RE: PH Fleet: Cupra Ateca

RE: PH Fleet: Cupra Ateca

Friday 29th March

PH Fleet: Cupra Ateca

The whole world wants one, we're told - so we got one. Now to find out if it's worth all the fuss...



A new addition to the PH Fleet arrives this week in the form of the Cupra Ateca. More product is following fast on the heels of the brand's very first model - including the Terramar, which features a bespoke design - but for now the turbocharged Ateca is the only thing on the menu, and as such shoulders responsibility for setting the Cupra tone going forward.

It does this with the classic VW Group combo of EA888 engine and MQB platform. In this application the familiar 2.0-litre unit puts out 300hp and 295lb ft for a 0-62 time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 154mph. Weighing in at 1,632kg it's not exactly a bantamweight contender but it's hardly overly portly either, with only 130kg separating it and the Volkswagen Golf R.


So it'll be capable, then. But with stats like that will it be any more successful as a Cupra than it would have been as a SEAT? Personally, I think it probably will. Whether it's to your taste or not the merit in creating an alternative Cupra 'lifestyle' brand is obvious enough; who'd bet against the bronze-wheeled and Transformer-badged Cupra appealing to an untapped market segment that wouldn't look twice at a standard Ateca? The number of people who've already approached me to enquire about the car suggests that its maker is onto a winner.

To those not so enamoured with the marque's aesthetic, the pricing (£35,900 OTR) performance and practicality ought to do the trick. It may not have the unwaveringly planted cross-country ability of a Golf R, but the Cupra Ateca certainly possesses a healthy turn of pace and, when the need arose to transport four adults down the M4 for a long weekend, it offered luggage- and leg-room to spare.

Of course, I can hear the cries of "just buy a fast estate" already, and SEAT certainly makes a perfectly decent one of those. But the reality is that a majority of modern buyers would simply rather have the extra ground-clearance, ride height and visibility that a compact SUV offers. And, having come to terms with the fact that performance SUVs are going to exist whether we like it or not, I think the Ateca is a thoroughly worthy candidate for the go-faster treatment.


Its relatively compact proportions and minimal weight gain mean that it doesn't require a space shuttle's worth of physics-battling technology to keep it on the road - which also helps to keep the price down - and when you're faced with an oncoming ambulance on Richmond Bridge, the ability to hop up onto the sort of kerb that would foil a lower-riding hatchback is not to be sniffed at.

So it's very early days, but the Ateca is already proving easy to live with, and, at least in the realms of eye-wateringly expensive performance SUVs, it probably represents decent value for money. The coming months will reveal if the car can live up to its do-it-all billing, or if the charm will wear off sooner than hoped. Either way, the Cupra is about to find itself among plenty of new rivals, and how it stacks up against them will determine not just how successful it is as a new model, but also provide the benchmark for future wearers of the badge. One to keep an eye on, then.


FACT SHEET
Car:
2018 Cupra Ateca
On fleet since: March 2019
Run by: Dafydd
Mileage: 2,089
List price new: £35,900 (as standard; £41,175 as tested comprising Comfort and Sound Pack - £1,930 and Design Pack - £3,345)
Last month at a glance: New car, new badge, old trick?







Author
Discussion

Onehp

Original Poster:

1,006 posts

224 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
If it must be a suv, this certainly appeals more than most 'sporty' suv that all seem to weigh at least 500kg more... even 1000kg?

What is that design pack? Sounds costly for 'improving' whatever aesthetics...

Tim16V

385 posts

123 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
Gosh I didn't see that coming - another VAG long term loaner for PH!

The Prof

151 posts

215 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all


No thanks.

J4CKO

27,182 posts

141 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
It’s a Seat isn’t it, with some different badges, nothing wrong with Seats but not sure anyone will call it a Cupra.

Jim the Sunderer

2,087 posts

123 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
Perhaps it's just US based YouTube fellas but I thought you had to disclose getting stuff for free like this.
Advertisement

LordGrover

30,489 posts

153 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all


The whole what?

Gary29

2,137 posts

40 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
'The whole wants one...'?

Onehp

Original Poster:

1,006 posts

224 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
Jim the Sunderer said:
Perhaps it's just US based YouTube fellas but I thought you had to disclose getting stuff for free like this.
But you already know it's for free?

Swedish mag Vi Bilägare buys the cars they find interesting for their long term one year test each year, and sell them at a loss. Since 1987. Everyone else (journalists) get the car from the importer/manufacturers... for free. Some are probably payed too...

griffdude

1,547 posts

189 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
That’s not a nice vehicle.

pppppppppppppppp

80 posts

63 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
Vile.

SteBrown91

1,290 posts

70 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
Jim the Sunderer said:
Perhaps it's just US based YouTube fellas but I thought you had to disclose getting stuff for free like this.
It’s because they haven't been “given” it (ie they get to keep it) it’s just on long term loan from seat. All the car mags do it.

C.A.R.

3,497 posts

129 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
Like:
Budget (pinch of salt), fast SUV
Seats

Dislike:
Quad exhaust fixation
Anything bronze (Badges, Wheels)
Steering wheel centre (just, why?!!)

Badge looks like something from a videogame where they couldn't afford the rights to use an actual manufacturer brand.

Can you spec it slightly less awful (bronze)?

Onehp

Original Poster:

1,006 posts

224 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
C.A.R. said:
Can you spec it slightly less awful (bronze)?
Bronze looks quite good irl...

But you'll save 3,5k from the design pack and you'll get almost no bronze, only badges remain so it seems. And no Brembos but mine tend to seize with dust if not taken care of anyway so...

Ibmarkprior

42 posts

19 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
I saw one of these the other day on near Reading. It's not like their common. Was probably PH. They look great in the metal if not a little discreet.

Eviltad

1,319 posts

120 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
I saw one outside ToolStation in Birmingham. I quite liked the looks.

dme123

4,673 posts

130 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
C.A.R. said:
Badge looks like something from a videogame where they couldn't afford the rights to use an actual manufacturer brand.
That is exactly what I thought when I flicked through the pics. The whole car is a munter but that badge is like something a 17 year old boy would turn out for an A-Level graphic design project.

Funk

20,444 posts

150 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
dme123 said:
C.A.R. said:
Badge looks like something from a videogame where they couldn't afford the rights to use an actual manufacturer brand.
That is exactly what I thought when I flicked through the pics. The whole car is a munter but that badge is like something a 17 year old boy would turn out for an A-Level graphic design project.
I hate to admit it but I quite like the car and concept (budget hot-hatch-SUV), however (and this is ironic) the extremely naff badge is one of the major things putting me off. Slap a SEAT badge on that and I'd be happy with it. Also £3.5k for the 'Design Pack' which is just brakes and (also naff) copper spritzing is a piss-take.

I reckon it won't be long until VW stuff all this into a Tiguan R - they've already done it with the T-Roc...

Sford

116 posts

91 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
Yawnfest. There's nothing sporty about an SUV. Badges look awful as does the general shape of the car. I can understand the practical argument although personally I'd rather an estate than an SUV.

dme123

4,673 posts

130 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
Looks aside 1600+KG, 300bhp, and 5.2 seconds to 60 suggests lots of grip, short gearing, and very fast gear changes!

I have noticed that even DSG equipped diesel 4x4 SUVs are very quick away from the line when Nigel wants to show off, they really make the most out of that 160bhp or so even if they do seem to cast out an anchor above 60.

Court_S

577 posts

118 months

Friday 29th March
quotequote all
No tah.

I have nothing against SEAT at all, but the stand alone Cupra brand comes across as a bit naff, especially with the that badge stuck on it. The idea of a fast SUV doesn't really float my boat either.