Some commentators have criticised SEAT for waiting so long to add an SUV to its line-up, and while the firm is certainly late to the party, it has perhaps given them a great opportunity to study the opposition in depth and come up with a strong challenger that ticks all the main boxes for buyers of these kind of vehicles. For someone that has a growing family, like me, Iím struggling to find another affordably priced vehicle that offers so much, and so capably. There are elements from rival SUVs and crossovers that of course please me, but the Ateca just seems to combine all of my favourite attributes into one carefully honed package.
And maybe itís because Iíve always admired the looks of the Leon hatchback and estate, and the fact that the Ateca takes that styling and morphs it into a more practical SUV is why it appeals to me. I adore the LED headlights that we specified as an optional extra, as they offer a super clear, bright white light that helps illuminate the dingiest of roads. While we added it as an optional extra at £820 to our SE specification car, buyers would actually be better off choosing the SE Technology model for an additional £1,735, as that also brings a navigation system, DAB radio and larger 18-inch bi-colour alloy wheels, as well as smart looking roof rails and chrome window surrounds, in addition to the fancy lighting. And even during the day those lamps cut a dash, as the LED daytime running lights have a modern and distinctive signature to warn other vehicles of your presence. Gone are the days of yellow-tinged lighting that you could barely make out in poor weather conditions, and in comes a crisp, contemporary lighting solution for the 21st century.
One other function that comes included within the LED headlights package comes into play at night, when youíve reached your destination, switched off the ignition and are about to get out of the car. So you can see where you are stepping, puddle lighting is projected from beneath each of the door mirrors. And while youíll probably say that thereís nothing new in that, some cars have had that for years, itís the fancy Ateca logo that makes it so impressive. Yes, I know that Range Roverís Evoque had that from the get go, itís just that it is pleasing for a mainstream car many thousands of pounds cheaper to have a similarly well executed design. Itís a real talking point when youíve got passengers with you, and a feature that puts a smile on your face and makes you feel good. And that is a recurring theme with Ateca ownership, and sums the car up nicely.
Date arrived: 27th September 2016
Mileage to date: 4,123
Fuel consumption: 65.7mpg (combined) 44.9mpg (on test)
I love the puddle lights that shine brightly at night, featuring a smart Ateca logo.
The relatively light coloured upholstery seems to show grubby marks quite easily.