Cupra Ateca and Cupra Leon ST Tested

Cupra Ateca and Cupra Leon ST Tested

Cupra offers attractive models in its range, such as the Ateca 2.0 TSI and Leon ST 2.0 TSI, which not only provide spaciousness but also demonstrate exceptional handling capabilities. This comparison focuses on space, price, and driving pleasure, ultimately answering the question of which car is faster in both straight and curvy paths. Both vehicles possess a powerful engine, all-wheel drive, crisp DCC chassis, Brembo brakes, wide 19-inch slippers, and eight tailpipes, resulting in an impressive acceleration time of 4.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h with minimal noise.

However, differences in acceleration become apparent after the initial acceleration, with the Ateca reaching 160 km/h after nearly twelve seconds, while the Leon reaches 180 km/h. Additionally, Leon’s superior power allows it to break through the 200 km/h mark in just 18.8 seconds, while the Ateca takes almost two seconds longer. Although the Ateca is slightly lighter, it is significantly bulkier than the flat Leon, making it less powerful on fast stretches.

On the Swabian Alb home route, Leon’s muffled bassy roaring engine is a delight, offering exceptional comfort even after long journeys. The driver can enjoy the vehicle’s precise steering and extremely neutral handling, which creates an intimate connection between the road, car, and driver. In contrast, the Ateca’s more comfortable tuning requires the driver to skillfully maneuver the vehicle to keep up with Leon’s rear. If the driver enters a corner too quickly, the stubborn Ateca may press over the front wheels early and strongly, necessitating slower entry speed and careful acceleration at the exit to maintain control.

Same drive, different consumption

The Leon ST achieves fuel consumption of 8.9 liters per 100 kilometers, which presents a fuel efficiency advantage of nearly one liter compared to the Ateca. It is a common misconception that the Leon ST is a fuel-thirsty and rigid estate vehicle. However, the vehicle’s suspension comfort is appropriate for long drives and the handling characteristics are noteworthy. Additionally, the Leon ST’s 2.0 TSI engine exhibits a fuel consumption rate that requires almost a liter less Super Plus per 100 kilometers.

Conversely, the braking systems of both vehicles exhibit minimal differences. Although both vehicles have strong braking capabilities with deceleration values ​​under 35 meters, they do not perform exceptionally well. Once the brakes are driven to higher temperatures, they tend to produce more audible noise, such as a clear chirping or thumping.

Rossen Gargolov

620 l fit into the Leon ST and only 485 l into the Ateca.

Undoubtedly, the Leon boasts a sportier and more radical design, making it more akin to the Cupra. Furthermore, it offers the inherent benefits of a sports tourer over the Ateca. With an additional 26 centimeters in length and a combination rear, the Leon offers 620 liters of cargo space, while the Ateca only provides 485 liters.

The load-friendly SUV is now out of contention, as it appears that Cupra miscalculated by pricing it at 49,430 euros, which is 2,775 euros more expensive than the more lavishly equipped Leon.

The most significant component of the price difference is the driver assistance package, which costs 1,070 euros. The Leon also features a standard three-zone automatic air conditioning, as well as rear side airbags, matrix LED headlights, and a parking assistant, all of which work in favor of the Leon. However, it falls short in comparison to the Ateca when it comes to the Akrapovic exhaust system, which is exorbitantly priced at 4,120 euros and provides no improvement in terms of sound.

The Leon offers greater spaciousness, enhanced comfort, and an enhanced driving experience at a reduced cost while generating fewer emissions. It is apparent that when a raised seating position is not a requirement, the Leon surpasses the small Ateca.

Cupra Leon Cupra Sports Tourer 2.0 TSI 4Drive VZ Cupra Ateca 2.0 TSI 4Drive
basic price €46,655 €49,430
external dimensions 4657x1799x1437mm 4394x1841x1615mm
trunk volume 620 to 1600L 485 to 1579 l
displacement / engine 1984 cc / 4 cylinder 1984 cc / 4 cylinder
Performance 228 kW / 310 hp at 5450 rpm 221 kW / 300 hp at 5300 rpm
top speed 250km/h 150 mph
test consumption