Seat Ateca vs Skoda Karoq

Seat Ateca vs Skoda Karoq: used car comparison

Which is better, the Seat Ateca or Skoda Karoq? Our used car comparison guide tells you everything you need to know.

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By Cazoo editorial team

Compact SUVs are rapidly replacing conventional hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus as the small family car of choice. The Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq are among the best and most popular in the UK. But which one is best? Here’s our guide to the Ateca vs Karoq, comparing them in key areas. 

The Ateca has been sold new since 2016 and the Karoq since 2017. Both Seat and Skoda are owned by Volkswagen Group and the two cars share many mechanical parts. Indeed, they are almost identical in size and everything that makes them go, steer and stop, and much of their body structures are also basically the same. Yet they look and feel very different, beginning with their exterior styling and continuing inside.

Interior and tech

The interiors of the Ateca and Karoq reflect the look of their exteriors – the Ateca’s interior has a sporty look, while the Karoq’s is softer-edged. They feature many shades of black and grey but their big windows let in lots of light, so the interiors are actually pleasant places to spend a few hours. Opt for one with a panoramic sunroof and there’s even more light.

Both cars’ dashboards are very user-friendly but it’s a bit easier to learn your way around the Karoq’s. In 2020, the Ateca was updated with Volkswagen’s latest touchscreen infotainment system which can feel a bit counterintuitive at first. 

The Ateca and Karoq come very well equipped. All models have air con, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth and DAB radio. Many versions have sat nav, parking sensors, cruise control and a high-end stereo too. Top-spec models get extra features such as heated leather seats.

Boot space and practicality

Both the Ateca and Karoq are family cars designed to offer maximum practicality and convenience. And they hit the mark pretty much bang on. They have more than enough space for a family of four, with enough headroom and legroom in the back seats for even tall teenagers to feel comfortable. The Karoq is noticeably roomier in the back though (especially for headroom) and both cars’ middle back seat is rather hard and narrow so best reserved for occasional use by children.

In both cars, you have lots of useful interior storage areas to temporarily stash things like wallets, phones and drinks. Again, though, the Karoq is slightly more practical thanks to larger door pockets, more bag hooks, a removable bin and a parking-ticket holder for the windscreen.

It’s much the same story for larger loads, too. Both cars have large boots by compact SUV standards, giving you much more space than you’d get in a similar-size hatchback. The Karoq’s boot is bigger, though, with 521 litres of space to the Ateca’s 510 litres. 

Fold down the back seats and the Ateca has 1,604 litres and the Karoq has 1,630. However, if you get a Karoq of SE L spec or higher it comes with ‘Varioflex’ – Skoda’s name for three individual back seats that can slide forwards and backwards, fold forward or come out of the car entirely. With all three removed, there’s a whopping 1,810 litres of space and that extra flexibility that could be crucial for you.       

Which is the best to drive?

In general, Seat cars feel sporty to drive, while Skodas are more focused on comfort. And that’s true of the Ateca and Karoq. The Ateca feels a bit sharper, more responsive. The Karoq is softer and more settled at high speeds. It’s quieter, too. The Ateca isn’t noisy or uncomfortable by any means, but we are comparing it here to the quietest, most comfortable car of this type. Pick either and you’ll have a car that’s as at home on a long motorway journey as it is nipping around town. Parking is easy, too, thanks to the big windows and raised driving position in each car.

Both are available with the same selection of ‘TSI’ petrol and ‘TDI’ diesel engines, and manual or ‘DSG’ automatic gearboxes. Both petrol and diesel engines range in power from 115hp to 190hp. They’re all good engines but, for most people, the 150hp petrol or diesel option provides the best blend of performance and economy.

The most powerful models have four-wheel drive. Diesel four-wheel-drive Ateca and Karoq models are highly capable of towing, with maximum capacities of 2,100kg. There’s also a very high performance version of the Ateca, sold by the Cupra brand.

Which costs less to own?

Because they use the same engines, fuel economy figures for the Ateca and Karoq are virtually identical. Their official economy figures cover a broad range that reflects a change in how they’re calculated, lowering the figures for most cars. 

Depending on which engine is fitted, petrol Ateca and Karoq models can give anywhere between 32mpg and 54mpg, according to official figures. Diesel models can give 39mpg to 62mpg.

Road tax and insurance costs are reasonable for this type of car.

Safety and reliability

Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded both the Ateca and Karoq a full five-star safety rating. They have lots of safety features including automatic emergency braking, a driver tiredness monitor and seven airbags. Some models have extra features including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist.

Both cars should prove to be reliable. In the most recent J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study, Skoda was ranked second among 24 brands while Seat was 14th.

Dimensions

Seat Ateca

Length: 4,381mm

Width: 2,078mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1,615mm

Boot space: 510 litres

Skoda Karoq

Length: 4,382mm

Width: 2,025mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1,603mm

Boot space: 521 litres

Verdict

The Ateca and Karoq are both really good cars that will easily slot into the life of any family and may even enhance it. Both cars are practical, good to drive, great value and cost relatively little to run. If you really enjoy driving, you’ll probably prefer the Ateca’s sportier feel. But the Karoq’s additional space and greater comfort, as well as little details that make life easier, give it the victory here.

You’ll find a wide range of high-quality used Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq cars for sale at Cazoo. Find the right one for you, then buy online and have it delivered to your door or choose to collect it from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.

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