It has already proved to be one of SEAT’s most popular cars
SEAT’s Ateca was the brand’s first SUV. It arrived at a time when most manufacturers were beginning to realise that high-riding models were big business, with a lot of buyers preferring to sit higher up and with a more commanding view of the road ahead. Previous to this, SEAT hadn’t really entered into the large car segment - save for with the Alhambra MPV - and had really only focused on smaller, more economical and fun to drive cars instead.
But the Ateca changed all that. Levering a platform that underpinned cars like the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Ateca brought some typically Spanish flair but in a larger, more practical body style. Needless to say, it has already proved to be one of SEAT’s most popular cars, but what else do you need to know about the history of the Ateca? Let’s take a look.
Origins of the Ateca were showcased as far back as the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, in concepts that integrated many of the design cues we see on modern SEAT cars today. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that a production-ready version appeared, taking its name from a village close to SEAT’s headquarters in Barcelona.
It sat on top of the same platform as the Skoda Karoq as well as the Tiguan and is in fact built in Skoda’s plant alongside that car too. From launch, it was available with a wide selection of petrol and diesel engines, which all have a close eye on efficiency. Certain models - badged 4Drive - also get four-wheel-drive, though this is largely only available with diesel-powered Ateca models.
The Ateca was also one of the first models to be adapted by CUPRA as it became a standalone brand. Kitted out with the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine as found in cars like the Volkswagen Golf R, it quickly became a rather undercover hero of performance models. It brought the same level of practicality as the regular Ateca, but had a healthy dose of go-faster performance that a lot of buyers look for.
In 2020, SEAT saw fit to give the Ateca a facelift in order to help it keep ahead in an ever-expanding segment. Since it arrived, more than 300,000 have been sold - so you can understand why the firm kept the exterior changes relatively subtle. The front end was lightly retouched, with a new grille, a redesigned bumper and standard-fit LED lights at both the front and rear of the car.
One noticeable change was the addition of a new handwriting-style badge at the rear of the car, something we’ve seen applied to the rest of the cars in SEAT’s range. The firm also bolstered the amount of assistance tech on this new Ateca, adding high-end features such as adaptive cruise control and side assist.