Cupra Ateca 2.0 TSI VZ1 5dr DSG 4Drive
However you look at it, the Ateca is basically a hoiked-up hot hatch, which is exactly what it’s like to drive. A Mk7 Golf R with a little more roll and a touch more weight (at 1,626kg it’s actually only around 50kg heavier than the Audi S3). Yet it pelts around happily and sounds mildly interesting, even managing a few crackles when you really snap off the throttle.
Contrast that with the Cupra Formentor, which goes entirely too far with the fake noise.
While it always feels front-wheel drive (the rears are only called into action when they’re needed), the Ateca is sure-footed, undemanding of its driver and thus terrifically brisk point-to-point. But, as is the way with these kinds of cars, hardly the most involving.
Either way, the Ateca does the everyday fairly well. The gearbox is quick-shifting, the ride firm yet placid, and it sits quite happily on the motorway returning more than 30mpg.
The Ateca makes do with the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol that’s used extensively across all of Volkswagen Group’s many brands, and adds adaptive suspension, all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with wheel-mounted paddles. It’s a known quantity and well proven, with its 296bhp and 295lb ft.
The Cupra Formentor and Leon are available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but the 2.0 petrol is your lot with the Ateca. To be fair to the Cupra, it feels just as rapid as most of the hot hatches that use this motor despite its extra size and weight. Maybe we’ve been a bit spoiled with the influx of high-performing EVs around, because 0–62mph in under five seconds is not bad at all.
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