Cupra Ateca 2.0 TSI 300PS DSG 4Drive £40k est. WE SAY: CUPRA GOES IT ALONE WITH A QUICK CROSSOVER
Cupra’s first solo effort since undocking from the Seat mothership – it’s now a brand in its own right, not just a boot badge for fast versions. So Cupra comes first, then the model name. But while Cupras swap the Seat badge for one resembling a dubious tattoo, underneath the new veneer you’ll still find adrenalised versions of regular Seats. In this case, the Ateca, the company’s best-selling crossover.
What’s it packing?
It gets the familiar 2.0-litre TFSI – you know, the one from any other fast VW Group thing – making 296bhp and 295lb ft. Top speed is 152mph and 0–62mph takes 5.4 seconds. There’s 4WD, DSG, adaptive dampers, a bespoke exhaust and optional four-piston brakes.
How does it drive?
Like a hoiked-up hot hatch. Imagine a Golf R with a little more roll, a little less pace and a dollop more weight. The four-piston Brembos are worth optioning, as are the bucket seats. Incidentally, the 19-inch alloys are the biggest the Ateca can accommodate, meaning a fair-size cat could have a happy afternoon’s kip in the gap between tyre and arch.
What’ll it cost?
Prices are TBC, but it’ll be sold in Europe for around €41,000. On the one hand, that’s £40k+ for a hot hatch with the appeal of an SUV (for comparable speed and power from any other medium-sized SUV, you’re looking at over £50k for a Porsche Macan S or an Audi SQ5). On the other hand, it’s £40k+ for a Seat with an iffy new logo.
The Ateca is neatly engineered and competent. The big question is whether you buy into the whole Cupra sub-brand enough to stomach spending 40 grand or more on a rebadged Seat crossover, no matter how well it drives. Ironically, you can’t help feeling the Cupra badge had more of a rebellious streak when it was a go-faster suffix, rather than the so-say independent entity it is now. In seeking a new identity, Cupra has bypassed a little personality.