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On top of sharper looks and added equipment, the facelifted Cupra Ateca exhibits a clear identity thanks to clear attention to detail.

18 Dec 2020

Facelift (What's New)
New front grille with dark aluminium detailing
New steering wheel with progressive steering
9.2-inch infotainment system running a new look interface
Full link smartphone wireless integration
Bucket seats upholstered in Petrol Blue leather
0.3 seconds faster from zero to 100km/h

Wait, a Cupra Ateca? Wasn't this car just reviewed earlier this year?

Well, yes, we did in fact review the new Cupra Ateca in March this year. But, there's now already a slightly revised model.

Why? Well, Seat facelifted the standard Ateca in 2020, and thus the Cupra Ateca gets these facelift changes as well, and then some. Will these changes really matter?

And then some? I'm confused...

The new front fascia endows the Cupra Ateca with a sharper overall look
It's a little confusing, but let me try to break it down.

The 2020 facelift of the Ateca is largely cosmetic. New grille, front bumpers, rear bumpers and LED lights, as well as some tech updates for the cabin. Fairly standard fare for a mid-cycle facelift. 

On the Cupra Ateca, you get all of that as well. The new front fascia makes for a sharper-looking car, and reflects the brand's new design language. You also get 19-inch alloy wheels, as well as a quad-exhaust system. Overall, the car looks more hunkered down.

The Cupra Ateca now comes fitted with a new model specific steering wheel
But there's more. Inside, you will find a brand new Cupra multi-function steering wheel. In the pre-facelift model, it looked like a standard Seat steering wheel with the badged swapped for a Cupra badge. This one is a whole lot nicer to hold, and more functional to use. However, I did find the paddle shifters to be too small, and positioned a little bit far from being easy to operate.

The car also now comes fitted as standard with Cupra bucket seats at the front, with the driver seat having electronic control and three memory settings. I particularly like the Petrol Blue leather upholstery with Palomino Brown stitching. It just feels cool and interesting.

The 9.2-inch infotainment system supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Look closely at the 10.2-inch digital cockpit and you will notice that some details are different. The rev limiter, normally red in colour, is now a bronze colour instead.

The Cupra Ateca also now gets the top-of-the-line 9.2-inch infotainment system running the latest interface, and is a noticeable step up in terms of visual sleekness and overall functionality. You also get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Park Assist with a 360 surround view camera, as well as a Beats audio system.

And is it the same to drive?

Power comes from a familiar EA888 2.0-litre engine
The car is largely the same to drive, and that's not a bad thing at all.

Power comes from a familiar 2.0-litre engine, the same EA888 unit you'd find in other fast VW Group products. While the engine output remains the same, with 296bhp and 400Nm of torque, the car has been rejigged and is now 0.3 seconds quicker to 100km/h than before.

With plenty of grunt and four-wheel drive, going quickly in the Cupra Ateca is effortlessly easy. Power delivery is prompt, and the car actually drives smaller than it is. In the sportiest Cupra drive setting, the suspension firms up and allows you to tackle corners with ample verve as well as ample composure. 

With Launch Control activated, the Cupra Ateca will sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds
And yet, put it in the Comfort setting and the car becomes a simple, practical family SUV. It rides softly, treads lightly, and is unambiguously easy to live with.

So, what's what?

Honestly, for just under $200,000, you are getting a lot of car for your money. This facelift brings a whole lot of equipment updates, and it definitely feels a notable step up in terms of quality compared to the rest of the Seat range.

While this facelift may not seem like a big deal, in truth it actually kind of is.

Thanks to a clear attention to detail, the Cupra Ateca now feels significantly more cohesive and has a clear identity of its own
Seat announced in 2018 that Cupra would now be a standalone high-performance sub-brand. Following the announcement, it obviously needed to roll out a product. The Cupra Ateca that followed definitely felt like the brand had taken the existing 2016 Ateca and simply chucked in a bunch of go-faster bits and slapped on a Cupra badge. Capable, no doubt, but it didn't feel like it had its own specific identity.

With this 2020 model, the Cupra brand feels more well-formed. It's all in the details, really. With this model, you can definitely tell that significant attention has been paid to the little details. As a result, the car feels a lot more cohesive, and thus more distinct from the rest of the standard Seat range. Step in, and you don't immediately think or feel like you are simply in a rebadged Seat Ateca. It feels distinct and different, and an identifiable step up.

It finally has its own identity. And that definitely matters.

Car Information

There's a promotion for CUPRA Ateca


: $254,499

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap





221kW (296 bhp) / 6500 rpm



400 Nm / 5200 rpm



7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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