The all-new Ateca puts SEAT on top
SEAT Ateca - International launch
Some people might think that SEAT cars are in the group of death against its Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda siblings.
However, a bit like underdogs Iceland in the Euros, the Volkswagen-owned brand has a real element of surprise to its game.
On any given day, SEAT can hold its own with the best of them, and its latest addition to the fleet may just give the big boys something to think about.
Last week in Barcelona, arriving a little bit late to the party, SEAT introduced its first SUV offering – the Ateca – to the world’s media.
SEAT has a great tradition of designing beautiful-looking cars, and sometimes they can even look sharper than some of Volkswagen’s major players.
The all-new Ateca shares the same MQB platform and many of its underpinnings with the new Volkswagen Tiguan.
Due on our shores in August, the SEAT Ateca will be initially offered in three equipment lines.
The entry-level S line with 16-inch alloy wheels offers not only an attractive price, but all the features needed in everyday life, such as air conditioning, media system with a five-inch touchscreen, electric parking brake as well as safety systems like seven airbags, drowsiness detection, tyre-pressure monitoring and front assist for the EU countries.
The SE line comes with extras such as 17-inch alloys, LED rear lights, climatronic air conditioning, back-seat release mechanism boot and rear-parking sensors.
The new highlight is the Xcellence top-of-the-range version.
This variant of the Ateca has a particularly distinctive and comfortable look-and-feel with leather upholstery, extensive trim elements and multi-colour ambient lighting.
On the outside, the Ateca Xcellence literally gleams with roof rails and window frames in chrome, a high-gloss black grille, dark tinted windows and 18-inch alloys.
The standard technology package in the Xcellence includes full-LED headlamps with welcome light, SEAT drive profile, rear-parking sensors with rear-view camera and keyless entry (Kessy) and go system and the top-view camera as optional.
On the engine front, there’s the usual line-up of VW-derived engines, including a brace of petrols – a 115hp 1.0 TSi and 150hp 1.4 TSi. Diesels range from a 1.6 TDI with 115hp to 150hp and 190hp two-litre version (DSG auto optional).
SEAT suggest competitive pricing, driving appeal and decent spec levels will help establish the Ateca as a serious contender when it goes on sale here at the end of the summer.
Prices will start at €24,750 for the entry-level model, while the likely volume-selling 1.6 TDi in mid-spec SE trim for €28,150 stands up well compared with competitors.
The SEAT Ateca arrives at SEAT’s 21-strong dealer network this August, and we will bring you the full review when we get behind the wheel for a week-long test drive.
WHAT AN X-PERIENCE IN THE SEAT LEON ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
SEAT Leon X-Perience
What an ‘X-Perience’. Two weeks, four major cities, 10 towns and more than 3,200km on my Tour de France.
From Paris to Nice to Bordeaux, I covered quite a large portion of France to follow the Boys in Green during our amazing journey to the last 16 in the tournament.
But it was worth every kilometre we covered – especially behind the wheel of the SEAT Leon X-Perience.
SEAT’s Leon range has been a huge success for the Spanish car maker and has replaced the Ibiza as the brand’s leading light.
I have to admit, unlike my colleague Paul I have never been a big fan of estate cars – until now.
Similar to the Skoda Scout and the more expensive Audi All-road Quattro, the SEAT Leon X-Perience is a rugged-looking estate that provides all the family space you will ever need.
I had three adults, two children and more suitcases than you’d see on an airport baggage carousel to deal with, yet we still had acres of space.
My test car for the two incredible weeks was the 2.0-litre TDI 184bhp 4WD DSG, and it’s a very potent motor.
You wouldn’t notice the extra weight of the X-Perience over the normal estate model, and it felt planted on the French roads.
Thankfully I didn’t have to tackle any rough stuff, apart from a bit of sand, but I’m sure the 4WD Leon could get you out of trouble.
Prices for the SEAT Leon X-Perience start at €32,495. Visit www.seat.ie