What is it?
There’s no doubt about it, downsizing is the future. With increasingly stringent emissions regulations being imposed on manufacturers, small capacity forced induction motors can now be found in everything from compact city cars to mid-engined performance machines. So it comes as no surprise that Seat has gone down this path with its new entry-level Ateca. Or does it?
You see, on paper, putting a 1.0-litre engine in an SUV is rather a risky move. Why, you might ask? Well, it’s all about perception. Sure, a small turbocharged three-cylinder makes sense in a hatchback like a Skoda Octavia or Peugeot 308, but a heavy SUV? Surely it wouldn’t be powerful enough?
That was a question VW had to ask itself when considering the same unit for the Tiguan, and in the end, the more ‘premium’ manufacturer decided against it. However, on reflection, we think that might have been a mistake, because once you’ve managed to get your head around the 1.0 TSI’s tiny dimensions, the little motor makes quite a lot of sense.
With a peak output of 113bhp at 5000rpm the 1.0-litre engine manages to match the output of the more expensive 1.6 TDI. And with the Ateca managing the 0-62mph sprint in 11.0sec, it’s quicker, too.