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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 5-door suv body style within the same 'SUV' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (4 x 4 for the Seat and front in the case of the BMW). The first one has a Volkswagen-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 150hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 3-cylinder, 12-valves 136hp engine designed by BMW.Safety
A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the suv segment, which is generally a very good thing safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. Furthermore, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the Spanish car offers a marginal difference of 1% more metal.Reliability
Reliability is not the best thing to consider on the make level, but it is worth mentioning that Seat does have a slight advantage, when all the models are taken into account. These are the official statistics, while our visitors describe reliability of Seat with an average rating of 4.4, and models under the BMW badge with 4.3 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed Ateca as average reliability-wise, and X1 is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Spanish car rank it on average as 3.9, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Seat is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.7 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 198 kilometers per hour, 6km/h less than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the German car, averaging around 5.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (55 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 22% difference compared to the Spanish car.
Seat appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the Spanish car offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with Seat offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... It's really tough to make a final decision here, but if I'd need to, I'd say BMW. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.