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The Seat Ateca is a capable mid-sized SUV that now comes with a new eight-speed automatic, offering a sensible proposition to car buyers here.

16 Oct 2020



It wasn't too long ago that Seat made a comeback to the Singapore market, and things have been going well.

Seat has a fighter in every corner here. From the sensible Toledo sedan, three crossover variants, to manic go-fast options like the Leon Cupra.

Sensibly priced and well-equipped, Seats have indeed struck a chord with the general buying public. At the very least, we're sure you've seriously considered them when out car shopping.

But perhaps there's still something Singaporean car buyers just can't get their heads around - the dual-clutch transmission.

You're talking DSG?

Sensible car buyers will certainly appreciate the new eight-speed automatic in the Ateca
Let's get straight to it. They're quick, fuel-efficient, and offer quite a bit of joy. But many still prefer the dependable torque converter automatic.

So for those looking for peace of mind, this is Seat's answer. It is the Ateca, with an eight-speed automatic sourced from Aisin.

So that's the only change?

We've already established that the Seat Ateca is a pretty well-heeled SUV. It has good space, good equipment and a pretty face. It hasn't really shown its age quite just yet, so it still works just as well now.

The other change seeks to bring things up a notch. Updated for 2020 is a new 8.0-inch infotainment display for the Xcellence trim you see here, paired to the sweet 10.2-inch Virtual Cockpit.

The new screens elevate the Ateca's interior to something that's familiar yet sophisticated
Both screens offer high levels of usability and offer vibrant colours, and both interfaces are smooth and easy to navigate. And as expected, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard across all trims.

You do notice a little bit that's missing, though. The Auto-Hold button on the centre console. The parking brake is still electronic, but the option to rest your right foot from holding on the brakes at traffic lights is gone. Small matter, really.

What we do like in this space are the seats in the Xcellence trim. A mix of suede and leather not only offers good butt-grip abilities, but are nice and cool during hot days, too.

Get to the important bit, drive it!

The Ateca offers a comfortable driving position, along with a steering wheel that's light and precise
Get in the driver's seat and the Ateca's easy-to-drive nature is apparent.

Varying amounts of seating and steering positions will definitely please my pint-sized Editor and Yao Ming himself, with steering that's quick and well-weighted to make tight situations a breeze.

That's all fine and dandy and you've heard it before in our previous reviews of the Ateca.

With that familiarity, you'd assume the intricacies of the new automatic box would be obvious. But it isn't. It feels just like your well-heeled Ateca DSG. And in some ways, it is better.

The Ateca offers a comfortable, composed drive, with the eight-speed box unintrusive and smooth in function
Once the transmission reaches lockup speed, the Aisin box does well in switching cogs quickly. In normal driving situations, its smoothness is pretty commendable.

With it, you really do get a sense of the wide breadth of abilities the powerplant offers. The 250Nm of torque from the 1.4-litre turbocharged plant is fed almost throughout the whole rev range, with the gearbox multiplying that to good use without the need for aggressive throttle inputs.

Speaking of inputs, you do miss the snappiness of a dual-clutch tranny when you decide to swap the cogs yourself. But really, there's no need to be enthusiastic behind the wheel. Left to its own devices, the Ateca's drivetrain delivers well on the daily.

Fuel consumption figures are reasonable for a mid-sized SUV, too. The Ateca achieved a total of 11km/L over our 80km test drive.

The best of both worlds?

Looking for European quality with a bit of sensibility? The Ateca is a good choice
There aren't many cars that let you have your cake and eat it. When it comes to perceived quality and dependability that many Singaporeans are after, this eight-speed Ateca has all the boxes ticked.

It is a mid-sized SUV with space, looks and tech. And at $132,999 (as of 15 October 2020), it's priced just as sensibly as your favourite torque converter automatic.

Am I an automatic convert? Not quite yet. Snappy dual-clutches still please me. But we're sure the gearbox will please many car buyers. Hey, at least it isn't a CVT.
Also read our comparison article on:
Seat Ateca 1.4 AWD TSI DSG FR vs Toyota RAV4 2.0

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Car Information

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Promotion
There's a promotion for SEAT Ateca

Price

: POA

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1395cc

Horsepower

:

110kW (148 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

250 Nm / 3500 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

9sec

Top Speed

:

195km/h

Fuel consumption

:

16.1 km/L

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