• The rear end gets a new fascia too
  • Exterior Revisions include...
  • The 2.0-liter Provides 296 HP 62 mph sprint in 5.4 seconds... top speed 152 mph
  • An updated front fascia with a new lip and revised corner vents
  • and there are twin, dual exhuast outlets
  • The interior gets Alcantara with Cupra logos,
  • Aluminum pedals and grey stitching
  • Cupra-specific infotainment system And a digital instrument cluster

Fresh from the bowels of the SEAT – Cupra split comes the Cupra Ateca, a rebadged model with the typical tuner enhancements. Highlights include a considerable horsepower increase, mild revisions to the exterior, plenty of Alcantara inside, and a swath of standard features suited for what would have been the range-topping model of the SEAT Ateca range. Of Course, there’s a lot of ground for the Cupra Ateca to cover when you consider the sheer size of the compact SUV Market. Sure, there aren’t a lot of performance compacts out there, but the Cupra Ateca will be fighting for dominance against vehicles like the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, and Jaguar F-Pace, all heavy hitters that could make things for the new kid on the block a little more difficult. So, let’s see what the new Ateca brings to the table and just how well it stacks up against the competition.

2019 Cupra Ateca Exterior

2019 Cupra Ateca Exterior
- image 770168
Exterior Revisions include...
The Cupra Ateca is clearly a rebadged model, but Cupra has managed to walk a fine line between doing too much and too little with its first model.

The Cupra Ateca is clearly a rebadged model, but Cupra has managed to walk a fine line between doing too much and too little with its first model. To put it simply, exterior enhancements are found in all the right spots. Compared to the model it is based on, you’ll recognize that nose, and the Cupra even features the same grille mesh, but that mesh is carried over in the corner intakes. Those, of course, look a little larger not because of the redesign but because the Cupra Ateca lacks the fog lamps found on the SEAT models. The low lip has also been revised, featuring a sportier air dam with secondary air intakes in the corners. The side profile doesn’t change at all, but you should take note of those exclusive 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels. Around back, most of the usual SEAT DNA remains, but there is an all-new diffuser to offer up a fresh look along with those rather strange openings between the rear deflectors. By the way, the Cupra Ateca also gets twin, dual exhaust outlets – a hint at the extra power made possible by the engine stashed under the hood, but we’ll talk more about that later.

2019 Cupra Ateca Interior

2019 Cupra Ateca Interior
- image 770172
The interior gets Alcantara with Cupra logos,
The seats and door panels get healthy doses of Alcantara, while the steering wheel is wrapped in perforated leather.

You wouldn’t be judged if you looked at the inside and said: “that’s just a SEAT Ateca.” In fact, we did the same, but when you actually look, there’s a lot of fresh going on here. For instance, the seats and door panels get healthy doses of Alcantara, while the steering wheel is wrapped in perforated leather. The seats, trim panels, gear shifter, and steering wheel are all held together by grey contrast stitching to add a little extra pizzazz to the interior. Of course, you’ll find Cupra branding here and there, including on the steering wheel, floor mats, and infotainment display. The door sills even get an illuminated Cupra logo to remind those who enter just what they are getting into.

The eight-inch infotainment screen carries over from the SEAT Ateca, but it gets custom software that includes a Cupra logo upon entering the vehicle, and there’s a performance page as well. The instrument cluster is all digital, featuring a central tachometer and digital speedometer. All other relevant data shows up on either side of the display. Things like keyless entry and keyless start round out the interior package.

2019 Cupra Ateca Performance

2019 Cupra Ateca Exterior
- image 770186
and there are twin, dual exhuast outlets
According to Cupra, it can hit the 62-mph sprint in all of 5.4 seconds and will top out at 152 mph if you keep on it.

Under the hood of the Cupra Ateca lurks the EA888 2.0-liter mill straight from the Volkswagen Group. This powertrain is a turbocharged unit that delivers 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, a hair more than the torque delivered by the SEAT Leon Cupra 300. Power is delivered to all four wheels via a refined, seven-speed DSG gearbox a SEAT’s 4Drive system. This system, provides a number of selectable drive modes, with the most important being “CUPRA” mode, which, of course, opens up engine response and revises the adaptive suspension for sportier handling. Unfortunately, there are no plan for the Ateca to receive a manual transmission, and the 4Drive system is biased to the front with torque being sent to the rear only when needed. According to Cupra, it can hit the 62-mph sprint in all of 5.4 seconds and will top out at 152 mph if you keep on it.

The adaptive suspension is top notch and is actually a bit lower than that found on the SEAT model, but not by much – just 20 mm. The spring rates, however, have been considerably revised and the suspension is firmer overall. The adaptive suspension is standard equipment, while the electronic sound synthesizer that’s typically offered on MQB-based models has been dropped. The standard brake setup comes with 17-inches on all corners, but if you go for the performance pack option, you can get Brembo calipers and 18-inch discs for extra stopping power.

2019 Cupra Ateca Prices

2019 Cupra Ateca Exterior
- image 770169
An updated front fascia
with a new lip and revised corner vents

There is no word on pricing for the Cupra Ateca, but you can expect it to start out around the $50,000 to $55,000 range. This would put it somewhere around $8,000 higher than the range-topping SEAT Xcellence, a fair price when you consider the 90+ horsepower upgrade and extra niceties inside.

2019 Cupra Ateca Competition

As luck would have it, there isn’t really a lot the Cupra Ateca will compete directly with, so we really have to look in slightly unconventional places. With its level of performance and the goodies it sports inside, it can easily compete with models like the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, and Jaguar F-Pace, at least on one front or another.
With things like an Alcantara-trimmed interior, backlit logos, and the digital instrument cluster, there’s no denying that the Ateca has what it takes to compete inside. And, it’s not exactly an ugly duckling on the outside either. We don’t have specific interior and exterior specs, so we need to focus on price point and performance for an accurate comparison. With that said, we’ll start out with the Jaguar F-Pace.

Cupra Ateca vs Jaguar F-Pace

2017 Jaguar F-Pace High Resolution Exterior
- image 645923

In base form, the F-Pace doesn’t stand a chance against the Ateca. From Base to R-Sport trim, the F-pace delivers just 247 ponies from its 2.0-liter four-banger. The R-Sport is the best looker, so it’s the one that would go against the Ateca. With subpar horsepower and a $54,175 price point, the F-Pace R-Sport doesn’t really tickle our ribs as the one to go with. If you really want to compete, you have to go with the more luxurious and more powerful Portfolio trim. Coming in at a stout $62,000 – at least $4,000 more than the Ateca base price – you will get the same amount of horsepower, 296 ponies, and 295 pound-feet of torque. Not a bad choice but slightly more expensive. And, in a race, it’s going to lose as it takes the F-Pace Portfolio 5.7 seconds to get to 60 mph and it tops out at 145 mph. In this case, the Cupra Ateca may be the way to go – plus, you get in on an all-new model, so there’s that.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace.

Cupra Ateca vs Porsche Macan

2015 - 2017 Porsche Macan High Resolution Exterior
- image 533189
The Porsche Macan will be a major competitor
Luxurious, 340 hp, 339 lb-ft ~$47,500

While the base model Macan really isn’t available here in the states, there is a lesser model available in other markets, and it’s right on par when you look at luxury. Outside of that, you might find yourself swaying more and more toward the Cupra. For instance, the Porsche Macan, in base form, comes in at $64,118 (based on exchange rates against £45,915 at the time of this writing) and only delivers an inferior 252 horsepower. That’s enough for a 6.7-second sprint to 62.1 mph and a top speed of just 142 mph. Of course, going with the Cupra will leave you on the sidelines when it comes to awesome Porsche design. If you’re a loyal Porsche customer, you couldn’t be blamed for sticking to your brand, but you should give the Cupra a test drive to see what you think.

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche Macan.

Cupra Ateca vs BMW X3

2018 BMW X3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 721390

The BMW X3 is the only model of the three discussed here that really makes sense in terms of favoritism. It’s available in the states in just two forms – one with 248 horsepower and one with 355 ponies. The base model, the xDrive30i, doesn’t offer as much power but it also comes in at just $42,650 – a significantly lower price. It may not have matching Alcantara inside or all of those M-specific goodies, but it’s still a better deal than the Cupra if you don’t need anything extra nice or more power. You could, of course, go for the X3 M40i, which will net you a twin-turbo inline-six that’s good for 355 horsepower. It has a price tag of $54,000 – a figure that’s right in the range the Cupra Ateca should fall in. By the way, that M40i will get you to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 155 mph. All told, unless you really want a rebadged SEAT with a Cupra badge and loads of Alcantara, you may want to go with that X3 M40i, but we’ll let you do the test drives and figure it out for yourself.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X3.

Conlcusion

2019 Cupra Ateca Exterior
- image 770171
The rear end gets a new fascia too

While we normally don’t go for all of the rebadged, performance brand makeovers, this one actually seems to hit all the right keys. It’s got the luxury features to put it ahead of its class, it’s got enough power to stand up to the big boys, and it’s got the looks too. With the price point still unknown, however, it’s really hard to place a definite answer on how well it will really be taken on the market – after all, if Cupra positions it too high, it will be quite easy to turn eyes to another big brand with as much power and a lower price. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see but, so far, things are looking good for the new Cupra brand.

  • Leave it
    • * Could be too pricy
    • * FWD biased
    • * No Manual transmission

References

Seat Ateca

2016 Seat Ateca High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the standard 2017 Seat Ateca.

2016 Seat Ateca X-Perience High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Ateca X-Perience Concept.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

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Read more Seat news.

CUPRA Ateca – The brand’s first model Iconic and powerful. The CUPRA Ateca is a SUV that signals the start of a new era and is the perfect car to launch CUPRA. It is a unique model in its segment, until now only reserved for premium brands.
The CUPRA name has always stood out for its impressive balance of fun at the wheel and day-to-day ease of use. Not every brand can offer the precision and

sportiness of a CUPRA and, at the same time, a car that can be used to drive children to school, go shopping or travel with lots of luggage with a high level of ride quality. The new CUPRA Ateca combines a perfectly elegant and dynamic design with a spacious interior and a large boot.
“CUPRA Ateca offers versatility like no other brand. It’s about a unique model in its segment, with 300 PS, 4Drive and a new 7-speed DSG gearbox. It is the best example of balance between sportsmanship, fun at the wheel and ease of use in everyday life.” said SEAT Executive Vice-President for Research and Development, Dr Matthias Rabe.
The new CUPRA Ateca’s 2.0 TSI engine delivers 300 PS (221 kW). It is one of the most technologically advanced engines on the market that works with a newly designed Otto Particulate Filter System to fulfil the latest Emission Legislations. This engine comes with an improved, more powerful sound, and is also equipped with a newly developed 7-speed DSG gearbox that has been developed to offer sportier gearbox feel with faster, smoother and more precise changes. The gearbox’s development has been modified to combine excellent performance with low levels of fuel consumption and emissions.
The CUPRA Ateca comes with the 4Drive traction system, one of the safest, most advanced integrated traction systems in the world. The 4Drive system analyses road conditions in real time, including the speed of the car, speed of each wheel, the steering wheel position, and the driving style or mode to quickly and progressively deliver power at each moment to the necessary wheels. The 4Drive system is optimised to work together with all the driving modes: Normal, Sport, Individual, Snow, Off-Road and, of course, the CUPRA mode. When selecting the CUPRA mode in the Drive Profile, the engine reacts immediately with a refined sound, and the adaptive suspension (Dynamic Chassis Control) setup is adjusted to give a sportier edge to the car.
Design - Powerful and impressive exclusive details The CUPRA Ateca offers a striking exterior look. At the front, its upper grille

features a honeycomb effect on the inside with the new CUPRA logo in the centre. The CUPRA letters are in matt aluminium on the lower grill, just above the exclusively designed bumper.
The details in glossy black are a constant on the exterior of the CUPRA Ateca: the roof rails, wing mirrors, window frames, side mouldings, wheels, front grille and front and rear diffusers as well as the spoilers that frame the rear window. There are also features that bring out the exclusive personality of the car, such as the welcome light that shines the CUPRA name and logo onto the ground. The powerful black brake callipers, a sporty rear bumper, the copper CUPRA logo on the boot, the four exhaust pipes on the edge of the rear diffuser and exclusive 19” diamond cut alloy wheels with the CUPRA logo all enhance the sportiness and elegance of this unique and dynamic SUV. There are six exterior body colours available: Energy Blue, Velvet Red, Brilliant Silver, Rodium Grey, Magic Black and Nevada White.
In the interior, the door panels are upholstered in Alcantara®, with the CUPRA logo illuminated on an aluminium plaque, standing out on the door sill. The seats are also upholstered in Alcantara®, in black with grey stitching, with a carbon fibre effect covering the sides. The grey stitching can also be found on the sporty leather steering wheel and gear knob. The pedals are finished in aluminium and the climate control air vent frames and the central console are finished in glossy black. The CUPRA logo is also present on the steering wheel, the floor mats, the key and the multimedia system touchscreen that welcomes the driver when starting the engine.
The standard equipment in the CUPRA Ateca is oriented towards three basic principles: technology, design and safety. That is why systems such as the keyless entry and start system, wireless charger, GSM signal booster, 360º top view camera, 8” touchscreen navigation system plus, dynamic chassis control adaptive suspension-, digital cockpit, and park assist all come as standard.

Highlights among the main optional extras include the Performance Pack, which includes 18” Brembo performance brakes in black, the Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack - rear spoiler and exterior mirror caps -, the Carbon Fibre Interior Pack - a moulded carbon fibre dashboard -, as well as leather seats. The exclusive CUPRA bucket seats will be available from mid-2019.
With a low centre of gravity and a suspension system that perfectly combines efficiency with progressive, rapid and precise power steering, the new CUPRA Ateca comes with exceptional dynamic behaviour and fantastic ride quality.
The CUPRA Ateca can reach a top speed of 245 km/h and go from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.4 seconds.
Even though SUVs are growing in popularity, there are not many like the CUPRA Ateca on the market at this moment in time, and this is why it is going to be the first pillar of the brand that will close the gap even more between sporty SEAT versions and motorsport itself.

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