RE: Cupra Ateca | PH Fleet

RE: Cupra Ateca | PH Fleet

Friday 21st June

Cupra Ateca | PH Fleet

Ideal race weekend transport - but shouldn't it be doing more than that?



Once upon a long time ago - or so it seems - I ran a Leon Cupra long-termer. Brilliant car it was too, even if few still seem to recognise it. By sacrificing a bit of Golf GTI completeness for a slightly raw dynamic edge, it offered a really desirable hot hatch package. Well, I thought so at least. Especially when fettled further with the Performance Packages.

Given so much is shared between Leon and Ateca, the prospect of spending more time with it - including the EnduroKA weekend - was one I was quite intrigued by. Honest.

Trouble is, for my money, so much of what proved endearing about the Leon has been lost in the transition to Ateca. Chiefly that's thanks to an enormous 240kg weight gain, the Leon officially 1,375kg and the Ateca 1,615kg. Which kind of spoils quite a bit. Where the hatch, even with 20hp and a ratio less, felt at times quite improperly potent - an Evo 6 had the same power and just 10kg less - the SUV only ever feels pleasantly brisk. Given the eminent tuneability of this engine, established over the past half a dozen years and highlighted with the recent Mountune visit it seems a shame that the racy sub-brand couldn't have been launched with a tangible performance advantage. Perhaps hands are tied in Barcelona, what with the T-Roc R imminent.


Whatever the case, that weight naturally has an impact beyond merely stymied acceleration. A 1,600kg car will never feel as lithe as a 1,400kg car, and so even ramping up the Ateca's drive modes to their most aggressive - though leaving the steering in its normal setting for the Individual configuration - never reintroduces the urgency and agility of a conventional hot hatch. But does add an edge to the ride. And throughout, even with a long journey up the A11 to Snetterton, it won't get close to 35mpg as an average reading. Even a very handy electric tailgate and a raised boot floor can't make up for that.

All things considered, the Ateca should be consigned to a position not far from irrelevance, as there's already much that we don't like about these MQB hatches - buzzy, fake engine noise, aloof control weights - without what redeems them. However...

However, I can't remember a conventional (i.e. with a roof, and doors) car at this money that garners so much attention from the buying public at large. Over the EnduroKa weekend it received attention on the motorway, at services and even in the Snetterton paddock, people curious about what it was, how fast it might go and what the badges were for. Many even liked the looks. Purists may guffaw and mock, but the Cupra Ateca sits perfectly in the middle of automotive desirability Venn diagrams: customers want SUVs, specifically performance SUVs, but they also want good value and familiarity. At present, nothing else exists like the Cupra. It's a Love Island gif on four wheels, so perfectly does it capture the zeitgeist of buying taste; you might not like the prospect, but there's no denying the popularity.


Hence one of the PH sales lads is really keen on one, despite being just 21 and with no family to cart around; his Leon FR is old and boring by now, after all. That it does pretty much everything a Golf R does only seals the deal - there's not much given up in terms of outright ability for being trendy. And it'll do 0-60mph in five seconds. Of course the drawbacks are there, but far greater sacrifices have been made for fashion and style on four wheels over the years.

And that's the paradox of the Cupra Ateca: there are a host of objective reasons as to why it's worse than a fast estate or hot hatch. But trends don't care much for objective realities; if it's desirable, then it's desirable, and you won't need to look far down any street to see a host of SUVs, some with more Sport than others. Or alluding to more Sport than others, at least. By being broadly capable and readily available - it's cheaper than an R-Line Tiguan which develops 70hp less - there seems little in the way to stopping the Ateca's success. And so long as hot hatches can continue as well, that shouldn't be anything to be too perturbed by...


FACT SHEET
Car:
Cupra Ateca
Run by: Dafydd, or Matt when there are racing requirements
Mileage: 6,222
List price new: Β£35,900 (as standard; price as tested Β£41,175, comprised of Comfort and Sound Pack for Β£1,930 and Design Pack for Β£3,345)
Last month at a glance: The customer is always right... right?

Previous reports:
SEAT's Cup Racing sub-brand goes it alone - is the Ateca good enough?
Spa doesn't seem too far with access to a Cupra
Inspired? Search for a Cupra Ateca here




Author
Discussion

Augustus Windsock

Original Poster:

1,739 posts

99 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Getting up (fairly early) this morning I read the above article.
At that point there were no comments attached.
Revisiting the same article at around 11am I see that there were still no comments
Does this suggest that there is an o stall apathy to the Cupar Ateca, despite the article suggesting it was a veritable magnet at its last outing at the EnduroKa meeting...?

wst

3,270 posts

105 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Market interest (actual purchases) are not the same as "interesting to talk about".

road hog

2,413 posts

157 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Have been considering one of these as a replacement for an Impeza wrx s , , even booked a test drive at a local dealer (who confirmed) gave 3 weeks notice , arrived at dealership at pre arranged time ......no car available and not really interested ....so I went and test drove an Audi SQ5 instead , ....

strange how some dealerships go out of there way for you to help and others go out of there way not to sell anything .....

still waiting to test drive the cupra ....

JackReacher

1,444 posts

159 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
I think from previous threads on this the conclusion was that most people who want an SUV value a German badge and soft touch plastics over driving experience (including many on PH), and then in the other camp those who would always chose a dynamically superior estate car over a quick SUV where they can etch out that extra 10th of performance while carrying the kids and shopping....

I'm not in the market for a fast family car, but I'd want to try this if I was, rather than just dismissing it due to the quality of plastics or Seat/cupra badge, which many seem to do.


Jon_S_Rally

514 posts

32 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
I couldn't be less interested really. I have seen a couple and I suppose I did notice them, but I have zero interest in owning one. If I ever buy an SUV, it would be for practical reasons, such as towing or going off-road, so something like this has zero appeal, as it's purely style over substance.

For road use, I would choose an estate every time. I just don't see the point in sacrificing fuel efficiency and driving dynamics, just for the sake of sitting a few inches higher. All that means is that you're looking at the top of the back window of the car in front, instead of the boot badge.

Sooner or later, the eco mob will remember that SUVs are a bad thing, and the world will turn against them again. That day can't come soon enough to be honest.

Panjy

80 posts

90 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Couldn’t agree more with the post above.
I am biased as i have the Cupra ST but when i look at one of these, there is one in my work car park, i don’t see that it offers anything over my car other than a higher seating position, which i don’t actually want.
Other than that everything about it seems to be a negative, heavier - which translates into worse economy, driving dynamics & higher running costs, definately the looks.
Even the boot is 100L smaller, so other than headroom it’s less practical too.
I certainly don’t see any reason why i would consider one in the future.

DMMboringaccountant

3 posts

36 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
I think the most interesting thing about this is how small the Range Rover looks in the opening photo

Dale487

1,008 posts

67 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Panjy said:
Couldn’t agree more with the post above.
I am biased as i have the Cupra ST but when i look at one of these, there is one in my work car park, i don’t see that it offers anything over my car other than a higher seating position, which i don’t actually want.
Other than that everything about it seems to be a negative, heavier - which translates into worse economy, driving dynamics & higher running costs, definately the looks.
Even the boot is 100L smaller, so other than headroom it’s less practical too.
I certainly don’t see any reason why i would consider one in the future.
The best thing a car dealer ever did, when there was a 9 month wait on petrol Atecas, was get me to look at the Leon ST.

Saved me £10k on the list price of the Ateca, which my wife thought we wanted, as I bought nearly new.

Cheaper to buy, tax, better MPG, bigger and better shaped boot.

I just hope SEAT don’t mess up the new Leon.

nunpuncher

1,247 posts

69 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Uninteresting.

scjgreen

434 posts

78 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
£41K for a Seat redface

ChrisNic

402 posts

90 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Just to buck the trend we have one of these arriving next week. We have had a Leon FR for the last 4 years and it’s not big enough for a family of 4 plus a German Shepherd.

For me it will be reasonably quick and ok to drive, for my wife it’s slightly jacked up, practical, auto and has some poke.

I wouldn't pay £36k for one but they can be leased quite cheaply. I get the feeling they aren’t selling due to initially only being available at a limited number of ‘specialist’ dealers.

nickfrog

10,117 posts

161 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Jon_S_Rally said:
I couldn't be less interested really. I have seen a couple and I suppose I did notice them, but I have zero interest in owning one. If I ever buy an SUV, it would be for practical reasons, such as towing or going off-road, so something like this has zero appeal, as it's purely style over substance.

For road use, I would choose an estate every time. I just don't see the point in sacrificing fuel efficiency and driving dynamics, just for the sake of sitting a few inches higher. All that means is that you're looking at the top of the back window of the car in front, instead of the boot badge.

Sooner or later, the eco mob will remember that SUVs are a bad thing, and the world will turn against them again. That day can't come soon enough to be honest.
So you're in favour of less choice because you don't like them ?

And what if the eco mob realises that sports cars are also a bad thing environmentally ?

And btw, you can buy one of them with a very economical 1.5 150hp that is about 1250kgs, not exactly a planet destroyer, is it ?

Far far more practical than an estate IME, but I like estates too although I would use neither for driving dynamics, or track days for that matter.


Weekendrebuild

322 posts

7 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
It’s a seat an £41k . It’s Not remotely interesting

CDP

5,718 posts

198 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
DMMboringaccountant said:
I think the most interesting thing about this is how small the Range Rover looks in the opening photo
+1

The Rover looks compact and elegant in comparison. It will be desirable long after the Seat has been scraped.

What's worse is the Ateca is compact SUV. I saw one of the really big Audis (q7?) and it looked ridiculous. Ugly too.

Augustus Windsock

Original Poster:

1,739 posts

99 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
Coincidentally I saw my first one on the road today just outside Chesterfield, same colour as the featured one
I did a double take, thinking it was a Ford EcoSport or whatever the similar looking thing is in the Ford range.
Even the bronze highlights on the alloys disappeared as it was moving, adding to the anonymity.
I still prefer my Leon ST but the aftersales leaves something to be desired compared to Skoda
Since taking delivery in January I’ve not had a follow-up call or even an email/mail shot
Whereas with the Skoda I got a call every few months from the salesman just to make sure everything was ok and if I needed anything sorting.
Take note Seat...

225

1,320 posts

170 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
I wouldn't have considered one until now as the wife has the 20.tsi excellence model. It's got pretty much every toy you could want and goes well even with 190bhp.
Now if I'm honest I still will likely be looking for a fast estate when my lease is up but cars like this and the x3m40i do appeal as well.

As for people getting bent out of shape with made up list prices, everyone on here knows they are for the uniformed few. A 30sec google shows you can get a standard one for 32k new which isn't bad at all for what you get.

blearyeyedboy

4,847 posts

123 months

Friday 21st June
quotequote all
I'm fond of the Leon Cupra.

I was puzzled about the hype surrounding this car.
Then I saw one in the metal, and I struggled so much to give a st that Seat should market it as a diarrhoea remedy.

I imagine I'm not the target demographic. I don't give a monkeys about Love Island.

Give me a Sub8 Leon Cupra wagon and I'm a happier bunny. driving


nickfrog

10,117 posts

161 months

Saturday 22nd June
quotequote all
225 said:
A 30sec google shows you can get a standard one for 32k new which isn't bad at all for what you get.
I thought it was £41k. You're annoying with your facts.

Jon_S_Rally

514 posts

32 months

Monday 24th June
quotequote all
nickfrog said:
So you're in favour of less choice because you don't like them ?

And what if the eco mob realises that sports cars are also a bad thing environmentally ?

And btw, you can buy one of them with a very economical 1.5 150hp that is about 1250kgs, not exactly a planet destroyer, is it ?

Far far more practical than an estate IME, but I like estates too although I would use neither for driving dynamics, or track days for that matter.
I'm in favour of less choice because they're pointless. It's like a Leon Cupra ST, but just slightly worse in almost every way.

You're right, it is a worry that the econ mob are going to realise that sports cars are a bad thing environmentally, which is precisely why the industry shouldn't be drawing attention to itself with stuff like this.

I'm sure you can buy one with a smaller engine but, again, that same engine in a Leon ST would be better, so what's the point in it?

These are nothing more than a styling exercise for people who want to feel 'cool' because they are driving something that looks like an SUV, therefore expensive and purposeful. Or for people who think sitting six inches higher somehow makes them safer or a better driver.

If people want to buy one, good luck to them, but I can't help but find it a bit ridiculous. The car industry is under scrutiny for its emissions, we keep getting told that we need to travel more cleanly, and yet most manufacturers are putting all of their energy into designing, manufacturing and selling cars that are inherently less efficient than their saloon/hatch/estate counterparts. It just demonstrates how laughable the whole debate surrounding sustainable transport is.

Jonno02

1,949 posts

53 months

Monday 24th June
quotequote all
Jon_S_Rally said:
stuff
Think you need a Snickers mate.