Cupra Ateca vs. Jaguar E-Pace: Can You Ignore the Badge and Buy a Hot SUV?

Jaguar is great at making four-door sedans feel dynamic yet comfortable, but it couldn't sell one to save its life. So the leaping feline went into crossovers and SUVs. The E-Pace is its Range Rover Evoque alternative, and many young Europeans have fallen in love with its looks.
Cupra Ateca vs. Jaguar E-Pace: Can You Ignore the Badge and Buy a Hot SUV? 2 photos
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Cupra Ateca vs. Jaguar E-Pace: Can You Ignore the Badge and Buy a Hot SUV?
Random TV ads show how it's the obvious choice for outside-the-box thinkers, while the red body and large grille immediately remind you of the beastly V8-powered F-Type. But is it that sporty? Not compared to the Cupra Ateca.

Many reviews say that for a first-time model from a new brand, the Cupra Ateca is underbaked, that it doesn't sound sweet enough or that its interior is boring. But this review from the UK suggests it's more of a bargain than you think.

Yes, the Cupra starts from £36,000, and for "just" £3,000 you can have a more premium-looking Jaguar. But that would have exactly half the power, and fewer features. A 300 HP E-Pace would set you back at least £46,000, and it still wouldn't be a match in the performance department.

That's due to the platform Jaguar borrowed from Land Rover, which is very heavy - just under 1,900 kilos for the AWD auto models. At 1,557kg, the Cupra Ateca is no heavyweight, but it moves with uncanny agility.

And for a hot car, the Ateca is surprisingly well matured, with a trunk that's easily as spacious as any other family car. But it's always going to be scrutinized for the faker carbon on its seats and the boring dashboard. Maybe they can spice things up for the mid-life facelift, which is a couple of years away.

The amazing thing is that the Jaguar is the one being criticized for its lack of comfort. Dial the Ateca back into comfort mode and its perfectly suited for the school run. Or even put it in snow for that winter getaway adventure. But none of what we say is going to matter to the first-time SUV buyer, who wants that premium look and high-street charm.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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