New look for Cupra

Ateca

Cupra Ateca, 2021, front
Cupra Ateca, 2021, nose
Cupra Ateca, 2021, side
Cupra Ateca, 2021, rear
Cupra Ateca, 2021, interior
Cupra Ateca, 2021, steering wheel controls
Cupra Ateca, 2021, display screen
Cupra Ateca, 2021, instrument panel
Cupra Ateca, 2021, rear seats
Cupra Ateca, 2021, arm rest
Cupra Ateca, 2021, boot

WHEN Spanish brand Cupra set out on its own as the performance arm of SEAT it had only one model in its stable - a spiced up version of the Ateca SUV.

Three years down the line and the Cupra Ateca has just been given a makeover making it look more dynamic and an upgrade to its onboard equipment to bring it right up to date.

It's powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine boosted to deliver 300ps and with a three grade line up priced from £39,075 to £44,265 the Ateca can hold its own in a market which includes performance SUVs from the likes of Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar to name but a few.

Looking nicely aggressive with quad exhausts at the rear and a stylish Cupra grille at the front, it's dressed to impress inside and out.

The top specification VZ3 model we tried was fitted with a a quick-shifting seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox and the CUPRA Ateca can power its way to 62mph from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds and maxes out at 155mph.

According to official figures under stricter WLTP testing, the car can deliver a combined 29.7-31.7mpg with carbon emissions of 202g/km.

So, it would be fair to say that this is a performance SUV that is geared towards power and pace rather than sublime comfort levels.

When viewed from any approach, the Cupra Ateca looks the business with quite aggressive styling.

New design cues on the latest model include a revised bumper, full LED headlights and an upper honeycomb grille featuring the Cupra logo.

The roof rails, door mirrors and side mouldings are finished in a glossy dark aluminium and there are puddle lamps that shine the Cupra logo onto the floor when the doors are opened.

Moving inside, the sporty interior is beautifully laid out with a Cupra supersports flat-bottomed steering wheel with satellite buttons each side of the wheel - one to fire up the engine and the other to flick through the drive modes.

And getting to these modes, there are Comfort, Sport, Cupra, Individual, Off-road and Snow that change the reactions of the vehicle. There are steering wheel-mounted paddles so you can take charge of the gear changes manually and, if you are feeling particularly courageous, you can turn off the stability control system.

When it comes to performance, the Cupra Ateca behaves more like a hatchback than an SUV with sharp acceleration, great road holding and all the power on tap you could wish for.

It cruises effortlessly at 70mph on motorways, is nice and agile in busy town centre settings and is happiest when unleashed on the twisting country lanes.

The 4Drive all-wheel drive set-up is the latest generation of the company's traction system allowing the vehicle to deliver power to the wheels while maintaining the highest levels of grip and control along the way.

Creature comforts are plentiful with a10.25-inch high resolution fully-customisable digital driver display, plus a new 9.2-inch colour infotainment screen that also includes full sat nav and natural voice control that is activated by saying the magic words ‘Hola Hola'.

Smartphones can be connected via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and the embedded eSIM allows users access to the latest infotainment apps. In addition, there is a Cupra Connect app that offers a number of remote features.

For example, you can lock or unlock the car, find your parking position, see what driving range is left, access driving data from previous journeys, or even be warned if someone else is driving the car too fast or if it has been stolen. You can also activate the Ateca's horn and indicators so it is easier to spot in a crowded car park.

Comfort levels are excellent with sports seats up front and room for a couple of adults in the back or three if they don't mind a bit of a squeeze. A fold down armrest is also fitted in the rear.

The boot can swallow 485 litres of kit, a limit that increases with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat, and there are plenty of additional storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin to tuck away bits and pieces too.

When you factor in the wealth of safety kit and driver assist systems on the car, the Cupra Ateca is quite the complete package.

And with the UK being the third largest market for Cupra models and news of electrified models on the horizon, these are certainly exciting times for the Spanish car maker.

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