The Ateca’s rear doors have a wide opening to make it easy to install a child car seat, and the seat backs split-fold at the pull of a boot-located lever to create a substantial load area that's big enough to carry a mountain bike without removing the front wheel. The Seat Ateca does miss out on the sliding rear bench and optional Trailer Assist system that’s found in the closely related Volkswagen Tiguan
, but these are sacrifices we’ll happily accept, given the Ateca’s significantly cheaper list price. The boot also has a large step in the floor, which makes loading heavier items tricky, but this can be remedied by ordering the optional movable boot floor to create a flat loading bay.
The Ateca was voted the Best Car for Families in the 2019 Auto Trader New Car Awards
Although the interior design may not be quite as exciting or arresting as the outside, everything works with an ease and robustness with the central console dominated by a clear touchscreen infotainment system. The driving position offers plenty of adjustment for both the seat and the steering wheel, but the rising waistline and elevated door trims do mean small children sitting in the back may struggle to have as good a view outside. And despite head and legroom being generous, you get the sense that those relegated to the second row are sitting in the cheap seats, as the cabin plastics don’t look or feel as plush as those up front.
The Seat Ateca is one of the more engaging and entertaining SUVs to drive. With a good steering feel and fairly brisk reactions, it tackles challenging bends with great poise and control. What’s more, the Ateca is also good at isolating road and wind noise, so it’s also a pretty civilised long-distance tourer. The trade-off for this excellent body control is a firmness to the ride, which, makes some roads feel a bit on the rough side, especially if you're running on some of the larger alloy wheels available.