Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Seat's game-changer has flair, passion and energy

IF you want an award-winning car that brings a zest and lightness of touch to driving, then you should take a spin in the Seat Ateca.

There is something fresh and alive about this car that among other accolades earned it “game-changer” recognition from one leading magazine.

Interestingly enough, its designers may well have infused the Ateca with some good old-fashioned Spanish flair and passion.

Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, head of Seat Design, says: “The Ateca is a car that could only have been created in Barcelona, by a brand that’s on the move and with a design that combines passion with precision.

“Its design displays clear tension and conveys forceful energy. The joy of performance is reflected in every detail.”

Actually, even allowing for the best kind of in-house hyperbole that is never in short supply where cars are concerned, Mr Mesonero-Romanos is not far wrong.

There is something “forceful” about this car’s energy — that is, at the performance level. Dare I say it, coming from Barcelona it reflects that Catalan spirit so apparent on either side in recent news bulletins.

In one appraisal, Autocar said that while the whole mainstream auto industry was making family-oriented SUVs (sport utility vehicles), no one was making a better example than Seat with the Ateca. And you only have to drive the car to see why this particular praise was so fulsome.

The model I have been driving has the efficient and super smooth DSG seven-speed automatic gearbox, which adds to the lively all-round response of this car.

This, coupled with a 1.4 Eco TSI engine, proved to be a winning combination.

The 1.4 Eco TSI engine, familiar from the Ibiza and Leon ranges, uses Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) to achieve a significant reduction in fuel consumption.

This system automatically shuts off two of the engine’s four cylinders (cylinders two and three) under low to mid-sized loads.

The turbo helps ensure there’s plenty of torque (pulling power) where it’s needed. Using a six-speed manual gearbox, the 1.4 Eco TSI has official efficiency figures of 122 g/km of CO2 and 52.3 mpg fuel economy.

The Ateca has a line-up of five equipment grades, including First Edition — Seat’s first crowd-sourced model specification.

Starting with the S grade, this offers features including 16-inch alloys, Seat’s Media System Touch with Bluetooth, USB port, SD card slot and four-speaker audio. There is also split-folding rear seats, boot light, leather steering wheel and gear knob trim and power windows.

SE grade additions include 17-inch alloys, roof rails, auto-folding door mirrors, LED taillights, front fog lights with a cornering function, rear reading lights, ambient cabin illumination, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, and rear parking sensors.

SE Technology models have
18-inch bi-colour alloys and beef up the infotainment package with the addition of navigation, using 3D mapping and a high-res colour display.

There is also an additional SD card slot and the audio system provides DAB radio reception. Style touches include chrome window surrounds and aluminium-finish roof rails.

At the top of the range, Xcellence grade is a no-holds-barred celebration of Seat technology and quality.

It comes fitted with 18-in Performance alloy wheels, twin chrome tailpipes, aluminium roof rails, dark-tinted rear privacy glass, full LED headlights and taillights, welcome lights in the door mirrors, rear-view camera, LED ambient interior lighting with eight colour options, KESSY keyless entry and go, leather upholstery, black headlining, aluminium door sills, and a Connectivity Hub in the centre console that includes a wireless charger.

It also comes with a Convenience Pack comprising auto headlights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and automatic coming and leaving home lighting.

Seat Ateca SE Technology 1.4 EcoTSI seven-speed DSG

Total cost of test vehicle: £27,315

Colour Reflex silver, metallic (£575)

• Average fuel economy: 51.4 mpg

CO2 emissions: 125 g/km

0-62 mph: 8.6 seconds

Top speed: 123 mph

Options include: Seat Sound, 10 speakers and subwoofer (£330); electric tailgate (£780); rear view camera (£220)

Motoring

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