2019 Cupra Ateca Review – When you think 300 hp SUVs, it’s the German premium models that come to mind first. But know it, this time is over. Because today, Seat, through its new brand Cupra, presents an Ateca, capable of everything. A real Swiss army knife
It is not every day that a new car brand is born. In Europe, the latest was DS in June 2014. A premium brand that was part of Citroën, and has emancipated. The seat does the same with Cupra. This name is not an unknown, far from it, and represented until then the most radical sporting “signature” of the models of the Spanish brand. But this “signature” now becomes a full-fledged brand, which will commercialize models with fire temperament, based on those of Seat.
The first of them is the one we discover and try today. One almost surprised in reality. Indeed, Seat first presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017 a “show car” based on Leon. Which seemed logical, a compact having more sportsmanship than an SUV. But finally, it is the fashion of the moment, turned completely towards these last ones, which will designate the Ateca like the first representative of the mark in the showrooms.
It is a real open heart operation that presided over the birth of this 2019 Cupra Ateca. The transplant of a new heart, in the bowels of a family model. So instead of the usual wise blocks, we find under the hood of the Ateca, now the 2.0 TFSI 300 horsepower, that of the Leon Cupra. This makes 2019 Cupra Ateca simply the most powerful general SUV on the market, the fastest and the most powerful too. It is therefore without competition, surrounded by models whose maximum powers painfully reach the 240 hp. It is necessary to go for premium models very expensive to do better. The Audi RSQ3 and its 367 hp, the Mercedes GLA 45 AMG and its 381 hp are the only ones in the compact SUV category that can claim to do better in performance.
Indeed, with its 300 hp, 400 Nm at 2,000 rpm, 247 km / h in top speed and 0 to 100 km / h shot in 5.2 s, it atomizes other generalists, even it can not compete with the Q3 and GLA.
The power goes to the ground via a 4Drive all-wheel drive, which distributes power and torque directly to each wheel according to the conditions of grip, and by means of a DSG7 double-clutch gearbox. It has been reviewed for the occasion, with the aim of making it more responsive in dynamic driving, but more efficient in terms of consumption. Difficult equation a priori.
Finally, the Cupra Ateca also has a driving mode selector, which allows choosing between Normal, Sport, Individual, Snow, Off-road and of course the very radical fashion Cupra. The chassis is adaptive, that is to say, that the rigidity of the suspension changes depending on the chosen driving mode. What gives him several faces.
Of course, to accompany this heart transplant, it was also necessary to appeal to the cosmetic surgeon to match the physical with the capabilities.
Thus, it is impossible to confuse an Ateca from Seat, and that of Cupra. Of course, the proportions and lines are the same, but a specific honeycomb grille, revised shields, perforated at the front and including a quadruple tailpipe at the rear, a tailgate spoiler, rims of 19 inches, are responsible for giving him an extra personality.
And the coppery keys, on the rims and the logo, finish making this Cupra recognizable among thousands. it will be the signature of the brand.
2019 Cupra Ateca Interior
Inside, the specificities are more discreet. Seats and storm doors in Alcantara stitched, aluminum pedals, carbon imitation plastics are the only efforts made by Cupra to distinguish “their” model from that of Seat. It is little, and it is a pity.
In any case, we find the good habitability of the Ateca, a trunk volume of 485 liters very usable, a 60/40 folding bench with ski hatch. The family aspects have not disappeared, and this first model Cupra is intended for families whose usual driver, it will be understood, will be a little more in a hurry than others. Let’s see what happens on the road.
2019 Cupra Ateca Test Drive
This Ateca in high-level athletic dress shows promise of versatility and says, according to its designers, know how to do everything. However, we left with a priori. How can a Cupra-style SUV maintain its family and travel experience? And how could it be as efficient as a sedan on a track?
An essay in each of the situations he might encounter in real life has, we must say, surprised in a good way.
Indeed, we have the opportunity to make a few laps at the wheel, but also to see it evolve off-road (we were not at the wheel then), and then finish with a complete test drive.
It turns out that this Ateca is a real Swiss army knife. It is surprisingly effective in all situations.
On circuit first. The demanding, hilly, technical track of the Castelloli track, not far from Barcelona, allowed us to see that despite the higher ground clearance than the Leon Cupra (18 cm instead of 14), but 10 mm more low as that of the “Seat” Ateca, the Cupra remained a balance and a formidable efficiency. Of course, its temperament, as often with 4×4 chassis, remains understeer output curve, but the drifts are handled without concern and the roll is non-existent, as long as you stay in Cupra mode of driving mode selector! It is essential on the track, since it greatly strengthens the suspensions, and makes the steering less assisted, the throttle pedal more sensitive and the box more responsive. For the latter, this is not enough. This type of very particular use highlights a slight lack of responsiveness to re-acceleration. It is better to take the hand with the pallets, which allows anticipating.
An excellent point for the performance pack and its Brembo brakes. Despite intensive use on dozens of laps, journalist after reporter, they have never faltered, and their endurance is remarkable.
Slight disappointment on the side of the sound, however. Even in Cupra mode, the vocalizes remain discreet. Without going into the caricature of the Leon in the same mode, we would have appreciated that the 4-cylinder gives a little more voice.
Comfortable and Fuel efficient
Satisfaction on the track so, but also satisfaction on open road. There Cupra mode is not justified. But in sports mode, the Ateca is a formidable amenity and becomes almost comfortable. The compromise comfort/efficiency is here the best. And we can drive fast, very fast, relaxed. You never have the impression of forcing or flirting with the limits of the chassis.
If you go into normal mode, the comfort becomes real, and traveling with the whole family on board is considered without any ulterior motive. We see here the advantage of a controlled chassis, which allows not having to choose between too much firmness, the risk of breaking the vertebrae daily, or too much comfort, at the expense of efficiency in sports driving. So, neither madam (or sir!), Nor children will complain. It’s like being at the wheel of any Ateca model, with the difference that a truck overtaking will be a formality, achieved in a few seconds by sticking to the seat.
We also noted that in quieter driving, the box returns to a very acceptable level of approval, chaining reports quickly and smoothly, except at very low speed. An evil common to many double clutch boxes, and even some conventional converter boxes.
Consumption, driving a good father, can easily fall to less than 10 liters per 100 km, and even approach the 8 liters on the exclusively extra-urban course.
We were also able to take some off-piste trails, but also to see the Cupra Ateca evolve on an area dedicated to 4×4 driving. Of course it is not a franchise, its ground clearance reduced by 10 mm makes it less talented than the Seat Ateca, however, we are still surprised by the possibilities offered by these compact SUVs. Small bridge crossings, crossing incant, retention of adhesion in a precarious situation, he is capable of it. This especially ensures that it can get out of some situations much better than any 2WD sedan. Obviously, yes. But the ability of this Cupra Ateca to move from the paved track to the muddy track is notable. And its spectrum of use is simply wider than any general-purpose vehicle to date. Against all odds and going, as we said, against our assumptions at the beginning of the test. Indeed, no compact SUV is today able to be as efficient on the track, as comfortable on the road and as comfortable off-piste.
As we have said, this first model Cupra is a real Swiss army knife, a strong argument
2019 Cupra Ateca Features
The Cupra Ateca offers the best in terms of equipment. At least based on what Seat can offer, the parent brand (and Volkswagen means behind). Suddenly, we find a package that includes everything that the “Seat” Ateca can include.
As standard, keyless access and start, induction phone charging, GSM signal booster, 100% digital instrumentation, 360 ° parking cameras, park assist, chassis driven with multiple modes of driving, the 8-inch touch screen multimedia display with integrated navigation, 19-inch wheels, Alcantara bucket seats, gray stitching on the seats, leather steering wheel and box lever. We also find the aluminum pedals, the aluminum door sills with the illuminated Cupra logo, the welcome light that projects the Cupra logo and name on the floor, and of course the specific body kit with a honeycomb grille. , redesigned front and rear bumpers, quad exhaust and copper keys on logos and rims.
Option packs such as the Performance Pack, which includes oversized Brembo brakes with black calipers, the exterior carbon fiber pack (rear spoiler and carbon mirrors), the carbon fiber pack can be opted for. interior (imitation carbon dashboard, leather seats). The Cupra (mid-2019) exclusive bucket seats will come later.