The Seat Ateca, the firm’s crucial new SUV, will be priced from £17,990 when it goes on sale on 3 May, with first UK deliveries expected in September.
The starting price undercuts the Nissan Qashqai, a key rival to the Ateca, which is priced from £18,545.
Three trim levels are available for the Ateca: S, SE and Xcellence; SE models will start from £19,590 and Xcellence from £23,905. Top-spec Xcellence cars will come with a 187bhp 2.0-litre TDI engine, a DSG automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive, priced at £29,990.
SUVs have been rapidly gaining popularity in Europe, and last year became the biggest-selling type of car in the region for the first time. The Ateca, which has a similar footprint to the Leon, is Seat’s first ever SUV and should bring significant growth to the VW Group brand.
It will also be followed by a smaller SUV based on the next-generation Ibiza, which is due in 2017, with a larger SUV under investigation for production by the end of the decade.
Underpinned by the VW Group’s versatile MQB platform, the Ateca is 4.36m long, which makes it just 2cm shorter than the Qashqai. It shares its 2.64m wheelbase with the Leon, while the 1.84m width and 1.6m height are also in line with the Qashqai.
The five-seat Ateca will be offered with standard front-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive from launch and a familiar range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.
The entry-level petrol unit is the three-cylinder 113bhp 1.0 TSI. A 1.4 TSI with 148bhp and cylinder deactivation technology is the other petrol engine. A 1.6 TDI diesel is offered with 113bhp, and a 2.0 TDI with 148bhp or 187bhp.
All engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox optional on more powerful engines. All-wheel drive is offered on the diesel engines only.