Our Cars: SEAT Ateca 2.0 TDI Xcellence 4Drive DSG

6 January 2017: Ateca, meet your nemesis: a Peugeot

The Details

Current mileage 4020
Claimed economy 53.3mpg
Actual economy 42.0mpg

Right, we've already established that the Ateca is very good and, indeed, is Honest John's most popular crossover - most popular car full stop, no less. 

I tended to agree with you all. If you've been following my time with the car, or seen my review of it, you'll know that I admire the Ateca greatly, in every way - looks nice, practical, well priced, great to drive. What's not to like?

You'll also know, however, that I've always considered it the best crossover in a loveless sort of way. The same way I think Fairy Liquid is the best thing to wash my dishes with, or Accessorize is the best place to buy my hair bobbles... I mean, B&Q is the best place to buy my power tools. That.

To be honest, somewhere in my subconscious mind, filed alongside old episodes of Byker Grove, this view had probably pegged my expectation of what could be accomplished with a crossover - that it won't get much better than this and, as such, crossovers must always be pretty boring if they are to work properly. Probably. 

Ateca -3008

                                         3008 and Ateca cabins: which would you choose? 

Case in point: the Toyota C-HR crossover 'coupe' is a bit mental. It looks great - exciting, even - and it's economical and well made. But it's also extremely disappointing to drive, lacking in practicality in places and pricey. And therefore not necessarily a car I'd recommend to anyone ahead of the Ateca, even though I could love it, if it were better. 

Step in the Peugeot 3008. What a crossover that thing is. It too is pricey (starting at £22,495), true, but in every other way it's every bit as good - or better - than the Ateca, except that it's also actually interesting. Really interesting. The cabin is a lesson in intriguing yet useful design, right down to the unusual trim choices, plus the engines are excellent, it's great to drive and it looks unique, inside and out. 

The 3008 is cut from its own cloth, while the Ateca is very clearly a Volkswagen Group product (jump to 2:00 in the video below for details), and one that seems to have been clinically formulated during a series of product planning meetings, somehow.

Ultimately, the 3008 has the sort of spirit that the Ateca should have had - youthful, sporty, daring, different - and it does so without scrimping on the stuff you need: quality, space etc. By comparison the Ateca, as good as it is, feels something of a Tiguan-light. 

« Earlier: Where have my MPGs gone?     Later: Here's which Ateca you should buy...not this one »

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