Our Cars: SEAT Ateca 2.0 TDI Xcellence 4Drive DSG

23 December 2016: Where have all my MPGs gone?

The Details

Current mileage 3098
Claimed economy 53.3mpg
Actual economy 39.2mpg

I’ve been concerned for some time now about the fuel economy that the Ateca’s been giving us. We all know that an average MPG claim is always an unrealistic one, unless you’re one of those people that only ever drives your car on a big treadmill in a vacuum sealed warehouse.

But you expect the claim to have some grounding in reality – or if not, to at least be worth the sacrifice. 40mpg from a diesel that feels rapid around the doors would be ok, but what’s actually happening is we’re getting 30mpg from a crossover that feels anything but.

We do drive the Ateca carefully usually – the car’s drivetrain demands it anyways, as we explained in the last update – but no matter how hard we try, the Ateca is a 30mpg urban machine.

What’s more worrying is that it’s a 40mpg extra-urban one. You’ll note that the car’s overall MPG for our time with it so far is just below 40mpg, but that’s because we’ve done a fair few A1(M) runs recently between Newcastle and Peterborough. To make videos and that. So the last time we did the round trip, last week, we did a little experiment.

SEAT Ateca -053

                                                     A chair. Because why not? 

Travelling at night both ways so the traffic was light, and sticking steadfastly between 60-70mph, we managed to scrape 40mpg, just. You may be aware that the A1(M) is scuppered by mile-upon-mile of 50mph zones too, making the MPG result even more disappointing. But that’s a gentle 450-mile round trip in a 53mpg diesel. We’d expect better.

So what’s the moral? Well, it’s either that I need to take some sort of economical driving course (which may be useful, actually), or that you need to be aware this Ateca is a 35-40mpg car at best, before you buy one. A VWG product making spurious diesel claims? Imagine that. (Sorry – cheap shot.)

Again though, it only relates to this particular Ateca. According to Real MPG, the 1.6-litre TDI is returning a 47.5mpg average for its owners, which is actually a smaller percentage of its claimed figure than ours, but is at least reasonable for a diesel family car. The 1.4-litre TSI, which is the one we’d recommend to most, is giving a similar actual MPG rating to our car, as it happens.

But with everything that’s happening in Dieselsville at the moment, plus the fact that it’s simply a much more pleasurable drivetrain, 40mpg from the TSI feels like a price worth paying. Petrol’s a bit cheaper too, of course.

« Earlier: A love-hate relationship     Later: Ateca, meet your nemesis: a Peugeot »

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