Parkers overall rating: 3.4 out of 5 3.4
  • Interior similar to regular Ateca…
  • …except with additional, unusual trimming
  • Solid build quality but bland in places

How is the quality and layout?

Unsurprisingly, the basic layout and design of the Cupra Ateca’s interior is the same as the regular SEAT version. However, the additional use of Alcantara or leather trim – the latter in a distinctive dark ‘petrol blue’ – on the seats and door cards, plus liberal dashings of copper-coloured plastics brings a premium touch to an otherwise slightly bland design. Some of the remaining plastics feel a little cheap.

The driving position is generally good, though 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 – but this seems to affect most vehicles in the SEAT and Volkswagen group. Sitting higher up than in a conventional hot hatchback may also take some getting used to, but at least it gives you a better view of the road ahead.

Infotainment and tech

The Cupra Ateca comes as standard with digital dials, much like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. Different display modes are available, but the Cupra falls down here by not always making it easy to ensure the info you want is shown prominently. So it’s probably wise to spend a few minutes setting this up before you start driving.

The Volkswagen Group, which Cupra is part of, is going through a rough patch with its infotainment design, and this Ateca is no exception. The 9.2-inch touchscreen is large, bright and glossy, but the software it runs is awkward to use – especially on the move – and far less intuitive than the best rival systems.

Standard-fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto should make things simpler for smartphone users, but in testing we found the Android Auto connectivity flaky at best. Still, at least the heating controls are straightforward physical knobs and buttons.

Comfort

  • Comfortable sports seats
  • Plenty of adjustment
  • Refinement strikes a good balance

Cupra fits sporty bucket seats, and they are fantastic to sit in – they’re more heavily bolstered than regular Ateca seats so there’s plenty of side support during enthusiastic cornering. Adjustable lumbar support is also standard. The single-piece backrest design means there is no height-adjustable headrest, but we didn’t find this 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.

Refinement is acceptable for a performance car, but not outstanding. The Cupra Ateca’s large 19-inch wheels generate lots of road noise on some surfaces, which can make motorway journeys wearing. Ditto the wind noise you can sometimes hear fluttering past the windscreen pillars. The engine is quite muted, though – it has a vaguely sporty sound when you do hear it, but it’s not overwhelming. A subtle touch compared with the Cupra’s slightly outlandish visual appearance.