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

Table of Contents

The facts

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)

The rivals

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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