Seat began life as a manufacturer of badge-engineered Fiats in Spain. It struck out on its own in 1982, only to become a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group in 1986.
Since then, Seat has grown to be the sporty, youthful brand in the VW portfolio, with a string of sharply styled models such as the Mii, Ibiza and Leon. These share many parts with their VW equivalents, the Up, Polo and Golf.
Some Seat models have high-performance Cupra and Cupra R derivatives. But increasingly, Seat is becoming a budget offering in the same way as its Skoda sister brand, with models like the Toledo.
Like most other brands, Seat has also branched out into the SUV world with models such as the Arona and Ateca, also based on VW models.
So can you trust the Seat brand and are Seat cars reliable? Keep reading to find out.
We run an annual car survey where tens of thousands of people tell us about their current car and how reliable it is. Based on feedback from current Seat owners, we have reliability data for new cars aged up to three years old, and also cars aged between three and eight years old.
Seat car reliability
Ratings and review
We surveyed online 47,013 members of the general public covering 55,833 cars. Survey in field December 2019 to February 2020.
The close relationship with and the sharing of some engines means certain diesel-powered Seats built between 2009 and 2015 may be affected by the 'dieselgate' scandal. All affected cars are subject to recall.
Seats are priced at slightly above , with which they share so much in common. The entry point is the city car, priced from around £9,000. The small car starts at around £12,500, while the Golf-based is £14,500 and up. The similar-sized is keenly priced from about £12,500.
Seats don’t hold their value quite as well as VWs, which increases costs if you’re buying new but is good news for second-hand buyers. Seat PCP and leasing deals can often be very competitive.
The Seat range mirrors quite closely that of Skoda, but your choice of models within each range is not quite as broad.
Step up a class and there’s the budget-priced Toledo and the VW Golf-based Leon, which is offered in hatchback and , as well as a high-riding off-road orientated version called the . Or you can go the full hog and opt for Seat’s Qashqai rival, the SUV.