEAT Leon now shows off the best of SEAT technology and design being an all-new generation car, slipping into the Ateca is a reminder how SEAT took a stronger grip on the Irish market in recent years.

SEAT Ireland has been riding the crest of a wave with a super stylish line-up of SUVs – the Arona, Ateca and flagship Tarraco. The segment keeps on growing, SEAT growing with it.

Inside the 2021 SEAT Ateca

Inside buyers are met with a solid and straightforward cabin design. The 2021 SEAT Ateca’s interior fit and finish is enhanced with the introduction of new door designs and materials, along with stitching across the panels. There’s also a newly-designed and upholstered steering wheel.

The Xperience has classy matte finish surrounds for the air vents, gear lever and infotainment system, with multi-colour ambient lighting bringing an extra level of customisation to the cabin. There’s also a 9.2-inch touchscreen – keeping things modern in the cabin – with wireless access to both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and wireless smartphone charging. Other standard features include a full leather interior, automatic high beam and Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control.

The car is nicely sized inside with plenty of space up front and good size in the rear for this sort of compact family SUV. The boot has some good depth to it too. There’s an impressive 510 litres of load space to play with!

Inside the new SEAT Ateca Xperience
Inside the new SEAT Ateca Xperience!

What are my engine options?

The latest SEAT Ateca goes on sale with the brand’s familiar portfolio of petrol (TSI) and diesel (TDI) engines.

Ateca Xperience models are offered with 1.5-litre turbo petrol (150 hp) or 2.0 diesel with 115 hp or 150 hp.

Other engines in the range are the 1.0-litre TSI with 110 hp (from €31,910). Motor tax ranges from €210 to €280.

On the road the SEAT Ateca is once again, straightforward and predictable. A quick detour through the Wicklow Mountains on the way home revealed a sharper side however, and this car does hold the road well so there is fun to be had should you want to slip it into Sport mode! It’s a sharp and direct competitor, but ride comfort in this Xperience model is also on par for the segment.

My test car was powered by the 2.0-litre diesel with 150 hp, a powerful and refined companion for this SUV. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.8 litres per 100 km.

The Ateca is available with petrol and diesel engines
The Ateca is available with petrol and diesel engines

Did you like it?

SEAT Ireland hit a golden age with the arrival of a trilogy of SUVs on the Irish market. The full complement of Arona, Ateca and Tarraco SUVs helped the brand drive market share in Ireland like never before.

Since then the brand has welcomed a new generation SEAT Leon and the introduction of hybrid power to the SEAT range for the very first time.

Buyers are now faced with a myriad of choices when they decide to trade in for a new family SUV. Size, quality, and price do vary. And though the Ateca in its current outfit is coming towards the end of its tenure, there’s little to complain about when you take this one for a spin.

Behind the wheel, the Ateca confidently takes on its competitors with a straightforward and logical cabin.

The Ateca is backed up by well proven combustion engines and some great trim options that make the car more individual, while also adding many convenience and comfort features.

The Xperience model sits at the top of the range, and while packing in considerable spec, there’s even more value to be had in the rest of the range, with cars equipped well from entry.

Being simple, practical and efficient like the Ateca is very appealing in today’s SUV market.

SEAT Ateca: Simple, practical and efficient
SEAT Ateca: Simple, practical and efficient

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: SEAT Ateca 2.0 TDI XPerience DSG
2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 150 hp
Torque: 340 Nm
Top speed: 200 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 8.8 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
137 – 144 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€210 per year