Cupra Ateca vs Audi SQ2

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SUVs have change into mainstream fodder for households wanting sensible and classy transport, and now there’s a brand new area of interest rising out of this group of automobiles.

Till now efficiency SUVs have sat proper on the high of – simply have a look at the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Lamborghini Urus – however now vehicles corresponding to the brand new Cupra Ateca are serving to to democratise this type and velocity in additional reasonably priced performance-focused packages. Nevertheless, it’s obtained competitors.

That comes within the type of the Audi SQ2. This automobile takes the German model’s S mannequin know-how and downscales it for this hottest of Q2s. So can the brand new Spanish marque and its first product, the recent Ateca, overcome the SQ2’s problem on this new market area of interest?

Head-to-head

Mannequin Cupra Ateca Audi SQ2
Worth £35,900 £36,815
Engine 2.Zero-litre 4cyl petrol turbo 2.Zero-litre 4cyl petrol turbo
Energy/torque 296bhp/400Nm 296bhp/400Nm
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch automated, four-wheel drive Seven-speed dual-clutch automated, four-wheel drive
Zero-60mph four.7 seconds four.5 seconds
High velocity 153mph 155mph
Check financial system 27.9mpg/6.1mpl 26.8mpg/5.9mpl
CO2/tax 168g/km/£140 159/km/£140
Choices Consolation and Sound pack (£1,930), Design pack (£Three,345) Expertise Pack (£1,395), Bang & Olufsen stereo (£700), Driver Help Pack Superior (£1,200), rear-view digicam (£350), Superior key (£350), heated seats (£300)

Cupra Ateca

For: Cheaper and bigger, so extra usable than the Audi, properly geared up and good tech
Towards: Journey and dealing with are compromised by the Ateca’s trip top – however so are the SQ2’s

Cupra at all times was SEAT’s sporty sub-brand – consider it like Mercedes-AMG or BMW M – however now the Volkswagen-owned firm has been spun off right into a producer in its personal proper.

So, that is Cupra’s first ever standalone automobile and it’s chosen an SUV to mark its debut. It’s based mostly on the usual SEAT Ateca household crossover, and Cupra’s goal is to mix the entire mannequin’s practicality with the trademark efficiency for which the Cupra badge is understood.

Which means there’s a potent 2.Zero-litre turbo engine below the bonnet, a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and four-wheel drive, plus loads of chassis tweaks to enhance the dealing with and agility.

This sizzling Ateca is Cupra’s first standalone automobile, however regardless of the recent badge the system is acquainted, as a result of the usual SEAT Ateca’s MQB chassis is the bottom for this extra highly effective mannequin.

There’s MacPherson-strut suspension on the entrance and a multi-link rear axle because of the 4Drive four-wheel-drive system. The chassis has been tweaked so it sits 20mm decrease than the SEAT donor and has firmer springs. These modifications have been made to offset the SUVs taller trip top in contrast with a sizzling hatch and assist it deal with extra sharply.

Adaptive dampers are commonplace, with Consolation and Cupra settings at every finish of the size. The Ateca’s trip remains to be compromised, although. Our automobile additionally had the Consolation and Sound pack, in addition to the Design bundle, including £5,275 to the worth. All fashions sit on 19-inch wheels, however even within the suspension’s softest setting the trip is agency and busy. At finest it’s satisfactory, at worst it throws the physique round on its springs and dampers, which frustrates.

Choose Cupra mode, which actually corporations up the dampers, and the Ateca feels rock stable. It cuts roll noticeably, whereas bumps that mildly corrupt the automobile in Consolation really feel like full-on kicks in Cupra. However no less than the dealing with advantages may be felt on easy roads, as a result of the weightier steering has diploma of precision for a higher-riding SUV, little question helped by the grippier tyres. Even so, there’s nonetheless little in the best way of communication from the steering – or the chassis – as a result of the worth you pay for the picture of a efficiency SUV is a drop in capability in contrast with an analogous sizzling hatch. 

That’s solely when the street will get twisty – and even then four-wheel drive nonetheless means the Ateca makes efficient progress because of robust traction.

In a straight line it feels hot-hatch fast, regardless of its bulkier measurement and chunkier kerbweight. Our check figures backed this up, as a result of with launch management the Cupra clocked Zero-60mph in four.7 seconds. This was Zero.2 seconds down on the smaller, lighter SQ2, but it surely’s not sufficient to make a noticeable distinction on the street – moreover, the Ateca’s in-gear occasions have been principally a match for the Audi’s (5.Three seconds between 50 and 70mph in fifth in contrast with 5.1, for instance).

The brand new seven-speed field swaps ratios easily, however has the identical foibles as the same unit within the SQ2: primarily that downshifts really feel sluggish once you actually need them to be snappy.

Given the Ateca is £915 cheaper than the SQ2 we’ve obtained no qualms over the equipment you get. LED lights, a digital sprint, smartphone connectivity, keyless operation, local weather and cruise management, nav, adaptive dampers and a 360-degree digicam are all included.

Testers’ Notes

Infotainment: Simple-to-use show options Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and sat-nav. The graphics might be sharper, however digital dials are commonplace

Transmission: Seven-speed auto modifications gear easily. Downshifts can really feel sluggish, nevertheless

Inside: Greater bodyshell and longer wheelbase imply there’s extra space within the Ateca’s cabin than the SQ2’s for occupants 

Audi SQ2 

For: Barely faster than Cupra, decrease CO2 emissions, premium badge and picture
Towards: Lower than regular Audi ranges of high quality, smaller and fewer sensible, pricier

The recipe these two vehicles conform to may be very comparable. That’s not a shock given Audi and Cupra fall below the Volkswagen Group umbrella and use comparable underpinnings, engines and gearboxes.

There are a couple of key variations, nevertheless. One is that the Audi is £915 costlier, but it surely’s additionally the smaller automobile, so together with worth, practicality might be a problem within the verdict. Efficiency shouldn’t be, although, as a result of the two.Zero-litre turbo petrol motor ought to ship a potent punch whereas the quattro four-wheel-drive system and DSG auto transmission ought to guarantee it’s straightforward to use and deploy this efficiency. Let’s learn how it fares in contrast with the Cupra.

Audi’s SQ2 is predicated on the identical platform because the Cupra Ateca, but it surely’s the smaller of those two efficiency machines. The SQ2’s MQB chassis does with out adaptive dampers, whereas they’re commonplace on the Cupra. As a consequence it’s agency and feels unforgiving on rutted roads, the place the Ateca affords a bit of extra compliance. The suspension set-up’s trade-off for a small however sporty SUV remains to be acceptable, however the SQ2 feels extra compromised extra of the time than the Cupra.

It too sits 20mm decrease than its commonplace Audi Q2 counterpart and you’ll really feel the firmer tune to the springs and dampers. Hit a bump mid-corner and the shorter-wheelbase SQ2 feels much less steady than the Ateca, bouncing extra off line with much less management to the damping. The steering in each vehicles doesn’t relay a lot data to the driving force, however is sharp in its responses, solely with the SQ2’s taller trip top there’s nonetheless some roll. It’s not an involving driving expertise, and isn’t that snug or luxurious.

For a reasonably heavy SUV, it’s blisteringly fast – though at 1,435kg it’s 105kg lighter than the bigger Ateca, regardless of possessing the identical 296bhp 2.Zero-litre turbocharged engine, seven-speed DSG dual-clutch field and four-wheel-drive system.

Alongside that energy determine there’s 400Nm of torque – the identical as within the Cupra – produced from an similar 2,000rpm. In our exams the SQ2 lined Zero-60mph in simply four.5 seconds, whereas its 5.1-second time between 50 and 70mph in fifth reveals simply how a lot flexibility the muscular motor offers.

The Cupra was only some tenths behind most often, so that you’d hardly name it out of contact with the Audi, but it rides higher in its Consolation setting and feels a match for the SQ2 relating to grip and agility. The motor’s observe is equally flat from the exhaust, with refined coughs, however sounds extra enhanced in Dynamic mode.

Given the Audi’s worth, nevertheless, we’re lower than enamoured with the standard on provide. The sports activities seats are good and plenty of the sprint is roofed in softer plastic, however the fundamental design is now trying like a last-generation set-up, whereas the fabric on the doorways jars with the worth tag.

Tech can be a bit of behind the Cupra, and also you get much less of it as commonplace. A 12.Three-inch digital sprint is a part of the £1,395 Expertise Bundle that brings an eight.Three-inch display (a seven-inch unit is commonplace) and wi-fi charging, too, whereas keyless operation and a rear-view digicam value £350 every. Metallic paint is a £575 choice, however parking sensors, autonomous braking with pedestrian detection, cruise and local weather management, plus sat-nav are all included.

Tester’s Notes

Infotainment: Audi’s MMI system works properly and has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and nav. Greater eight.Three-inch display and digital dials are an choice

Transmission: Seven-speed auto field is just like the Ateca’s and shares its sluggish nature relating to downshifts

Inside: Cabin is smaller than the Cupra’s and the standard of the inside isn’t what we’d count on at this worth

Verdict

First Place: Cupra Ateca

The Cupra Ateca remains to be a compromised automobile, but it surely nails the temporary higher than the SQ2. It’s extra usable, just about matches the Audi’s efficiency, is extra cozy, and will get extra commonplace equipment and practicality. It’s a greater, extra reasonably priced try at providing efficiency SUVs to a wider viewers. 

Second place: Audi SQ2

The SQ2 is quicker than the Ateca, however not by sufficient to offset the dearth of house and suppleness. Efficiency SUVs like these are supposed to ship throughout the board, and the Audi is simply too compromised in too many areas to beat the Cupra – these embody worth, usability, commonplace equipment and luxury.