Cupra Ateca Review

The CUPRA Ateca was the first car to be given the CUPRA badge and was built on the SEAT Ateca model in 2018. It takes SEAT's best selling family crossover car and turns it into a family SUV packed with performance. It took the leap to prove that a family car doesn't have to be boring by packing it full of cool detailing, great equipment, and a high performance engine.

Read on in our CUPRA Ateca review to find out more about the latest model and how it differs from its SEAT counterpart to become a recognised sports model in its own right.

Design and Style

It is built on the Volkswagen Group MQB A1 Platform which also forms the basis for the Skoda Karoq and the Volkswagen T Roc, and of course is the foundation of the SEAT model too.

However, the difference between the SEAT and CUPRA versions of the model includes the CUPRA having differently designed front and rear bumpers, quad exhaust pipes, and black gloss exterior detailing on areas such as the wing mirror caps.

The CUPRA Ateca was given a facelift in 2021 which added full LED headlights, a new front bumper, a more aggressive rear diffuser, a sportier honeycomb grille, and copper coloured exterior highlights.

The bonnet of the CUPRA Ateca is accentuated by contrasting dark aluminium detailing and the bold CUPRA logo in the centre of the front grille. All of these details pull together for a "vision of elegant sportiness" to make the CUPRA Ateca a dream to drive.


The centre console is home to the new infotainment system in a 9.2 inch screen. This allows you to utilise the wireless Full Link smartphone integration (Apple Carplay and Android Auto) as well as the integrated sat nav system and connected CUPRA services such as online infotainment and remote access.

This is paired with a digital cockpit for the driver, standard across the CUPRA Ateca range, which uses a 9.2 inch screen to display the instrument cluster and additional driving information. It's at a great viewing level and controllable from the multi function steering wheel for ease of use. The mounted satellite buttons allow you to shift gear which is especially fun when you're in CUPRA mode.

If you've opted for the top spec VZ3 model you'll have the option to choose from black or petrol blue leather, both of which really refine the interior further, and enjoy the multi coloured ambient lighting which also offers front and rear reading lights to allow passengers to adjust the visibility of the cabin to suit them.

Comfort and Practicality

Comfort is a huge part of the interior of the CUPRA Ateca. It has much sportier seats than the standard SEAT Ateca with the front seats replaced with sports bucket seats as standard. These are covered with Dinamica Cloth and have manual lumbar and height adjustment for your convenience. This is matched with 1063mm of headroom for front seat passengers and 1020mm for those in the rear seats, 45mm and 52mm more than you'll find respectively in a Golf R.

The driving position is higher than you'll find in a standard hot hatch, with ground clearance at 160mm and a tall windscreen to give you the best visibility possible. This is paired with front and rear parking sensors as standard to give you peace of mind that the car is supporting you where you can't quite see.

The CUPRA Ateca offers 485 litres of boot space with all five seats in use, 40 litres more than the Volkswagen T Roc offers but the same as the standard SEAT Ateca. Folding the rear seats down opens the space up to 1579 litres, a phenomenal 289 litres more than the VW T Roc. It's a little less than the SEAT Ateca as it only offers a four wheel drive system whereas the SEAT model has the option for two wheel drive, which frees up more room in the boot.

Performance and Engine Options

CUPRA offers just one engine across the CUPRA Ateca range, a 2.0 litre TSI direct injection petrol. This four cylinder engine offers 300PS with a 7 speed automatic gearbox and four wheel drive system which delivers a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds. The CUPRA Ateca can reach a maximum speed of 155mph whilst delivering a combined mpg of 31.7 and CO2 emissions of 202 g/km.

When comparing the CUPRA Ateca to the SEAT Ateca, it offers double the power output and half the time to reach 62mph which makes it an excellent choice for those looking primarily at performance. Comparing the fuel economy to the all wheel drive system on the SEAT Ateca sees that there's only a slight dip in performance as the SEAT model offers 35.3 mpg combined.

As well as this, you'll also have CUPRA Drive Profiles as standard on all models. This gives you four different driving modes (Normal, Sport, CUPRA mode, and Individual) alongside dynamic chassis control and driving profile selection.

Trim Levels

There are three trim levels available on the CUPRA Ateca: VZ1, VZ2, and VZ3.

The entry level VZ1 trim offers 19 inch black and silver machined alloy wheels, glossy black roof rails, visible twin exhaust pipes, rear tinted windows, CUPRA Sport suspension, a rear view camera, a top view camera, front and rear parking sensors, park assist with self parking functionality, rain sensing wipers, LED headlights, dynamic headlight range control with self adjusting whilst driving, and LED tail lights.

Inside you can expect ambient lighting, front sports bucket seats in Dinamica Cloth, manual height and lumbar adjustment for the front seats, illuminated aluminium front door sill, leather sports steering wheel and gear knob, cruise control with speed limiter, auto dimming rear view mirror, dual zone climate control, electric parking brake with auto hold function, wireless phone charging, steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles, and a front centre armrest.

Upgrading to the VZ2 trim adds an electric driver seat with memory function, black leather bucket seats, an electric tailgate with virtual pedal, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, high beam control, lane keep assist with semi-automatic vehicle control and traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, side assist and exit assist, multifunction camera, and front assist with city automatic emergency braking.

The top trim VZ3 then adds 19 inch Copper alloy wheels, CUPRA Supersports steering wheel with satellite buttons, and front Brembo brakes and calipers. The VZ3 emphasises the sporting roots of the brand.

Reliability and Safety

The CUPRA Ateca has not yet been given a safety rating by Euro NCAP, it's likely to receive one when the SEAT version is retested as it's results are now expired and was tested before the CUPRA model launched. The CUPRA Leon is covered under the testing for the SEAT Leon so it's likely that when the Ateca is retested it will cover both SEAT and CUPRA versions, although it's not a given.

Standard safety equipment includes ABS, traction control system, electronic stability control, electronic differential lock system, front assist which includes city emergency braking, hill hold control, tiredness recognition system, and tyre pressure monitoring.

Every new CUPRA model comes with an unlimited mileage two year warranty with a third year capping if your car reaches 60,000 miles in that time frame. You can also speak to our teams at Specialist Cars CUPRA in Aberdeen and Dundee about extending your warranty beyond this if you plan to keep your car longer term.


The CUPRA Ateca starts at £41,380 for the VZ1 and this increases to £43,4590 for the VZ2 trim and then again to £47,015 for the top VZ3 trim level.

For comparison, the Golf R starts at £42,250 whilst an entry level Volkswagen T Roc starts much lower at £26,210. The main difference would then be the performance and equipment that you are expecting your new car to have and what price you are willing to pay for that.

Upgrading your trim level or adding on additional options, such as the performance based Brembo brakes, will increase your price further from the standard as will choosing any of the metallic or premium metallic paint colours.


Whilst much of the foundations come from the SEAT Ateca, the CUPRA Ateca SUV has proven that it's done much more than just add on the CUPRA logo and call it a day. Enhanced performance matched with excellent equipment brings it above it's SEAT counterpart whilst a refined interior brings you on an entirely new experience.

For more information please don't hesitate to contact our friendly and helpful teams at the John Clark CUPRA sites in Aberdeen and Dundee who will answer any further questions and get you out on a test drive of your new car too.