The Ateca was Seat’s first SUV, and has proved itself to be a reliable, spacious and popular crossover. However, for some it has never fully delivered on the looks front. There was clearly a small gap in this already-crowded market for a sporty-looking Ateca, and now Seat has filled this with the Ateca FR.
The main differences involve some sporty exterior trim and a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
On the exterior front, you get 18-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured wheel arches and aluminium moulding sections. It has also had a 15mm drop in ride height, a gloss black grille fitted, while the rear bumpers are exclusive to the Ateca FR.
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As we have briefly mentioned, the Ateca comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. It’s a strong engine, producing 187bhp and 320Nm of torque, allowing the Ateca to accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 123mph. Power is sent to all four wheels using a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
It’s a good engine and has enough poke to get you up to speed quickly. The gearbox is a bit hesitant - particularly when you’re pulling away from traffic lights - but for most of the time it works well.
Ride and handling
The normal Ateca is already a great car to drive, and unsurprisingly the FR is no different.
Even big wheels and a lowered ride height doesn’t affect the way it rides either, as it can still deal with bumps and potholes easily. Although, if ride comfort is your top priority, you are probably better off choosing a standard Ateca.
On the road there is little body roll and it handles surprisingly well for a crossover. If you require more driving involvement you can also stick it into manual mode and use the steering-wheel mounted paddles, but in truth, you are probably best just leaving it in auto mode.
Our test car was also fitted with adaptive cruise control, making long journeys a breeze and sitting in slow traffic effortless as the car can brake and accelerate for you.
Interior and equipment
Inside, Seat has added some welcome touches that help to lift the interior to amore premium standard. You get just the right amount of FR branding inside, while it also benefits from a leather-upholstered multifunction steering wheel and sports seats.
The seats provide plenty of comfort and support, and are designed to ‘hug’ you, adding to that sporty feel. Red stitching on the sports steering wheel and gear lever is also a nice touch.
It comes well-equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen that includes satellite navigation, media connectivity and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Elsewhere, you get full LED headlights, daytime running lights and safety aids, such as city emergency braking with pedestrian protection, tiredness recognition and hill hold control.
The FR trim level on the Ateca is designed to sit just under the range-topping Xcellence. In this guise, it costs from £29,760, which is good value considering the amount of kit you get as standard. Although, our test car came with over £3,000 of optional extras, pushing the price well over £30,000, which does start to look pricey.
As for running costs - when it is fitted with the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine - it is quite thirsty. Seat claim it will return 40.4mpg and emit 159g/km – quite a lot if you were considering doing a lot of miles in it.
The Ateca has so far proved to be a hit for Seat, and is a welcome offering to the SUV market. In FR trim, it looks the part and comes very well-equipped. The only thing going against it is the price, as anything over £30,000 is approaching the premium SUV market, where the Ateca could potentially struggle.
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