It’s not often a new performance car brand is launched, so it would be wrong of us to ignore this Cupra Ateca now. Cupra, you may know, was the name applied to high-performance SEAT models. Cupra is now its own brand and this Ateca is its first model.
A few things occur. First, there’s nothing new about the Ateca. It went on sale in 2016 as a SEAT and remains so to this day. Second, is basing your first product not only on a car you can get elsewhere but which is also a rather unremarkable-looking crossover SUV such a great idea? Not exactly a memorable statement of intent, is it? Third, what does the Cupra brand leaving home mean for SEAT? I’d say it could refashion itself as the value brand of the VW group, but Škoda got there first. One of few things at which VW has failed is to create is a distinct identity for SEAT and I can’t see how this helps.
And yet within its flawed genre, the Cupra Ateca is actually an entirely credible car. It offers a lot of interior space (although the cabin is woefully dull), good performance from its Golf R engine and handling better than you expect from a car of this size.
So, having approached the Cupra as a marketing exercise and not struggled to contain my admiration for this kind of car in any case, the more I drove it, the more I liked it. Those looking for a quite high performance, do everything, go most places family holdall should definitely consider it.
Engine 2.0 litres, 4 cylinders, turbo
Power [email protected]
Power to weight 183bhp per tonne
Transmission seven-speed double clutch, four-wheel drive
Top speed 153mph
Verdict Old design, but decent
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