If we had to pick one word for the Seat Ateca, it would be ‘controlled’. Whatever we asked, the Ateca answered calmly but emphatically.

Stability is the cornerstone of towing, and the Ateca was secure at all speeds. Data from the Al-Ko ATC system showed it remained firmly in charge of the van when decelerating.

What about the lane-change test? Upping the speed seemed to make no difference, with the Ateca just as controlled on the fastest run as on the slowest.

There was little lean, and precise steering worked in the driver’s favour.

Speed is nothing like as important as stability in our list of priorities when choosing a tow car, but the Ateca offers both.

The 190PS (187bhp) petrol engine may not have the mid-range punch of the equivalent diesel, but it’s not far off – the 9.5-second 30-60mph time makes the Seat the quickest accelerating car in its class.

Four-wheel drive and an auto ’box is usually a recipe for straightforward hill starts, and so it proved with the Ateca.

The electronic parking brake stopped car and caravan rolling backwards on the 1-in-6 slope, and the car pulled to the top of the hill with no sign of strain.

Our practicality judges were also impressed, with one very important proviso. The boot was big enough to take a full load of holiday luggage, and the towing gear was neatly installed and easy to use.

But our practicality gurus would prefer a spare wheel to a repair kit (a space-saver is a £115 option), although there was no warning against using the kit while towing.

In day-to-day driving, the Ateca has a relatively firm ride, but not excessively so. And the pay-off for this is a really entertaining drive.

FR spec offers lots of equipment for your money, including plenty of safety kit. That has helped the Seat Ateca to achieve a five-star rating
from the safety experts at Euro NCAP.

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