Plenty of car reviews needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Critics might do their best, but it can be tough to really get to grips with a vehicle over just a single day. That’s why the team over at The Telegraph sometimes do things a little differently; case in point, they’ve been treating the Seat Ateca to a long-term test over a number of months.

As The Telegraph’s James Foxall notes, the “all-new Ateca is very late to the SUV party”. This is a segment that has been growing for years, so it’s interesting to see whether a new contender has any hopes of gaining a significant market share. Though there seem to be a few niggles, this long-term review seems to suggest that Seat’s late entry might just upset the established players.

Performance was clearly a draw for Foxall, who writes that: “One of the first things to impress me about the Ateca has been its handling. Seat set out to create an SUV that feels sporty on the road and it has succeeded.” Combining a 148bhp engine that makes 251 lb-ft of torque between 1,750 and 3,000rpm with very similar underpinnings to the Leon family hatchback has produced a vehicle that feels responsive and powerful, with an elevated ride height creating “none of the body roll that taller vehicles can frequently suffer from”.

For an SUV to continue impressing over long-term use is noteworthy, and there doesn’t seem to be any sacrifice when it comes to fuel efficiency. While admitting that the Ateca “struggled to match its claimed 55.4mpg EU Combined figure” across all roads, Foxall still managed 60.1mpg on an extra urban cycle and 45.2mpg overall.

Beyond performance and efficiency, the Seat Ateca impressed with a wide range of creature comforts and driver assistance technologies. Of course, The Telegraph did use a top-of-the-range Xcellence trim with £1,210 Xcellence Pack, but the vehicle still remains strikingly competitive when compared to others in its segment.

Luxuries such as rain-sensing windscreen wipers, ambient interior lighting, heated front seats, and satellite navigation all impressed. There’s even a top-view camera, which creates a virtual bird’s eye image of the vehicle and its surrounding area for easy low-speed manoeuvring, plus a wireless charging point for your personal devices.

Overall, the Seat Alteca seems to have held its head high throughout the long-term test, with performance and technology singled out for special praise.