3.9 out of 5 3.9
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

The Cupra's 300hp SUV is a hot-hatch in disguise

Cupra Ateca SUV (18 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £40,105 - £45,480
Lease from new From £490 p/m View lease deals
Used price £25,325 - £41,880
Used monthly cost From £632 per month
Fuel Economy 29.7 - 32.5 mpg
Road tax cost £155 - £490
Insurance group 30 - 33 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Rapid acceleration, yet economical when driven gently 
  • Relatively well priced 
  • Retains practical, well-built interior

CONS

  • Not as thrilling to drive as you'd expect 
  • Interior looks a bit drab 
  • Options packs hike up the price

Cupra Ateca SUV rivals

Written by Alan Taylor-Jones on

Is the Cupra Ateca any good?

The Cupra Ateca is a performance version of the Ateca SUV - but don't call it a SEAT. Cupra is now a brand in its own right, rather than a name for faster versions of SEAT models. It's been around for a while on the bootlids of various hot hatchbacks, but now the new Cupra logo sits proud on the front of the Ateca - the first standalone model - with more to follow with the Formentor and upcoming Cupra Leon, Formentor and hot versions of the Leon.

The Ateca deliberately sits bang in the middle of regular crossovers and SUVs from mass-market brands and more premium offerings, like faster versions of the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. You’ll probably also want to consider the Audi SQ2 and Volkswagen Tiguan R, both of which use the same engine and other mechanical components, while there are 300hp versions of the Jaguar E-Pace and even Range Rover Evoque, as well as the BMW X2 M35i.

Against those, the Cupra Ateca looks great value for money.

Read the Cupra Ateca verdict

What's it like inside?

Elsewhere the changes are relatively subtle, with carbonfibre trim adorning much of the cabin, Alcantara faux suede accents, sports seats with extra side bolstering and a Cupra-specific virtual cockpit digital dial setup.

Of course, the basic dashboard design, switchgear and door panels are shared between the Cupra and SEAT Atecas, but the trimming feels more luxurious on the former, helping to justify its higher price and, theoretically, making its occupants feel more special. The touchscreen infotainment system is just as you’ll find in other cars, so it’s easy to use and full of connectivity options such as Bluetooth, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and sat-nav.

Read more on the Cupra Ateca interior

What's it like to drive?

The Cupra Ateca uses a 2.0-litre TSI turbocharged powerplant producing 300hp. Channelling the power via a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox to all four wheels results in a claimed 0-62mph acceleration time of 4.9 seconds before pressing on to a top speed of 152mph.

Clearly this is a quick five-seater SUV. For a tall car it handles well, just like a regular Ateca – and that makes it a brilliant alternative to any of the rivals listed above, especially considering its Golf R-baiting acceleration and voracious ground-covering ability.

Read more on how the Cupra Ateca drives

What models and trims are available?

Alongside the regular Ateca, the Cupra was updated in 2020 with refreshed styling, most notably at the front with a reshaped grille, bumper and LED headlights. All models feature that potent 300hp petrol engine.

Trim levels are VZ1, VZ2 and VZ3 and all models come with LED Headlights, digital cockpit, smartphone integration with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, drive modes, parking assist and integrated sat-nav. Inside, you get a leather, flat bottomed steering wheel with gearshift paddles.

What else should I know?

At first glance, the Cupra branding is a little in-your-face with aggressive-looking badge, extensive bodykit and use of copper and carbon trim details being an acquired taste for many. Get the spec right, and it’s a menacing-looking thing, get it wrong and it looks like you’ve added some of the bits yourself.

The majority of existing SEAT dealers will be able to sell and service these models from a dedicated ‘Cupra Corner’ of the showroom, sold by a ‘Cupra Master’ (also known as a sales executive). There will also be a range of lifestyle accessories available to customers, so that those experiencing the brand feel immersed and part of a new community, according to SEAT. It’s also worth noting that Cupras come with a four-year warranty instead of SEAT’s three-year offering, and the price is inclusive of servicing and maintenance costs.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Cupra Ateca including its practicality, comfort, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Cupra Ateca SUV rivals