Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • Interior largely the same as regular Ateca
  • That means a solid build and plenty of room
  • Raised driving position aids visibility 

In the transition to becoming a Cupra, the Ateca's interior hasn't changed an awful lot from the regular SEAT version - that's certainly no bad thing. 

The dashboard is solid and well put together with pleasant materials - there are some scratchy plastics lower down - while Alcantara trim on the seats and door cards add a more premium touch to regular models. 

As it's a Cupra, there are some carbon fibre-style pieces of trim - most noticeable of which is on the steering wheel - but these are just subtle enough to not look naff. The Limited Edition feels a little more special with carbon fibre dash inserts in place of gloss black and blue electrically-adjustable Alcantara bucket seats that brighten up the cabin.

Ahead of the driver is a set of digital dials with plenty of different display options, much like Audi's Virtual Cockpit. Once you scroll through the different designs and the content you can display, the Ateca's instruments can be as sporty or classic as you like, with a confusing number of confgurations available. Whether you want to prioritise performance information, trip computer, or the sat-nav, you’ll have to spend a good 15 minutes fiddling to go through all of the options. We'd suggest finding your way through all of them when you're stationary, though, as it can be distracting to cycle through them all on the move. 

The driving position is good, sitting higher up than a normal hot hatchback. This may feel at odds with the Ateca's sporty vibe, but once you've adjusted the seat you should be able to find the right balance. 

Taller drivers might find that either the steering wheel doesn’t reach out far enough for their arms or that the pedals are too close, though, but this seems to affect most vehicles in the SEAT and Volkswagen group. Otherwise the steering wheel is nice and small to use, adding a sense of agility when driving, although the paddles to override the automatic gearbox could be a bit bigger and substantial to make them easier to locate.

Everything else is easy to use up front - the touchscreen infotainment system is simple to operate, while standard-fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make things simpler for smartphone users. Similarly, the heating controls are nice and simple and easy to reach. 

An update in 2019 resulted in a larger 9.2-inch centre touchscreen along with the replacement of physical shortcut buttons on either side with smaller touch sensitive ones.

While there are few complaints about the screen’s display quality, the ergonomics remain the biggest bugbear. The touch sensitive shortcut keys are hard to locate while driving, while the small shortcut keys on each corner of the screen itself are tricky to hit first time, making the menus awkward to navigate through. This isn’t helped by the firm suspension as you occasionally miss the preferred icon when driving over rougher road surfaces.

That said, despite the cabin looking a little dated now compared to the latest Leon, you still have all the tech you’d need in here. More importantly, it does also feel like a flagship model in here due to the lack of switch blanks, unlike on a VW equivalent product.

Is it comfortable?

  • Comfortable seats with plenty of adjustment 
  • Ride comfort variable due to suspension 
  • Manages to strike a good balance

The Cupra Ateca comes with the firm's DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) system, which allows you to tweak the car's chassis set-up thanks to adaptive dampers. In simple terms, switch between driving modes and the ride becomes sportier or more comfortable depending on your preferences.

In Comfort mode, the Ateca demonstrates impressive comfort levels considering it has a sportier setup than a regular Ateca, as well as large 19-inch alloy wheels. It's firm, and can still fidget over some bumps, but it feels well controlled and impressive for a car with a sporting focus.

Switch the dial into Sport or Cupra mode and it gets a lot firmer - an option you'll only want to select if you're in the mood for a sportier drive on a smooth road. The rest of the time the Ateca is composed. 

Refinement is otherwise pretty good, being quiet on the motorway with some road noise due to the car's large alloys, but it's never too intrusive and wouldn't upset the peace too much over a longer journey. You can sometimes hear wind noise fluttering past the windscreen pillars, otherwise you’ll hardly hear any engine noise whatsoever as it cruises at motorway speeds around 2,000rpm.

It's a little more vocal when the gearbox is in its Sport setting, as it keeps the engine revving a little higher. As a result, we wouldn't suggest this for prolonged stints behind the wheel as the drone may become a bit much.

That said, the standard sound system is surprisingly punchy as it is, successfully drowning out any exterior noise without too much trouble. The Comfort and Sound pack brings a ‘beats audio’ system, but we found it to be quite underwhelming in the similar-sized Volkswagen T-Roc, so it’s worth trying before you buy if it’s at all possible.

In terms of seat comfort, the part-Alcantara, part-leather chairs in the front offer a good amount of support for your back, but the seat base may feel a bit flat for some. If you like, you can spec Alcantara sports bucket seats as an alternative, which come as standard on Limited Edition models.

They are fantastic to sit in - they’re not heavily bolstered and yet there’s plenty of side support and more lumbar support than the normal seats. They single piece backrest means there is no height adjustable headrest, but we didn’t find that to be an issue.

Those sat in the rear have plenty of space, although some have found the backrest to be a little flat and not very supportive. You do get a pair of rear air vents and USB ports to get through longer journeys, though.