Independent, impartial advice for car buyers and car owners

Find an Expert Rating: 

SEAT Ateca gets a mid-life update

Refresh brings revamped looks and an additional trim level

Our Expert Partners:

Motorway 600x300

Sell your car with Motorway
Find out more

Cazoo 600x300

Find your next car with Cazoo
Find out more

ALA Insurance logo 2022 600x300

Warranty and GAP from ALA Insurance
Find out more

Motors 600x300

Find your next car with Motors.co.uk
Find out more

MotorEasy logo 300x150

Warranty, servicing and tyres from MotorEasy
Find out more

Mycardirect subscriptions – 600x300

Carsubscriptions from Mycardirect
Find out more


SEAT has given its Ateca SUV a mid-life refresh, bolstering its appeal with an updated look and more technology than before.

First released in 2016, the Ateca was one of the firm’s first SUV models and has now been joined by Tarraco and Arona models. Popular from the off, more than 300,000 units have been sold since it first launched – with 35,000 in the UK alone.

Now, it’s been updated for 2020. Redesigned front and rear bumpers add an extra 2cm of length, but width and all interior dimensions are unchanged. A new front grille has been added, while the full-LED headlamps have been refreshed in terms of design too.

Around the back, the Ateca gets dynamic ‘sweeping’ indicators and new exhaust pipe covers. One of the most notable touches is the inclusion of the Ateca nameplate in a handwriting-style font, similar to that seen on the new Leon.

A new trim level has been added too. Xperience – which replaces the previously top-spec Xcellence specification – brings black front and rear bumpers along with body-coloured wheel arch surrounds and aluminium effect side mouldings.

Inside, the infotainment system – available with either eight-inch or nine-inch screens – has been upgraded and repositioned for easier use. The steering wheel has also been given a new look. A new voice recognition has been fitted, which can be woken by the driver saying ‘hola hola’ to it. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included as standard too.

A new cold-weather windscreen heating system has been incorporated too. It sees the screen coated in an invisible layer which allows it to be defrosted almost immediately.

The Ateca’s safety levels have been bolstered too thanks to the inclusion of a range of new driver assistance systems such as predictive adaptive cruise control, pre-crash assist and an updated emergency assist which can bring the car to a complete stop if it deems the driver unresponsive.

Five petrol engines will be available with the Ateca, starting off with a turbocharged 1.0-litre unit, through a 1.5-litre powerplant and ending with a 2.0-litre engine with all-wheel-drive.

There’s just one diesel available – a 2.0-litre unit – though it’s available in two states of tune, and can be linked to either a six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Nip and tuck for popular SEAT Ateca

The SEAT Ateca has been popular with both customers and critics over the last four years. It currently holds an Expert Rating of 78% based on 18 UK reviews that we’ve analysed, which isn’t quite best-in-class but is still one of the better mid-size crossover models available.

We’ll have to wait and see exactly what UK pricing and specification look like closer to the updated Ateca’s arrival, but hopefully the upgraded safety kit finds its way into the base models as standard rather than being reserved for higher-spec cars or only available for extra cost. Presumably, there’ll be an updated Cupra Ateca performance version appearing shortly as well.
Stuart Masson, Editor

Latest news from the car industry at The Car Expert

Jack Evans
Jack Evans
Articles by Jack Evans are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.