23: Seat Ateca – Surprisingly beats its VW cousins

Top cars for 2018: well-priced and family-friendly if a little plain

 

When we first drove the Seat Ateca, it left us feeling just a touch underwhelmed. Yes, Seat had clearly done its sums and carefully used the VW Group parts bin to make a solid family SUV, but it didn’t excite, delight, nor invigorate.

Yet after spending more time with it in the rough and tumble of traffic and Irish back roads, the Ateca looks and feels a lot more impressive. It’s plain (but handsome) on the outside, equally plain (but well-built, comfy, and roomy) on the inside, and if it’s still not especially exciting to drive, then it certainly doesn’t ever put a foot wrong, and feels stable, secure, and sensible at all time.

Best of all, it’s well-priced, undercutting both the VW Tiguan (by a lot) and the new Skoda Karoq (by a little). Ditch the diesel and get the impressive 150hp 1.4-litre turbo petrol instead. You won’t regret it.

Best model: 1.4 TSI 150hp FR

Prices start from: €25,130

Finance package from: €269

CO2 emissions: 107-152g/km

Sum-up: The understudy upstages the star turns from both VW and Skoda.