Cupra Ateca (2019) Review

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Cupra Ateca (2019) At A Glance


+The fastest crossover SUV on sale for (vaguely) sensible money. Just as practical as the standard Ateca.

-Not as fun as a hot hatch. Thirsty.

SEAT launched Cupra as a standalone sub-brand and for its first model it chose the Ateca. It's a strong strategy. Take an extremely popular (and deservedly so) SUV, stick in a 300PS 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine from the Volkswagen Golf R and cover it in racing spoilers, diffusers and quad exhaust pipes. That's how to get noticed.

Putting aside its sporting aspirations for a moment, the Cupra Ateca is just as easy to live with as the standard Ateca. The interior is typical Volkswagen Group quality, with a few sporting upgrades - including Cupra badges spread around the interior, Alcantara sports seats and aluminium pedals.

It's a very practical car, with plenty of space in the rear for growing teenagers and a generous 485-litre boot.

And like the standard Ateca, the Cupra offers good value for money. Sure, spending nearly £40,000 on an Ateca and calling it good value may raise eyebrows, but it's surprisingly easy to spend that kind of money on a crossover without the powerful engine and performance enhancements.

There's alse nothing else quite like it on the market. Just be careful you don't add too many options and take it over the £40,000 barrier - you'll pay for it in tax if you do.

Officially, the Cupra Ateca will complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.2 seconds. That's quicker than hot hatches like the Honda Civic Type R (although not the aforementioned Volkswagen Golf R), and even quicker than the much more expensive Porsche Macan S.

There's a myriad of driving modes on hand to tweak the Ateca's characteristics depending on your mood. It's in Cupra mode hat it's at its most sporty, with the steering weighted up and exhausts at their noisiest. It's fun in this mode, but it still doesn't feel as laugh-out-loud rewarding as an equivalent hot hatch.

It's still, fundamentally, a family crossover. And that means it will lean in the bends, soon run out of grip if you're clumsy with the accelerator and the standard DSG automatic gearbox can be a little hesitant at times. And no, you can't have a manual version.

As you'd expect from an SUV with this kind of performance, it will also have higher running costs than a standard Ateca. Officially it returns 36.4mpg.

The Cupra Ateca certainly represents a compromise. Hot hatches are more fun, while the standard Ateca is cheaper to run. But there's little else on the market like it.

Looking for a Cupra Ateca (2019 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

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Ask Honest John

Is a Volkswagen T-Roc R a logical upgrade from a Golf R?
"Do you think I should buy new or secondhand Volkswagen T-Roc R? I drive a Golf R but my husband finds it difficult to get into. Thank you."
There are some really strong savings to be had on nearly-new T-Roc R models, as long as you're not concerned about having a factory order or the latest registration plate. £35,000 will get you an ex-demo model with just a few thousand miles on the clock. That's a saving of around £6000 but it'll look and feel like new. If you like your Golf R, the Volkswagen T-Roc sounds like the perfect choice. Also consider a Cupra Ateca or BMW X2 M35i.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Cupra Ateca (2019) cost?