Of course, all this would be for naught if the Ateca was rubbish as a family car. But it isn’t; in fact, it’s spacious, comfortable, easy to drive, and a very pleasant place to spend time.
Granted, it’s held off the top spot in its class because its equipment list, running costs and versatility are all a little off the pace of the very best. But if you’re dismayed by the thought of its dowdier rivals, and like the idea of a family SUV that’ll give you something to smile about, the Ateca is still a great bet.
Telegraph rating: Four stars out of five
On test: Seat Ateca 1.0 TSI 110 SE Technology
How much? £24,430 on the road
How fast? 112mph, 0-62mph in 11.4sec
How economical? 44.1mpg (WLTP Combined)
Engine/gearbox: 999cc three-cylinder petrol with 108bhp, six-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive
The electric bits: N/A
Electric range: N/A
CO2 emissions: 146g/km
VED: £215 first year, then £150/year
Warranty: 3 years / 60,000 miles (no mileage cap in first two years)
Boot size: 510 litres
Spare wheel as standard: No (optional extra)
Peugeot 3008 1.2 Puretech 130 Active Premium
128bhp, 48.0mpg, £27,160 on the road
The 3008’s swish interior and stylish looks make it a desirable rival to the Ateca, and one that feels slightly more upmarket. It isn’t as sharp to drive, but you do get a more comfortable ride and a bigger boot. However, it’s also expensive to buy, and even then, this version isn’t quite as well equipped.
Vauxhall Grandland X 1.2 Turbo 130 Elite Nav
128bhp, 44.8mpg, £24,350 on the road
Essentially the same car as the Peugeot above beneath the surface, but rather more bland above it. That said, this version of the Grandland X comes with heaps of toys, yet still costs less than the Ateca to buy, and still offers plenty of space and practicality; if all you’re after is a top-value family chariot, then, it’s hard to fault.
Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 140 Acenta Premium
138bhp, 44.8mpg, £23,550 on the road
A new Qashqai is arriving any minute now; until then, though, the old one looks like great value, as it’s being sold for run-out prices; this version matches the Ateca on spec and fuel economy and beats it on power, yet costs almost £1,000 less to buy. The catch is that it’s rather dour inside, not to mention less spacious. It still feels good to drive, though.
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