20 April 2021

Cupra Ateca 2021 Car Review

Released in January, the Cupra Ateca is a medium-sized performance SUV that was designed and developed in Spain, and produced in the Czech Republic.

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Cupra Ateca 2021
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Cupra Ateca 2021
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Cupra Ateca 2021
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Cupra Ateca 2021
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Cupra Ateca 2021
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Cupra Ateca 2021
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Cupra Ateca 2021

The tamer Seat Ateca arrived here in late 2017 with a combination of variants and engine sizes, including a diesel model. No performance option was available at the time and so, as the likes of Citroen did with the ‘DS’ name, Seat has made the decision to put its performance vehicles under the brand name ‘Cupra’. The company formed back in 2018, and is very much involved in the European racing scene.

A new dawn

The Cupra Ateca was the first vehicle to be launched under the stand-alone high-performance brand and offers a unique proposition in the market, bringing the highest performance of any SUV outside of the premium manufacturers. Its mix of precision, sportiness, practicality and alluring design makes it a compelling package.

Ample power

The new Cupra Ateca maintains its performance levels with a powerful 2.0 litre TSI engine, connected to a quick-shifting seven-speed DSG transmission. The turbocharged four-cylinder unit produces 221kW of power (a few ponies shy of the 2020 VW Golf R) and 400Nm of torque, enough to reach 100km/h in just 4.9s from a standing start. Economy-wise, the Ateca has a rating of 7.7L/100km, with a CO2 rating of 175g/km.

Thoughtful styling

The ‘Cup Copper’ colour found in both the inside and outside of the Ateca look absolutely stunning and, along with the cleverly designed badge, the SUV looks like it means business without being over the top.

To reinforce the launch of the CUPRA brand, a powerful logo design was essential – two overlapping, symmetrical ‘C’s.

“It goes far beyond a simple logo. It’s an emblem. It symbolises the sense of belonging to a clan, the CUPRA clan”, said Jordi Font, Head of Colour & Trim at SEAT.

“The design of the inverted triangle was modelled on the attitude of tribal civilisations, on their courage and daring.”

Fit for any road

The Ateca drives as sharp as it looks - smooth and sporty - with plenty of space for the family or lifestyle gear. The turbo engine and AWD drivetrain is the perfect combination for road hugging through the corners and sure footedness on all road surfaces.

What next?

Other Cupra vehicles to look out for are the sporty hatchback Leon, Leon Sportstourer and Cupra-exclusive Formentor Crossover Utility Vehicle, all of which are expected to arrive in June 2021. Another anticipated vehicle set for New Zealand is the all-electric Cupra Born, although we may not see it until 2023.


The design and drive of the Ateca SUV is fantastic, the quick reaction received from the transmission and burst of power as you shift into ‘Sport’ mode is the reason the 2.0-litre engine DSG has proven popular in this European vehicle segment. The interior is luxurious and a mix of leather and suede-like materials provide fine levels of comfort and the contrast stitching is the cherry on the top.

At a glance


Cupra Ateca VZ


2.0-litre TSI


$66,900 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating

Not yet rated


221kW, 400Nm


Seven-speed DSG

Fuel economy/CO2

7.7L/100km, 175g/km

Towing capacity

2,100kg (Braked), 750kg (Unbraked)



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

485 litres

Safety systems

  • Front Assist, City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Protection
  • Side Assist & Exit Assist (Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert)
  • Driver and front passenger front/side airbags, Curtain and Driver's knee airbags
  • XDS Electronic differential lock system 
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring
  • Rear and top view cameras
  • Rear seatbelt tensioners and reminders

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