What’s it like?
Interior changes are largely focused on technology, with the 9.2in infotainment system (standard on all but the base model) receiving a redesigned interface that’s colourful and responsive. Gesture and voice controls are meant to reduce distractions, but the former was a little finicky in use.
Safety systems have also been strengthened across the board, although only the Xperience trim gets the new side and exit assist. Flashing lights and an audible warning now let you know if you’re about to lose a door to a passing car when getting out.
A few new materials around the door cards and dashboard help the Ateca to keep pace with the rest of the class for fit and finish, although scratchy hard plastics are still within easy reach. The new-shape steering wheel is nicely bolstered and isn’t too thick, while the abundance of buttons on it are at least sensibly grouped to make finding the right one easy.
The steering feels nicely weighted, with a sense of directness that inspires confidence as you press on through corners. This new Ateca is still nimble enough, with the same reassuring levels of grip that help make for a more engaging drive. It can’t completely disguise its tall-sidedness but does so better than almost all direct rivals.
The chassis and suspension remain on the stiffer side, and although they are comfortable enough across most road surfaces, they aren’t overly absorbing of larger bumps and humps.
The 148bhp four-pot powerplant is a lot smoother than the 1.0-litre three-cylinder and its extra potency feels better suited to a car that will likely be used for family lugging duties. It pulls to cruising speeds with minimal effort, the automatic gearbox swapping cogs deftly across all driving modes. Sport mode sharpens the throttle response and paddle shifters give direct control but still lack some of the engagement you’ll find with the six-speed manual.
Should I buy one?
The Ateca was already a perfectly practical crossover with a respectable degree of dynamism and this latest round of updates does nothing to diminish that. Technology improvements help it to remain competitive with the rest of the class and incorporating what were previously optional extras into the standard trim levels means anyone already in the market for one now stands to get slightly more for their money, which is never a bad thing.