The Ateca is also packed with features designed to enhance the driving experience. Sven Schawe, SEAT's Director of Whole Vehicle Development, Chassis Development and Innovation, explains: “There is lots of state-of-the-art technology available in the VW Group, and nearly all of this is integrated into the Ateca.”
That technology includes optional full-LED headlights with pure white daylight for improved vision, which have the indicators built into them. “It’s a signature of the car,” says Sven Schawe. “When you drive this car on the road everyone will recognise this is an Ateca when you indicate.”
There is also a ‘welcome light’ built into the wing mirror that projects an illuminated Ateca logo onto the ground by the doors when you unlock the car.
Inside is just as much tech, thanks to features such as the Media System Plus touchscreen. It detects your hand, so buttons only appear when you need them - which keeps the screen layout cleaner. The SEAT Full Link system is compatible with smartphones including both Android and Apple. There's also an optional wireless charging system, which also uses the car’s antenna to helpfully boost your mobile phone reception.
Sven Schawe is proud of the Ateca's safety features: “Every driving assistance system that it makes sense to have in a car is available in the Ateca.” Options include traffic alert, a lane-departure warning system and blind-spot detection. The Top View Camera system uses four cameras built into the car to create an overhead view, which can also be used to model a 3D image. There is also a Park Assist function, which can automatically steer the Ateca into spaces for you.
That space, practicality and feature list doesn't come at the expense of performance, however: the compact, lightweight bodyshell is designed to ensure the Ateca remains nimble.
There’s a choice of 1.0 and 1.4-litre TSI petrol engines, and 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDIs, with the 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel models available in front-wheel and all-wheel-drive. There are manual and DSG gearbox options. The driving dynamic can be further honed through the SEAT Drive Profile system, which offers a range of settings for different driving modes and conditions - including ice and off-road settings on the all-wheel-drive models.
SEAT bosses are hoping that a combination of practicality, design and performance will help the Ateca stand out among its SUV rivals – especially once people have tried it.
Sven Schawe says: “The most important thing is that people need to drive this car to experience it. It has perfect driving behaviour. It’s a quiet car, but also a very sporty one. The driving, handling and agility of the car are among the best of its class.”
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