If you had any doubts about the new Seat Ateca SUV, you may want to think again, after the Spanish carmaker revealed the extremes to which it pushes the model before production.

Forty Atecas and 50 engineers are currently preparing to undertake 25,000km of tough driving in southern Spain’s desert region.

In this extreme testing, where temperatures will regularly reach 45 degrees in the shade, the cars will be pitted against a total of 80 challenges, which are designed to test their strength, performance and reliability.

Among the challenges is the traction and controlled descent test, which puts the car’s traction control systems and Hill Descent Control to work on declines of up to 35 per cent. The latter system guarantees a controlled descent without the driver having to use the brakes and automatically enables the ABS system where necessary.

Next, the cars will undergo a towing control test, which is designed to verify the performance of the Trailer Stability Program. This system is important as it helps the car to remain stable while pulling a trailer.

Also on the list is the Klapper test, which ensures that all of the vehicle’s components function correctly, and do not cause any unwanted noise, regardless of the type or condition of the surface being driven on.

One of the more exciting challenges is the dust intake test, in which a car drives through the desert leaving a large dust cloud in its wake. An Ateca will follow through this dust cloud in order to determine the service life of the air filter.

Finally, the Atecas will undergo the gravel test. Three thousand kilometres driven over a gravel course will allow engineers to analyse the impacts made by gravel on the undercarriage, wheel arches and the bumpers.

Suffice to say that once the Ateca has undergone such extensive testing, it is more than prepared for anything that is thrown at it.

The model is currently available in dealerships, and is priced from £17,990 on the road.

Jack Evans


After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.

October 7, 2016