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This is Seat's brand new Ateca SUV

Company's first ever proper, full-size SUV shown at Geneva

This is Seat’s first proper SUV since, well, ever. And unlike ‘rugged’ Seats of old, it’s a little more than a Leon with a few extra millimetres of ground clearance and some hastily-applied plastic cladding. It’s called the Ateca, and it will compete with the Qashqai, Kadjar and Tucson when it goes on sale this coming September.

Odd names, but important cars. These crossover/SUV-type things are big business, and the good news is that the Seat Ateca looks at least competitive.

Based off VAG’s existing MQB architecture – because obviously – it’ll get the usual complement of petrol and diesel engines. Heading the range, at least until TG successfully convinces Seat bosses that what the world really needs is a 286bhp Ateca Cupra, will be a 187bhp 2.0-litre TDI or a similarly powerful petrol, with all-wheel drive available on some engines but not all. There’s even a 1.0-litre TSI petrol offered, along with a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol with cylinder deactivation. 

Predictably, there is much technology on offer. Traffic Jam Assist accelerates, steers and brakes the car autonomously at what Seat calls “traffic jam speeds”, but reverts back to a standard adaptive cruise/lane-keeping system when traffic frees up. Then there’s the Emergency Assist system, which will eventually slow the Ateca to a complete stop – keeping within its lane – should it detect an extended period of driver inactivity. Should you actually want to drive yourself, Seat promises “extraordinary driving fun”.

At 4.36m long, it’s the same size as that Qashqai, but offers up 485 litres of boot space if you tick the 4WD box, or 510-litres for the front-wheel-drive model - considerably more than the Nissan. We’re informed the “incredibly stiff” bodyshell helps the Ateca become one of the lightest cars in its class. Seat hasn’t yet confirmed a weight figure, but an entry-level, 1.2-litre Qashqai is 1,318kg.

The Ateca is a smart-looking thing, too, while the interior will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s ever been in a Leon, which is mostly fine with us.

Now, Seat, aboutt that Cupra…

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