What is it?
This is the Seat Ateca crossover – rare among new cars because it’s proving something of a UK sales hit and is highly rated in these parts – that we’re testing for the first time in near-top-of-the-range petrol form.
This version uses Volkswagen’s 'EA888’ 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine detuned from the state in which it powers various Cupra and GTI performance models, but it's still good for 187bhp and 236lb ft of torque: outputs that match those of the more expensive like-for-like Volkswagen T-Roc. It’s available only with clutch-based part-time four-wheel drive and only with a paddleshift twin-clutch gearbox – again, exactly like the matching T-Roc.
FR is Seat’s lower-level performance trim that applies to both petrol and diesel engines. It gets you 18in alloy wheels, sports styling and a fairly generous equipment level including LED headlights and a parking camera. Unlike on other Seat models, however, it doesn't come with lowered sport suspension. As you might have read elsewhere, there will be an even more powerful Ateca Cupra (which won't be branded a Seat) later this year, should you want one.