Did you know that Spain is one of the world’s largest automobile producers? The industry accounts for roughly 4% of the nation’s GDP.
So, when one of its most ubiquitous car brands, Seat (or Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo) announced they were coming to New Zealand, the timing seemed to fit perfectly.
SUV’s dominate the new and used car market here. We reckon it’s because they work so well as crossover vehicles. The body designs are slick, there’s plenty of storage space and the technology and safety features are better than ever.
The Seat Ateca won the 2017 Autobest Best Buy Car of Europe. When you’re competing against popular SUVs like the Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander, these awards go a long way towards developing brand trust.
Seat New Zealand’s Marketing Manager, Setti Mulari believes the opportunity for the Ateca to shine are big. “When Seat launched the Ateca in Europe it quickly outsold production capacity and won pretty much every award going. It’s a driver’s SUV with the handling and performance of a spirited car. Seat was late to the SUV party because we wanted to develop something extraordinary and it worked,” said Mulari.
We had the chance to test drive the Ateca for a couple of days.
At a glance, the long body feature lines and angular grilles give it a sharp appearance from all angles.
It is a reasonably good driving experience. The seat set up puts you a bit higher off the ground than you usually would be in an SUV of this size…but that’s a good thing. Subconsciously, most of us always feel that extra bit safer when we’re in car that is higher up off the ground. The 2L turbo engine gives the car all the grunt you could ask for on New Zealand roads. Handling around the narrow roads and tight corners is superb. All the integrated safety features make the driving experience better and a lot less stressful. The top view camera goes a long way when you’re reversing out of those tight corners.
One of the coolest features has to be the car foot well lights which come on when you’re opening the car at night. It’s something which we don’t often think about but it certainly does make it feel like a truly professional SUV.
Key Information and Specs
Style: 4 cylinder 1.4L Turbo Petrol
Xcellence: 4 cylinder 1.4L Turbo Petrol
FR 4Drive: 4 cylinder 2L Turbo Petrol
Xcellence 4Drive: 2L Turbo Diesel
Style & Xcellence: 680kg unbranked, 1.8 Tonnes braked
FR 4Drive & Xcellence 4Drive: 750kg unbraked, 2 Tonnes braked
Style: 6.4L per 100km in town, 4.9L per 100km out of town
Xcellence: 6.4L per 100km in town, 4.9L per 100km out of town
FR 4Drive: 8.5L per 100km in town, 6L per 100km out of town
Xcellence 4Drive: 6L per 100km in town, 4.9L per 100km out of town
The entire SEAT Ateca range has a 5 Star EURO ANCAP safety rating.
City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Protection
Blind Spot Detecion
Front and Side Airbags for driver and front seat passenger
Electronic differential lock system
8 inch colour screen media system, complete with Bluetooth, USB, Aux-in & SD card ports, integrated voice control and 8 speakers.
10 speaker sound system
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink
Navigation with map updates for 3 years.
Style: 8.6 seconds
Xcellence: 8.6 seconds
FR 4Drive: 7.9 seconds
Xcellence 4Drive: 7.5 seconds