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BMW X2 M35i, Cupra Ateca and VW T-Roc R in the test

Achim Hartmann
BMW X2 M35i, Cupra Ateca and VW T-Roc R in the test
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Whether these three SUVs will one day enjoy the same cult status as their flatter compact brothers Einser, Leon Cupra or even Golf GTI? We do not know it. But the fact is that the desire for dynamic locomotion continues unabated among SUV customers. So it makes sense to combine both worlds. Incompatible opposites? Let's see what B MW X2 M35i and Cupra Ateca can align against the youngest offspring of this species, the T-Roc R from VW.

In terms of drama, it must put the new one at the back, instead the Cupra Ateca in advance. It is actually a classic Seat with a respectable utility and a sporty focus. The problem: It can no longer be a Seat, even though it is optically one. Apparently too few people are willing to invest a lot of money - here at least 43,420 euros - in an SUV in the 300 hp class that has a Seat logo on the front and rear. So in 2018 the idea was born to establish a particularly high-quality brand in the PSA Group based on the example of DS. However, Cupra - what the name defines after stands for 'Cup Racer' - about motorsport.

Lots of seats, few Cup Racers

A racing version of the Ateca doesn’t exist, but you cannot blame the SUV for that. Especially not when you see how many extras are already included in the basic price: stylish 19-inch wheels, rear view camera and keyless entry - the list is long. Orange-colored Cupra emblems and carbon-look fabric make the Spaniard look pretty on the inside. The sports seats for 1,875 euros score with good support, but are mounted quite high and, despite electrical adjustment, do not fit perfectly with every stature. The quality impression is right, also thanks to the generous use of Alcantara. Only the inadequate insulation allows wind noise to pass through on the autobahn and the rumbling of the chassis on poor roads.

Thanks to its box-shaped body, the Ateca not only gives the rear passengers the most space. The trunk offers 485Liters of volume, which can be expanded to 1,579 liters thanks to the remotely unlockable and folding backrest. That he is older than the VW T-Roc, you notice on the one hand by the limited multimedia, but also on the operation, the latter in a positive sense: The infotainment appeals with classic switches and rotary controls as well as clearly arranged steering wheel buttons. In addition, there is a driving dynamics menu that can be easily adjusted using the rotary knob and still be sharpened in depth without getting lost in them. And with various sports displays, the standard digital cockpit offers real added value.

Achim Hartmann
The trunk has a volume of 485 liters, which can be expanded to 1,579 liters thanks to the remotely unlockable and folding backrest.

Speaking of performance: The Cupra prefers to play its 300 hp on the free motorway without being completely out of place on the country road. But the Ateca's high body tends to wobble in brisk corners, because its chassis surprises with considerable comfort reserves. The adaptive suspension, which is standard here, costs 1,045 euros extra for the VW, although it is binding in the Cupra, but not quite as tight as in the T-Roc tuned.

You can also feel this in the driving dynamics, where the safety-conscious ESP also slows it down. In addition, there is a steering system that is direct but somewhat callous from the central position, which makes the Ateca appear more clumsy than it actually is. On the other hand, the Brembo brake system, which costs 2,695 euros, could bite a little more powerfully. sport.de/marken-modelle/bmw/x2/'>X2 at least not on the test track, although its front-wheel drive platform plunged the BMW fan community into a deep crisis of faith. The X2 brings its engine power with all fours on the road. Although we can already hear the next outcry, because behind the abbreviation M35i is not the same as beforeIn-line six-cylinder, but an R4 with turbocharging like the VW group brothers.

X2 M35i: hard but warm

By the way, neither are disadvantages, because the 306 PS two-liter petrol engine is a real hit: 450 Nm torque - a smooth 50 Nm more than the Ateca and T-Roc - press below 2,000 rpm and are therefore noticeably earlier. When it comes to the acceleration measurements, the BMW is still a little behind, which is partly due to the highest curb weight of 1,660 kilograms. In any case, it is not due to the eight-speed automatic, which finds the right gear in the sport position and communicates gear changes with gentle pressure. Only the comfort mode is annoying with artificially long switching pauses.

The sound is also less suitable: on the outside thanks to the flap exhaust it is quite present, but on the inside an artificially played tin drum sound messes up the sound. Even more getting used to, however, is the chassis, the set-up of which is harder than that of some M GmbH sports cars. It also offers hardly any adjustment options. The M35i will certainly work well under ideal conditions on a perfectly flat racetrack, but how many SUVs have you seen on a track day? On imperfect road surfaces, the X2 jumps over every bump, no matter how small, and tugs in the sharp, appealing steering.

Achim Hartmann
The 306 hp two-liter gasoline engine is a Real big hit: 450 Nm torque - a smooth 50 Nm more than the Ateca and T-Roc - press even below 2000 rpm and are therefore noticeably earlier.

In spite of good deceleration values, the M-Performance brake builds up pressure in the pedal too timidly, which is easy with incorrectly selected curve entry speeds t ends in understeer. On the other hand, the X2 with M-blem leaves a lot of space at its rear: when suddenly the gas is blown, the all-wheel drive twitches its butt, which experienced pilots find quite entertaining, but which takes some time to become familiar with the car.

You get used to the ambience of the BMW, which costs at least 55,300 euros, very quickly. Although the ghosts on the Magmaroten, 1,400Exceeding expensive leather upholstery in euros, it appears to be in a class of higher quality than its competitors. The sports seats, which are subject to a surcharge, have a narrow cut, as is typical of BMW, and are adjustable in many ways, but positioned too high. Traffic lights can hardly be seen through the low windscreen. The headroom in the rear, on the other hand, suffers only slightly from the flat roof. In the rear, behind the electrically opening flap, there is a 470 liter storage space including a deep compartment, which can be expanded to 1,355 liters using the three-part rear seat backrest.

As usual, the BMW scores with ease of use, with the infotainment being the same It is up to the user whether he chooses a touchscreen, rotary push button or voice commands. However, the system is not up to date, it does not speak colloquial formulations. The driver assistants could also use an update. The adaptive cruise control is limited to 140 km /h and regulates the distances to other road users only very roughly.

T-Roc 'n' Roll

The VW ACC supports up to 210 km /h and does not overtake slower vehicles in the right lane, but the normal T-Roc can also do that without a sports dress. The same applies to the space in the SUV, which is only 4.23 meters long, which is quite neat apart from the smaller trunk. Many options that are standard in the Cupra, however, have to be paid for separately.

This includes infotainment, which with its many control surfaces does not necessarily contribute to faster targeting. The materials used, on the other hand, appear below average for VW standards and an entry-level tariff of around 44,000 euros. Perhaps hard plastics on door panels and dashboards save not only a few cents, but also weight.

Achim Hartmann
The VW T-Roc comes as an R in our test. It is available from 43,995 euros and the base price of the series was 21,435 euros.

In fact, the 1.5-ton truck wakes you up while driving Impression that some of the saved euros were put into driving-related elements. In addition to off-road and snow modes, the R also offers several Eco driving profiles via a dial with a buttonfrom comfort to race. Almost a bit too much of a good thing, especially since the settings can be individualized like with the Ateca. There is even a lap timer in the sports ads - should anyone come up with the idea of ​​setting a new lap record for compact SUVs on the Nürburgring. He would have good chances with the T-Roc R, which springs tighter than the Cupra, which can be attributed to extensive chassis modifications. In contrast to the X2, however, the all-wheel drive retains enough residual comfort.

R as in 'Racing'

The pleasantly low seating position almost suggests a familiar golf feeling, and the SUV comes from Wolfsburg surprisingly close to the compact class Primus. Its single-minded steering, which is extremely harmonious even in normal mode, provides feedback on the condition of the road surface without getting lost in details like the X2. The VW T-Roc R the pylon lane on the level of the still current Golf GTI. His ESP only intervenes late, but never completely withdraws. This means that it remains easily controllable and creates trust without coming across as boring.

With this agility, it easily outpaces the competition, even on the country road. Its turbocharged four-cylinder looks as if it had been bitten by a wildcat, can be modeled more sensitively thanks to the linear accelerator pedal characteristic and is less entangled in contradictions with the DSG than its Cupra counterpart. The dual clutch transmission allows intervention by means of large shift paddles on the leather steering wheel, but it overrules the driver when revving up and kicking down. This is compensated by the 3,800 euro Akrapovic exhaust with pubescent spitting and roaring, which thanks to valve control can also be adjusted to suit the neighborhood if necessary.

So the T-Roc R first blows the Ateca and then the X2, which is on End stumbling over its price. But what is much more important: The T-Roc is the only one that actually creates GTI feelings.


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