In just two years SEAT has gone from building no SUVs at all to producing both the Ateca and the smaller Arona. Now, the Volkswagen-owned Spanish brand has gone one better with the larger Tarraco, available in either five- or seven-seat versions.

Essentially a SEAT version of the Skoda Kodiaq, the Tarraco – named after the Spanish port city Tarragona – hints at the company’s forthcoming design language, with a larger, more prominent six-sided grille. The standard LED headlights retain the trademark triangular lighting signature, but are pushed further into the body to give the car a “more focused appearance.”

The angular surfacing and the upswept D-pillar kink are as on the Ateca, while the rear features full-width LED tail lights with sequential indicators. The Tarraco measures 4,735 mm long and 1,658 mm tall, making it nearly 40 mm longer and over 20 mm lower than a Honda CR-V.

Inside, SEAT has ditched the boxy designs of models past with a more contemporary dashboard, with a floating infotainment display atop the centre air vents. The horizontal lines are said to increase the sense of width to the car’s cabin, making it look more spacious and more premium.

Buyers will be able to specify a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit instrument display, as well as touchscreen sizes measuring up to eight inches. The top-of-the-line Navigation Plus system will get gesture control functionality that will be familiar to Volkswagen Golf owners, a SEAT first.

The Tarraco rides on the long-wheelbase version of VW’s modular MQB platform, called MQB-A. It will be offered with two petrol engines at launch – a 1.5 litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder unit with 150 PS, a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, and a 190 PS 2.0 litre version paired to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission and 4Drive all-wheel drive.

On the diesel side, there’s a 2.0 litre TDI turbodiesel offered in 150 PS and 190 PS versions, available either with the manual or the DSG and front- or all-wheel drive (the 190 PS variant is only available with the DSG and AWD). There will also be “alternative powertrain technologies” (i.e. hybrid) available later on.

Other technologies on board include Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive damping, as well as active safety systems such as standard Lane Assist and Front Assist (autonomous emergency braking) with cyclist and pedestrian detection. A blind spot monitor, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, Light Assist and Emergency Assist are available as options.

The Tarraco will be built at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant and will make its market debut in early-2019.

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