The Seat Ateca leaves behind a lasting impression

Cheryl Kingston has become quite attached to the long-term Seat Ateca. Why? Let her explain

I've driven quite a few cars in my time and genuinely like to think of myself as someone who is quite versatile behind the wheel. I don't profess to know as much as my peers, but I've driven a fair amount over the years and whether it's a large car or a small one – or a truck or even driving hire cars abroad, I don't
get fazed by driving them. I also don't get attached to a vehicle – as I said I've driven a fair few, in fact, my first car went backwards not forwards and no I'm not kidding.

It was a blue Ford Fiesta and it cost me £50. My dad was a mechanic at the time and despite passing my test within three months of learning to drive, he clearly could see that a new car perhaps wasn't the best bet – I admit to actually saying once "it's been a whole week since I've hit the car on the driveway wall": true story.

I was impressed by this, but in my defence, as I say, the car went backwards. There was something clearly wrong with the gearbox because the first and reverse gears would often get mixed up, and at a stationary position when I attempted to move the car forward it would often start reversing – not ideal. But anyway, my whole point of telling you this is because I am not someone who has had the luxury of driving beautiful cars my whole life – I've had to work at it and I feel I've become a better driver because of it.

However, driving the Seat Ateca over the past few weeks has lulled me into a false sense of security, because instead of always being comfortably uncomfortable with a car, I'm now used to the luxuries this vehicle offers. Perhaps to some these aren't luxuries, but when you've driven a car that refuses without persistence to edge forward, the small details become the big ones.

For example, the Ateca's in-built interior technology allows me to change the music station by using the scrolling function on the steering wheel. Or the fact that at the touch of a button I can command the in-car technology to call my husband (as I often do on the commute home from work) by simply pressing the button and asking my internal friend to "Call Matt". My sister Jo made the observation the other day that she's never heard from me so much than she has in the past few weeks – I told her it's because I'm a great sister. She doesn't need to know the truth.

The Ateca is an extremely comfortable drive – it's big enough that I feel important when on the road (at least I'm honest) but not too large that I can't park it. The interior technology is sophisticated but not overly so – I can manage, so I'm pretty sure others can – and while the car has commanded the odd look from passers-by, it's not flamboyant either. I have loved driving this car and I mean loved it, and quite frankly did not want to hand back the keys when I was told that our time had come to an end.

As I said at the beginning of this article, I don't usually get attached to a vehicle, but the Seat Ateca has proved to be certainly the exception.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: Utilising the car's in-built technology to get as much done in the car as possible – exploiting my daily commute to call as many people as I could)

The Knowledge

MODEL: Seat Ateca Xcellence
PRICE: £32,720
ENGINE: 2.0-litre diesel
POWER: 187bhp
MAX SPEED: 132mph
0-60MPH: 7.3 seconds
MPG (COMBINED): 53.3mpg
EMISSIONS: 135g/km

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