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Cupra Ateca review

2018 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.4 out of 53.4
” Now with an expanded engine range, Cupra's sporty SUV doesn't quite hit the spot “

At a glance

Price new £36,045 - £51,640
Used prices £18,158 - £37,887
Road tax cost £180 - £570
Insurance group 17 - 33
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Fuel economy 29.7 - 41.5 mpg
Range 436 miles
Miles per pound 4.4 - 6.1
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Pros & cons

  • Sporty SUV offers style and pace
  • Well priced and generously equipped
  • Practical and can be economical, too
  • Not hugely thrilling to drive
  • Basic interior a little drab
  • Options packs hike up the price

Written by CJ Hubbard Published: 10 October 2023 Updated: 12 October 2023


Once upon a time, not so long ago, Cupra was the performance trim level for SEAT cars. Now Cupra is a standalone brand, although much of its product line is still based on SEAT models. This Cupra Ateca, for example, is a rebadged version of SEAT Ateca with a more aggressive appearance – which also means it’s related to some of the best SUVs on sale. It shares an underlying platform and components with the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan, for example.

The difference with the Cupra Ateca isn’t just in the more aggressively sculpted bumpers and the unusually bronzed exterior trimmings – it’s also under the bonnet. Until 2023, the only engine option was a 300hp 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol, paired with a seven speed DSG automatic transmission and 4Drive all-wheel drive.

This made it clear that Cupra is targeting a particular type of buyer.

However, Cupra has now expanded the range with the introduction of 150hp 1.5-litre TSI and 190hp 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engines. Meaning those who look for show more than go – or perhaps simply don’t have the budget for a 300hp car – can now enjoy this Ateca’s distinctive styling. The 1.5-litre model is front-wheel drive only, which helps keep costs down, too.

Regardless, the Cupra Ateca is fighting for attention in a crowded marketplace. The in-house rivals now range from regular versions of the family SUVs listed above through to the Audi SQ2 and VW Tiguan R – which both use the same 300hp engine. Other sporty alternatives include Jaguar E-Pace and Range Rover Evoque, as well as the BMW X2. Less obviously exciting but high quality competition comes from the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.

Still, the Cupra Ateca is keenly priced in comparison and comes generously equipped. All versions come with LED headlights, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a selection of driving modes, dual-zone climate control, and large alloy wheels – to highlight just a few items.

Other distinguishing items include eye-catching materials and colours. Alcantara, faux carbonfibre, copper-coloured plastics and blue leather appear on the Cupra Ateca, giving it the distinct impression of having been definitely styled by someone, rather than assembled by committee. It won’t be to everyone’s taste – but that’s exactly the point.

For all this, it remains as practical as other family-sized SUVs, with five doors, five seats and a usefully large boot.

A facelift in 2021 brought a new infotainment system, updated seats and other trimmings, and a mildly revised front end. To buy one you need to visit the ‘Cupra Corner’ of your local SEAT dealership.

Keep reading for full Parkers verdict on the Cupra Ateca, as we take a closer look at practicality, performance, running costs and safety over the following few pages.