First drive: If you would start a “new” brand, what would be the first model you give the world? An SUV seems to be a smart move in the current market. Cupra was thinking exactly the same.

Cupra Ateca, does it ring a bell? The first part probably will. Years ago, Cupra was the sporty version of the sporty Spanish sister brand of Volkswagen, Seat. In 2018 Seat did with Cupra what Volvo did with Polestar and Fiat did with Abarth. They gave it another badge, some cool details, and more power, baby! Cupra was born.

Cupra Ateca

Didn’t we see you before?

Talking about the engine then yes, you have seen this before. More than once to be exact. Probably the best known engine from the Volkswagen Group that already featured in the Volkswagen Golf R, Golf GTI, Polo GTI, Skoda Octavia RS, Audi S3, Audi SQ2, Seat Leon Cupra, … you get the point! It’s the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger -cylinder- producing 300 hp and 400 Nm of torque. In the Cupra Ateca, those figures translate into a 0-100 km/h in 5,2 seconds and a top speed of 247 km/h. We strongly believe the Ateca can keep that promise.

A reason why the Cupra Ateca can hit those numbers is the four-wheel-drive system and 7-speed DSG-gearbox. We can’t thank Cupra enough -or do we need to thank Seat or Volkwagen?- for giving us this four-wheel drive. The Ateca never struggles to keep his grip and always saves you from misery. You can really feel the differential doing its job and pulling or pushing you in the right direction.

You can drive the Cupra Ateca in 2 ways: Cruising around town and the highway in comfort mode, using an acceptable amount of fuel, and not being thrilled at all. Hitting the pedal in this way will give you a delay of at least 3 seconds -changing down and waiting on the turbo- and that ain’t fun. Even more, it doesn’t give you too much confidence to overtake a car. But when in Cupra mode and taking the shifts in your own hands, the Ateca flys! Getting to an apex, hard braking and going back two gears ain’t a problem for the Cupra. At that moment the DSG and engine are in perfect symphony and you can fully enjoy the Cupra-lifestyle! Love it.

An untuned exhaust on this ride is rather quite, just like the other cars with this engine. But on the Cupra Ateca, we didn’t miss this as much as on a Volkswagen Golf GTI, for example. The Ateca is the grownup, “bring your family to the baby shower, but damn it we forgot the dippers so need to go back home! FAST“-type of car. When doing that you will average around 10 l/100 km. On the highway, at 120 km/h a 7,7 liters per 100 kilometers will appear.

Tribal, YOW

The most noticeable exterior feature of our Rodiumgrey Cupra Ateca is without a doubt the new logo. Being a child from the nineties, a tribal is seen as a pretty cool thing and even more when the tribal is bronze-colored. It’s pretty wicked! (Do young people still say that?) After the logo, the 4 exhaust tips give away the potential of your Ateca.

On the front, the standard LED headlights, with Seat-logo, are a nice addition to the more aggressive styling of the Cupra with at the bottom the “CUPRA”-writing. Going to the side of the vehicle, the Cupra Ateca is more difficult to distinguish from a normal Ateca. More powerful side skirts and the standard 19-inch rims with bronze details with behind the bigger, optional Brembo brakes, will be the most noticeable characteristic. At the rear, those four exhaust tips complete the car. A firmer stern gives access to a 485 liters big trunk that is hidden behind an electric tailgate.

Cupra Ateca

Could be a little bit more

Let’s be honest, it isn’t bad at all but it could just be that little bit nicer. It’s an 8 out of 10 but for the price we would love an 8,5 or 9. The Cupra-logo is plastic, not real bronze. The shift pedals or out of plastic and not -for example- metal. Please don’t get us wrong, we loved being in the Cupra Ateca. Thanks to it being a Volkswagen-product, the controls of the car are really easy and really clear. One’s you have worked with one of them, you have worked with all of them.

The recognisability of the Ateca is a strong point. The navigation system, the infotainment system, and the Bluetooth -it doesn’t say Cupra, but Seat- is extremely easy to use. The screens (one in the middle and one in front of your nose) are crystal clear and so is the 360-degree camera. The panoramic open roof and the heated Alcantara sport bucket seats are options you really want. The seats because they give you extreme support and they look really cool and the panoramic open roof because … you just want one. Don’t you?

The car is also equipped with adaptive cruise control -really handy-, self-park function -we didn’t use that, because we are better (we think), a defrost for the front windows -great feature- and so on and so on.

Conclusion

The price being 55.345 euros for the one we have tested is pretty steep. But give us another fast SUV with that amount of space, the same power and for that price. We can wait … No, there isn’t one. Audi SQ2: smaller and more expensive, Mercedes-AMG GLA 45: smaller and more expensive and maybe the Volkswagen Golf R Variant: Yeah, that ain’t an SUV.

So, Cupra well done! You did a great job, let’s see what the facelift has to offer!

Number party

Engine2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder
Power300 hp
Torque400 Nm
Tested highway consumption7,7 L/100km
Overall tested consumption10,2 L/100km
Base price (BE)44.870 €
Price as tested (BE)55.345 €
Cupra Ateca