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ROAD testing can be like walking a dog – sometimes approached by strangers or having your pride and joy photographed. And the SEAT Ateca SE 1.6 TDi Ecomotive has topped my chart for this.

“It’s just a car,” says embarrassed wife on finding herself in the frame again in the supermarket car park, only a few days after her husband was accosted by a strange (but very pleasant!) young woman in another car park after we parked beside her SEAT estate. She wanted to know more.

Ateca SE 1.6 TDi

Nearer the target – 61.3mpg

SEAT have been bang on target with the Ateca, and it’s being reflected in sales.

A roomy five-seater, it looks sharp, as good if not better than any of its cousins from the Volkswagen-Audi stable, and cutting more of a dash than the more rounded older rivals in the SUV sector like Qashqai.

The economy is good too. I might be cynical of official combined economy figures like this Ateca’s 65.7mpg, but with a few miles on the clock I have now seen over 61mpg on a run, which is what you need with fuel prices rising!

And the car’s pricing is really attractive, this well-specced 1.6 SE TDI coming in around £6,000 less than the entry level Audi Q3 diesel (albeit a more powerful 2-litre) of similar body dimensions.

Company car tax

At launch last September the list price for the standard Ateca SE 1.6 TDI Ecomotive was £21,900, and following SEAT’s December price review that has risen to £22,435 for a P11D of £22,380 that will cost you about £90 a month on a 20% tax rate, as detailed in the Lowdown tables below.

But highly specified as it is in standard form, with a raft of safety devices, this launch test car has a fine assortment of optional goodies.

There’s that simmering gold of the Samoa Orange metallic paint (£525), the brilliant traffic-wise navigation system (£525), convenience pack with rain-sensing wipers and auto headlights (£170), full LED headlights (£820), dark tinted rear windows (£180), 17-inch Dynamic machined bi-colour alloy wheels (£340), multi-colour interior ambient lighting with LEDs (£150) and that double floor boot (£115) that swallows the wheelchair.

Those options tot up to £2,900 and after the relaxed box-ticking when ordering, you have to factor that into your BIK calculations, with the P11D value bumped up to £25,280. So instead of £90 a month the BIK’s going to put just over £100 on your deductions in 2017/18, £122 for your third year as company car tax rises.

And talking of taxes, if you can’t grab your new Ateca before April 1, you’ll see the difference in road tax on leasing deals or private purchase as the Government takes £440 over three years (£160 first year VED then £140 a year) instead of £60 (currently £0 first year then £30 p.a.).

So if you go looking for anything else, make sure you take into account the new road tax rates with first year tax based on CO2 and then price, and that list price can well be affected by your box-ticking!

 The lowdown on: SEAT Ateca SE 1.6 TDi Ecomotive 115PS

Doors and body style 5-door SUV
Engine/gearbox: 1.6-litre 4cyl turbo-diesel/6-speed manual transmission
CO2 Emissions: 113g/km
Economy: 65.7mpg
Power/torque: 115bhp/250Nm
0-62mph/top speed: 11.5secs/114mph
Insurance group: 11

… and what it costs

Standard trim As tested with options
P11D Value £22,380 £25,280
Monthly business rental (ex VAT) £267.75 n/a
Road tax (VED) now/From April 2017 First year£0 then £30 p.a. /£160 FY then £140 p.a. First year £0 then £30 p.a. /£160 FY then £140 p.a.
Company Car Tax Bands 2017/18 to 2019/20  24%, 26%, 29% 24%, 26%, 29%
Benefit in kind 2017/18 to 2019/20 £5,371, £5,819, £6,490 £6,067, £6,573, £7,331
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%) £977/£82 £977/£82
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%) £1,954/£163 £1,954/£163
Annual/monthly company car tax (20%) £1,074/£90 £1,213/£101
Annual/monthly company car tax (40%) £1,969/£164 £2,427/£202
Figures correct at time of posting January 2017
For latest figures Use our company car tax calculator
Ateca SE 1.6 TDi

Roomy boot takes loads of bags

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