Cupra Ateca 2.0 TSI

4Drive

Cupra Ateca, side
Cupra Ateca, front
Cupra Ateca, front
Cupra Ateca, rear
Cupra Ateca, rear
Cupra Ateca, 2019, rear
Cupra Ateca, 2019, side
Cupra Ateca, 2019, front
Cupra Ateca, 2019, interior

SEAT recently made Cupra a standalone brand in an effort to make its hot products more desirable.

Previously used for sports versions of the Ibiza and Leon, the Cupra name will now be attached to all the stable's sports models and sold through specialist dealers.

First to get the treatment is the Cupra Ateca and although it is clear the ordinary Ateca SUV is the donor car there is not a SEAT badge in sight.

That won't succeed in fooling most people who will quickly realise that the newcomer is basically a repackaged Ateca with some sports add-ons and a smashing engine nicked from the Leon Cupra and the Golf GTI.

I sampled it recently and found the engine transformed the Cupra Ateca into a real performer.

The turbocharged 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine produces 300ps smoothly and is capable of an astonishing 153mph. It can tackle the sprint to 62mph in just 5.2 seconds making it one of the quickest in its class.

The four-wheel-drive system combined with other technical changes results in the Cupra providing astonishing grip and really fun to drive.

There are six driving modes to choose from - Normal, Sport, Cupra, Snow, Off-Road and Individual - but Cupra is the most aggressive, making the steering and throttle response sharper, the gear shifts are quicker and making the exhaust note louder to give a real hot-hatch feel.

The seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox works well and the car's pace, firm ride and great handling combine to prove that is more than an Ateca with a body-kit and fresh badges and a quad exhaust system.

Built in the Czech Republic alongside the regular SEAT Ateca models the Cupra has an adaptive sports suspension and offers lots of kit.

All Cupra Atecas sit on 19-inch alloys and have LED headlamps as standard while inside they are trimmed in Alcantara and come with a digital instrument display and an eight-inch touchscreen which includes sat nav.

To add to the sporting feel there are a number of logos in the cabin and there's also a vehicle information display which includes the likes of G-force meters, turbo boost and other sporty features.

The car is fully smartphone compatible and also has a full array of driver aids including blind spot monitors, lane departure warnings and rear cross traffic alerts.

Fuel economy is officially rated at 38.2mpg but plan to get less than that if you are tempted to use all the power on tap.

The Cupra is almost as practical as the normal Ateca but the boot space falls to 485 litres because of the four-wheel-drive system and as the car sits lower it feels less like an SUV.

The rear sits can still split and fold 60:40 to increase luggage space and there is also a ski hatch to help with longer items.

FAST FACTS

Cupra Ateca 2.0 TSI 4Drive

Price:£37,854

Mechanical:300ps, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:153mph

0-62mph:5.2 seconds

Combined MPG:33.6

Insurance Group:33

C02 emissions:168g/km

Bik rating:37%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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