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It's all about image at SEAT

Created on 30/01/2018 @ 10:21

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

It's all about image at SEAT these days and bosses predictions that the launch of the Ateca would take the brand a step further have really come to fruition.

Predictions that the company's UK market share would rocket with this arrival early last year were spot-on as the Ateca took the crossover class by storm and captured the company car market.

The Ateca became SEAT's third brand pillar alongside Ibiza and Leon with five trim levels S, SE, First Edition, SE Technology and Excellence with trim and technology packages to match.

All the signs suggested it would become as important to the company as Ibiza and Leon have and those signs were right. Now a baby brother Arona is arriving as well.
Now the Ateca has received the best possible recommendation – being named the best crossover at Company Car Today Awards impressing judges with P11D prices, residual values, insurance costs, boot space and all-round appeal.

The SEAT crossover matches a roomy interior and stylish design with a range of economical engines achieving up to 66 mpg on the combined cycle, and a P11D starting at £18,455.

And in a bid to impress the Ateca is currently available to all businesses and company car users to try through SEAT’s 4-day test drive programme.

This latest fleet win follows a strong 2017 for SEAT; overall UK sales were up 18.2% year-on-year, including a 33.7% increase for overall fleet sales and a 49.4% increase in true fleet sales respectively.

SEAT's first venture into the compact SUV market couldn't have better foundations than the MQB platform that has underpinned just about every new VW Group model over the last few years. So it was a no-brainer really.
The real question is why it took them so long to join the fray where the likes of Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and Renault Kadjar have been winning plaudits and sales growth?
Or was it a wise and well thought out ploy of watching and waiting to see what the small SUV sector really wanted because the new Ateca really does now tick all the right boxes.
The strangely named Ateca follows SEAT tradition in being named after a small Spanish village, is a sister model to the Leon and although designed by the Spanish brand, is built at the Kvasiny, Czech Republic factory of sister VW Group brand Skoda.

We drove the SE Technology 1.4Eco TSi PS with 7-speed DSG, which at £25,300 is a real example of why the model is so attractive to the fleet buyer.

With average fuel consumption of 51.4mpg and Co2 emissions of 125g/km you can see the attraction. And there’s no excuse for being late for an appointment either as there’s a top speed of 123mph and 0-62mph in8.6seconds – impressive.

A 10-speaker surround system, electric tailgate and keyless entry, connectivity hub and wireless phone charger together with a rear-view camera and space saving spare wheel pushed the price up to £27,315 – but that’s still very competitive.

Inside, the Ateca offers decent interior space and plenty of headroom thanks to the high-set roofline. Boot space is near the top of the class and a low loading lip makes access easy.

Instrumentation is modern and crystal clear and the dashboard is dominated by an eight-inch colour touchscreen, flanked on both sides by four buttons that controls everything from satellite navigation and telephone to audio and a range of apps. All this with integrated voice control and eight-speaker audio.

SE models get dual-zone climate control, cruise control, electrically-adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors and rear parking sensors on top of all the kit from S models, which includes everything from 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth and electric parking brake.

The safety and driver assistance systems available are pretty impressive, and run from the likes of adaptive cruise control, city emergency braking with pedestrian protection and traffic sign recognition to automatic dipping headlights and tiredness recognition.

The SEAT Ateca looks set to stay at the top of the crossover class in 2018


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