RE: Cupra Ateca | PH Fleet

RE: Cupra Ateca | PH Fleet

Saturday 1st June

Cupra Ateca | PH Fleet

The Ateca took to Spa weekend like a bronzed Labrador to muddy pond water



We're now a couple of months into our time with the Cupra Ateca - the slightly controversial, performance sub-division of SEAT's ordinary Ateca. And how are we getting on, I hear you ask? In short, very well, with a few niggles slightly blocking our path to entirely content pseudo-ownership...

Let's start with the performance. If you'd humour me for a moment, I'd like to compare it to our previous long-term Skoda Superb 280. Yes, yes, I know, they're different cars in different segments - but they are comparable by audience and by the architecture they share. The Skoda was fantastic; it was fast, super comfortable and spacious, reasonably economical, and looked great.

The Cupra though honestly feels a fair bit faster, which is surprising given the fact that it weighs about 70kg more. Of course the Spanish-brewed model does enjoy a 20-ish horsepower advantage over the Superb and has an additional gear ratio and (in the right mode) sports a far more aggressively tuned throttle pedal. Naturally the right-est mode is 'Cupra' where it rockets to 62mph in 5.2 seconds and stays incredibly persistent as it pulls through the gears; the gurgle pop on the overrun is appreciated, too.


Cornering ability, somehow, pips the Skoda, too. Again, the Skoda was clearly set up with a comfort bias, whereas the Cupra is a bit tauter and in-your-face, which helps massively with body roll and stability through bends. The result is a fairly firm ride, although never to the point of it being harsh. Personally I like firm, but if you're looking to wallow over bumps and humps as if they aren't there, the Cupra won't be the car for you. The grip though feels insurmountable on the road, and the big Brembo brakes seem very strong, even if they're a tad over servoed.

We put all this properly to the test recently by taking it along to Spa Classic; a seven-hour journey from my flat in London, down through Kent to pick up Ben, then on to Folkestone, Belgium and its lovely country roads. It gave the Cupra a good all-round going over on a variety of different roads and I must say it performed faultlessly. The roof length panoramic sunroof helps it feel open and airy in the cabin, so even if you are in the back trying to stop boxes of merchandise falling on you, it's not completely claustrophobic. The interior is familiar from other SEATs, which is no bad thing as it feels high quality and well located.


Exterior looks are obviously subjective. I'm a fan of the bronze wheels that are part of the Design Pack, for example, where some others aren't. I think it's a handsome looking car in general but, like many, I'm not a fan of the badges. It may just take a while to get used to them - change is big and scary, after all.

That leads us onto the not so good... Firstly is a small quality issue; the exhausts on the Cupra are experiencing a little surface corrosion. Has anyone with a Golf R experienced this on their tail pipes? Secondly, there's an odd, squeaky noise during low speed manoeuvres and going slowly over speed bumps; it's very strange, but we're told there is nothing wrong with it, and it isn't affecting the driving in any way. It just sounds weird. The third is that the Beats sound system that came as part of the Comfort and Sound Pack; quite simply, it doesn't live up to its Β£1930 option price. We've experienced superior sound in much cheaper systems.

With those smallish niggles aside though, we're really enjoying our time with the Cupra. We'll keep you abreast of the its toing and froing as the event season properly warms up (it'll be at Le Mans in a couple of weeks). And with any luck, we might squeeze a little more talent from it after that...


FACT SHEET
Car:
2018 Cupra Ateca
On fleet since: March 2019
Run by: Dafydd, or Jack when he needs it
Mileage: 5,125
List price new: Β£35,900 (as standard; Β£41,175 as tested comprising Comfort and Sound Pack - Β£1,930 and Design Pack - Β£3,345)
Last month at a glance: Predictably decent, unexpectedly likeable
Previous report:
SEAT's Cup Racing sub-brand goes it alone - is the Ateca good enough?




Author
Discussion

GTEYE

Original Poster:

1,377 posts

154 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
Looks really drab in those pictures

Max M4X WW

4,180 posts

126 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
I think if I owned one of these I would have to change the badges back to SEAT. The rear one especially looks so obvious that the SEAT badge was there before!

steelk

3 posts

63 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
I had the creaking suspension on my both my old mk7 GTD and on my current mk7.5 R. Dealership can't find any fault. Bit annoying to be honest as at least managed to get to 30k miles on the GTD before it started. The R has done it more or less from new.

James_33

101 posts

10 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
If you spend £40k on one of these you need your head testing, will depreciate quicker than a led balloon will drop.

nickfrog

10,117 posts

161 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
James_33 said:
If you spend £40k on one of these you need your head testing, will depreciate quicker than a led balloon will drop.
Probably at about the same rate as most volume new £40k cars. Big discounts probably available which should mitigate the depreciation. It sounds like a great family car so I don't think much head testing is required as different people with different budgets like different things.

Nickbrapp

2,859 posts

74 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
James_33 said:
If you spend £40k on one of these you need your head testing, will depreciate quicker than a led balloon will drop.
More like lease like the deal I saw recently £299 6x23

Pumpsmynads

97 posts

100 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
A certain leasing company has these for £400 per month, no deposit.

Almost £10k for 2 years’ rental. You decide if that’s worth it to you.

Nickbrapp

2,859 posts

74 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
Pumpsmynads said:
A certain leasing company has these for £400 per month, no deposit.

Almost £10k for 2 years’ rental. You decide if that’s worth it to you.
Can’t think of many other 300bhp 4WD Cars with space for 5 and a dog that I could buy, tax and maintain for 2 years for less than £10k

Disastrous

8,644 posts

161 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
Spent a bit of time with one of these earlier in the year and wasn’t impressed.

1. The logo. It’s literally a tramp stamp. Looks better poking out the bottom of a crop top than a car bonnet.

2. It feels rushed/unfinished. The headlights carry Seat branding, the brakes iirc have Audi rings...just a mess.

3. They didn’t even remove the square for the Seat ‘S’ on the tailgate and just smashed the tramp stamp on top of it.

4. It always felt like it was hunting for a gear. Mash pedal and wait a few seconds while it figures out what I’m trying to do. Like old school turbo lag.

Really wanted to like it more but it felt unfinished frown

The Crack Fox

13,527 posts

136 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
Seat is a nothing brand. Cupra (which auto correct changes to ‘cuppa’) is utterly, utterly pointless. Boring feature, boring, generic Volkswagen.

FN2TypeR

6,132 posts

37 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
Unless you live down a broken track/back road and need the ground clearance do yourself a favour and get a Golf R estate instead.

NGK210

727 posts

89 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
Dating back to Car's long-term test of a Mk1 Leon Cupra R in 2004-ish, there seems to be a history of car mags / sites giving a circumspect 4-star review for a hot SEAT's initial one-off road test, but then being very enthusiastic when the same car is evaluated long-term and day-to-day. Interesting. And begs the question: why?

Max M4X WW

4,180 posts

126 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
steelk said:
I had the creaking suspension on my both my old mk7 GTD and on my current mk7.5 R. Dealership can't find any fault. Bit annoying to be honest as at least managed to get to 30k miles on the GTD before it started. The R has done it more or less from new.
My 70k mile GTD Estate has probably done this from about 30k also, sounds like anti roll bar bushes to me?

GTEYE

Original Poster:

1,377 posts

154 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
nickfrog said:
James_33 said:
If you spend £40k on one of these you need your head testing, will depreciate quicker than a led balloon will drop.
Probably at about the same rate as most volume new £40k cars. Big discounts probably available which should mitigate the depreciation. It sounds like a great family car so I don't think much head testing is required as different people with different budgets like different things.
But a spin-off from an already weak brand for residuals doesn’t equal a great prospect

I’d wager in 2-3 years Cupra will be a deceased brand.

nickfrog

10,117 posts

161 months

Saturday 1st June
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
But a spin-off from an already weak brand for residuals doesn’t equal a great prospect

I’d wager in 2-3 years Cupra will be a deceased brand.
I appreciate that positivity is not your forte but actual residuals vs transaction prices are actually excellent on SEAT cars, very close to VW in % terms and probably on a par in £ terms. Hence their usually good lease rates too.

JackReacher

1,444 posts

159 months

Monday 3rd June
quotequote all
I don't really understand the dislike for Seat, guess it's the PH brand snobs insisting on German badges.

Our mk3 leon has been excellent, and residuals have been strong for what is a white goods vehicle. It's our first Seat and we would happily have another.

As for the Cupra ateca, I agree the badge is a bit gash and a regular Seat badge would be far better, but otherwise this is a Golf R (which is universally praised by most) jacked up slightly. Why the hate?

mikey k

12,330 posts

160 months

Monday 3rd June
quotequote all
I think I need to have a drive of one of these as the potential "dog carrier"

Aids0G

215 posts

93 months

Monday 3rd June
quotequote all
Interesting read,

Considering one of these in the next 6 months or so as a kind of fun to drive for 25k a year + able to do trips into the woods down tracks to feed the birds + tow a couple of tons of trailer + boat launch on the beach and be smart for work car.

Wonder if a set of 16 inch steels with General Grabber's would fit over the brakes for winter??

Reading about it seems 30mpg is the norm? would be great if the article could talk about the running costs a little more mpg,tyres etc??



Scottie - NW

874 posts

177 months

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Nickbrapp said:
Can’t think of many other 300bhp 4WD Cars with space for 5 and a dog that I could buy, tax and maintain for 2 years for less than £10k
Seat Leon Cupra 300 4WD estate, or Golf R Estate better driving options though?

Jack Mansfield

2,640 posts

34 months

PH Community Bloke

Tuesday 4th June
quotequote all
Aids0G said:
Interesting read,

Considering one of these in the next 6 months or so as a kind of fun to drive for 25k a year + able to do trips into the woods down tracks to feed the birds + tow a couple of tons of trailer + boat launch on the beach and be smart for work car.

Wonder if a set of 16 inch steels with General Grabber's would fit over the brakes for winter??

Reading about it seems 30mpg is the norm? would be great if the article could talk about the running costs a little more mpg,tyres etc??
Noted smile

Off the top of my head, on our trip to Spa we averaged about 27/28mpg, but bare in mind we wanted to get to our destination, were 3 up in the car plus our luggage and some event gear...

On a trip from London, down to Ashford then up to Essex I did a couple of weeks ago I managed to average about 36mpg but I was being reasonably frugal. Plus the M20 has a st load of 50mph road works at the moment!