Cupra Ateca 2.0 TSI

VZ3 4Drive DSG

Cupra Ateca, 2021, boot
Cupra Ateca, 2021, nose
Cupra Ateca, 2021, side
Cupra Ateca, 2021, rear
Cupra Ateca, 2021, interior
Cupra Ateca, 2021, rear seats

BACK in 2018 the sporty Cupra brand was launched with the new Cupra Ateca.

But four years in the car industry is a long time, so the Spanish car maker decided it was time for a makeover to refresh this spacious five-seater powerhouse.

You don't get better performance with the latest version but then again with a family SUV that already boasts 300bhp, a top speed of 155 mile per hour and a 0-62 miles per hour acceleration time of 4.9 seconds why would you need to?

What you do get are a few little tweaks which make the car look more dramatic, more imposing, and certainly more appealing.

These include a new front bumper design and a more imposing honeycomb grille with the impressive copper coloured Cupra logo at the centre and a dark chrome finish to the frame to match the dark aluminium finish of the roof rails and mirrors.

There's also a new 9.2-inch infotainment system with the touchscreen neatly built into the dashboard unlike many models which opt for a standalone screen. But perhaps more importantly the car now gets full LED headlights to improve night driving.

Originally Cupra models were an option in the SEAT range but now Cupra is a standalone brand, which is fast making any enviable reputation for itself.

The new Ateca is one of those rare SUV models which offers plenty of space for the family - not to mention all their luggage - while at the same time driving like a genuine hot hatch to make motoring fun.

With a range of driving modes to select from you can leave your Cupra Ateca in Comfort mode for pottering in towns and cities but then turn up the tempo to Sport or even Cupra when you really mean business.

And as this car boasts four-wheel-drive - a confidence booster when pushing on aggressively - there's also the option of dialling up off-road mode or snow mode when the weather turns nasty.

Three spec levels are available in the Cupra Ateca; the VZ1, VZ2 and VZ3. Opt for the top-of-the-range VZ3 model - as driven here - and you're looking at a hefty price tag of more than £46,000.

But for that you get a lot of kit including a very upmarket interior with full leather seating in petrol blue, sporty bucket seats in the front which are heated and multi adjustable and a sports steering wheel with satellite buttons - one for starting the car and the other to change the driving modes.

Both buttons have attractive copper surrounds and there's copper detailing on the air vents too. And on the VZ3 you even get 19-inch copper alloy wheels.

I found the standard on-board equipment impressively high with everything from a powered tailgate to a reversing camera with a view to the rear as well as one from above and a self-parking system in case you want to let the car do its own thing.

A super smooth seven-speed DSG gearbox ensures smooth motoring no matter what the traffic conditions. And when you get out onto the open road and slip the car into Sport or Cupra mode it really sharpens up the handling and throttle responses as well as hanging on to each gear for longer.

There are paddles behind the steering wheel which - perhaps when you have left the kids behind - really let you enjoy the car and get more out of it as you change gear manually to let it reach its full potential.

And when you pick up the family again you'll really appreciate the spacious interior with extra high headroom and a cavernous boot which will swallow up your holiday luggage.

FAST FACTS

Cupra Ateca 2.0 TSI VZ3 4Drive DSG

Price: £46,585

Mechanical: 130 bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving all wheels via seven speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:155 mph

0-62mph: 4.9 secs

Combined MPG: 21.7 - 31.7

Insurance Group: 33

C02 emissions: 201 g/km

Bik rating:37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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