The Ateca was the first model to be solely branded ‘Cupra’ (a portmanteau of the words ‘cup’ and ‘racing’, if you were wondering). Now, although a tall SUV is perhaps not the most natural fit for a brand focused on driving fun and sportiness, the Ateca actually proved to be quite a hoot.
That’s largely thanks to the drivetrain, which mates the trusty EA888 2.0-litre turbo four – as seen in myriad VW Group products with Haldex-type four-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG transmission. The result is 300hp, a 0-62mph sprint of 5.2 seconds, a top speed of 153mph and a smile on the face of the driver not normally in keeping with the sort of reaction you get behind the wheel of a family SUV.
It’s also pretty good value, being a fair chunk cheaper than its closest sporty SUV competitor, which is probably the closely related VW Tiguan R.
Don’t expect to be wowed by Caterham-like agility (this is still a tall, relatively heavy SUV), but standard adaptive suspension does a decent job of keeping body roll in check, albeit at the expense of a pillow-soft ride.