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SEAT Overview

SEAT is a Spanish car manufacturer with a reputation for delivering stylish, efficient and good-value vehicles. Created in Barcelona in 1950, SEAT – an acronym for ‘Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo’ (Spanish Touring Automobile Company) – was founded to democratise vehicle ownership in Spain. The English pronunciation of SEAT is SAY-AT or seɪɑːt, using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

The company was founded as a joint venture between the Spanish government, private banks and Fiat. It soon began producing some of the most popular and celebrated value cars on the market. Today, these vehicles are known for being stylish, reliable, innovative and efficient.

Among SEAT’s wealth of useful innovations, many SEAT models include cutting-edge infotainment systems and digital instrument clusters which display digital readouts of the car’s key performance indicators. Other notable innovations include SEAT’s Turbo Stratified Injection (TSI) engines, which combine seamless acceleration with outstanding fuel economy.


Popular SEAT models

The SEAT Arona is one of the brand’s signature models. Launched in 2017, it is a subcompact crossover SUV and is the smallest SUV in SEAT’s range. It is also one of the company’s most celebrated vehicles, winning What Car?’s Small SUV of the Year in 2018 and 2019.

Adding to the company’s SUV lineup is the SEAT Ateca. Released in 2016, it is SEAT’s mid-range SUV and won Used Car of the Year by What Car? in 2021. It was released with a wide range of engines, running from 1.0-litre petrol engine up to a 2.0-litre diesel engine. With each of these engines offering great performance and fuel economy, the SEAT Ateca is one of SEAT’s most popular SUVs, evidenced by its sales of 98,500 in 2019.

The SEAT Leon is a compact hatchback model launched in 1999. It is one of the marque’s most popular models and had sold more than two million units by 2019. It was also voted as the Best Family Car of the Year in 2021 and 2022 as well as Best Medium Family Car at Parkers New Car Awards in 2021.

The SEAT Ibiza is the brand’s best-selling model, achieving just under six million global sales by 2020. It has also won many awards, including Auto Express’ Best Used Car of the Year in 2020 and Best Small Car at the Business Motoring Awards 2022. This famous model is known for its excellent performance and enduring style. Powered by a choice of 1.0 and 1.9-litre turbocharged engines, the Ibiza is equally well-suited to city driving and heading out of town, making it an excellent choice of car for a wide range of different drivers.

The SEAT Tarraco is a mid-size crossover SUV and is the flagship SUV in the SEAT range. Released in 2018, it won Auto Express’s Best Large SUV in 2019, 2020 and 2021. It features some of SEAT’s most advanced cabin technology, including three-zone climate control, a digital instrument cluster, automatic wipers and lights and adaptive cruise control. Available with a selection of petrol and diesel engines, the hybrid model – the SEAT Tarraco e-HYBRID – was launched in 2021. It features a 1.4-litre engine and an 85Wh lithium-ion battery.


Manufacturer awards

Recognising the quality of SEAT’s manufacturing, its Martorell factory in Spain was awarded the Manufacturing Excellence Award in 2017. SEAT also earned the SmartBest award in the same year in celebration of SEAT being the first car manufacturer to integrate Amazon Alexa into its models.

The SEAT Ibiza is one of the most popular superminis ever produced. In 2017, it won the Red Dot Award, a prestigious award celebrating the design of the model. This award has also been given to the SEAT Arona, reflecting the quality of design of SEAT cars.

The company has also taken strides towards innovating its vehicle lineup with the addition of electric and green vehicles. SEAT launched its first compressed natural gas (CNG) and petrol hybrid model, the SEAT Leon TGI, in European countries including Spain, Germany and Italy in 2018. This engine runs on a state-of-the-art combination of compressed gas and gasoline, which delivers better fuel economy and reduces emissions. The first plug-in hybrid model available in the UK was the SEAT Tarraco, which became available in 2021. SEAT’s first all-electric model, the SEAT Mii, was released in 2020 and won Value Electric Car of the Year in 2022.


Seat frequently asked questions


Who owns SEAT?

SEAT is owned by the Volkswagen Group, which bought SEAT in 1986. The Volkswagen Group also owns Škoda, Bentley and Audi, as well as the Volkswagen brand.


Where are SEAT cars made?

SEAT cars are mainly manufactured in Martorell, Spain, which is one of the most advanced car manufacturing plants in Europe. The company has other manufacturing facilities in Spain, including El Prat de Llobregat and Barcelona.


Who builds SEAT cars?

SEAT vehicles are built by the Volkswagen Group, which has owned SEAT since 1986.


How reliable are SEAT cars?

SEAT cars are known for their reliability and performance. So, if you keep your SEAT car well-serviced and maintained, you can expect to keep your car for many years.


What does FR mean in SEAT cars?

FR means ‘Formula Racing’. SEAT models with an FR designation are performance trims with powerful engines and a range of features designed to add to the sporty feel of the vehicle.


What does EVO mean in SEAT cars?

When found on a SEAT, EVO usually refers to an upgraded set of engines. These EVO engines are designed to offer enhanced performance, efficiency, and lower emissions.


What does EZ mean on SEAT cars?

The EZ on a SEAT refers to a vehicle which cannot have new items added to it. These are typically entry-level models with minimal additions and were added by SEAT to simplify the process of buying vehicles.


Whether you’re looking to finance a SEAT or purchase one, we have a wide range of second-hand SEAT cars available to buy online safely with Click & Collect and home delivery options available.

Click here to browse all our SEAT models.

Why buy from Arnold Clark?

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Representative example
Monthly Payment £209.95
Deposit £249
Term (Months) 36
Cash Price £10498
Credit Amount £10249.0
Completion Fee £1
Total Amount Payable £12,964
Fixed Interest Rate 5.6%
Representative APR 10.9%
Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (308092) for general insurance and consumer credit purposes. We act as a credit broker sourcing credit to assist with your purchase from a carefully selected panel of lenders. Lenders will pay us a fee for these introductions (click here for details including our panel of lenders and disclosure statement). Offers subject to status, terms and conditions.
* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.