It will also be followed by a smaller SUV based on the next-generation Ibiza, which is due in 2017, with a larger SUV under investigation for production by the end of the decade.
Underpinned by the VW Group’s versatile MQB platform, the Ateca is 4.36m long, which makes it just 2cm shorter than the Qashqai. It shares its 2.64m wheelbase with the Leon, while the 1.84m width and 1.6m height are also in line with the Qashqai.
The five-seat Ateca will be offered with standard front-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive from launch and a familiar range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.
The entry-level petrol unit is the three-cylinder 113bhp 1.0 TSI. A 1.4 TSI with 148bhp and cylinder deactivation technology is the other petrol engine. A 1.6 TDI diesel is offered with 113bhp, and a 2.0 TDI with 148bhp or 187bhp.
All engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox optional on more powerful engines. All-wheel drive is offered on the diesel engines only.
The most efficient model in the range is the 113bhp 1.6 TDI with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. This has CO2 emissions of 112g/km and combined economy of 65.7mpg.
Seat has already confirmed that an FR version of the Ateca will be offered at a later date, and that a performance Cupra version is under consideration. Versions with off-road styling are also likely.
The new Ateca, named after a village in Spain, sports a sharp, sculptured design evolved from that of the Leon range. Among the features are full LED headlights and the option of LEDs in the exterior mirrors that illuminate the floor area around the doors when they are unlocked, projecting the Ateca name at the same time. A similar feature is offered on Range Rovers.
The interior is also familiar from the Leon, borrowing that car’s looks and touchscreen infotainment system. The gear lever has been shortened, however, in order to to give it a more sporty feeling.
Seat is pushing the sporting credentials of the Ateca. R&D boss Matthias Rabe describes the cars as having the “most dynamic ride possible”, and “light-footed, precision handling”.