The 2018 SEAT Tarraco SUV Shows up in Paris with Eyes for the 2019 Skoda Kodiaq and 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
13 Crossover Wagons You Could Buy Instead of an SUV
High-riding vehicles, like crossovers and SUVs are at the height of popularity right now, but they’re not the only way to go if you want practicality and some off-road capability. Crossover style raised wagons are a great alternative and while they can still drive you over a rough field or rutted road with ease, they’re better to drive on road and actually pretty stylish.
They are essentially the wagon versions of different cars which have gained extra ride height and plastic cladding on the outside to protect them from scratches in their most vulnerable points. These vehicles usually have standard all-wheel drive and are usually a higher trim level, so they are not cheap (compared to the vehicle they’re based on) but they also come with a lot of equipment.
Here’s a list of the 13 coolest crossover-style wagons you can buy today.
10 Best Handling Crossovers on the Market
Crossovers are vehicles designed to look like they can go off-road, but really be at their best on the road. Sure, some can do light off-roading, but realistically you won’t want to stray too far from the blacktop or the occasional bumpy gravel backroad.
To this end it’s not trivial to know which of these 4x4-aping high riders are best out on the open (and sometimes twisty) road, since it’s where they will spend most of their time. But don’t go thinking that they are on par with more conventional car shapes, because their higher center of gravity and usually higher mass will affect handling.
Safety is at the top of buyers’ lists these days, but what many don’t think about when browsing lists of cars rated with safety stars is that good, predictable road manners and sharp handling are one of the biggest safety features a car can have, since they allow the driver to avoid crashing in the first place.
And while crossovers may give occupants a feeling of extra safety when they’re on board, their poor road manners bring this into question.
Here’s a list of the 10 best handling high-riding vehicles ever made.
Volkswagen Might Use SEAT to Take on Alfa Romeo After All
Alfa Romeo is making so much noise these days that even its rivals have begun to take notice. Hyundai (not really a rival) has made it clear it plans to compete against the Italian automaker. Now, Volkswagen wants a piece of Alfa Romeo, too. But instead of directly competing against the marquee, Volkswagen is looking for SEAT to do it. The thought of SEAT competing against Alfa Romeo may sound ridiculous on the surface, but the Spanish automaker has made great strides toward improving its identity in recent years. So much so, in fact, that competing against a legacy brand that’s having a renaissance of sorts isn’t something that any of us can dismiss outright.
2017 Seat Leon Cupra Evo 17
Although overshadowed by the Volkswagen Golf, its platform sibling, sales-wise, the Seat Leon has been the more powerful race car in various series around the world. The TCR is one of them, having been set up after Seat designed the Leon Cup Racer, also the car that was used as a template for aerodynamic regulations. The increasingly popular series is still dominated by the Leon, which received an update in 2017.
Renamed the Leon Cupra Evo 17, the Spanish race car is more aggressive than ever. The hatchback sports bigger wheel arches, just like the Volkswagen Golf GTI TRC, a massive rear wing, and the copper highlights we’ve seen on recently unveiled Cupra road models. The Leon will continue to race in the TCR International Series, where it will face competition from Audi, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Opel, Volkswagen, and many more carmakers.
Continue reading to learn more about the Seat Leon Cup Racer Evo 17.
2019 Seat Tarraco
Seat is preparing to launch its third SUV that will go by the name Tarraco and will be the company’s largest SUV yet. Spotted testing on the Nurburgring track in June 2018, the Tarraco shares underpinnings and other components with the midsize Skoda Kodiaq. This means that the Tarraco uses the Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous MQB platform, which also underpins the Volkswagen Tiguan and Touareg. Much like the Kodiaq, the Tarraco will go against popular SUVs like the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, and even the Volkswagen Tiguan. In case you’re wondering what’s in the Tarraco name, it’s the ancient name of the Spanish city of Tarragona.
If You Can’t Afford the New Cupra Ateca, You Could Go For This Cupra Bicycle Instead
In case you’re a bit of a shut-in, I’m happy to report that yes, spring has most definitely sprung in a major way, prompting some of those more outdoorsy types out there to break out the ‘ole two-wheeled contraptions known as bicycles. And while bike enthusiasts and car enthusiasts are occasionally at odds with one another, Cupra is offering up a reason for them to come together.
Continue reading for the full story.
2018 Seat Leon CUPRA R ST
Unveiled in 2012, the latest-generation Seat Leon was updated in 2017 and gained the most extreme Cupra package to date for the 2018 model year. Less than a year has passed, and the Spanish firm gave the same treatment to the ST station wagon model. Introduced at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March, the Leon Cupra R ST is identical to its hatchback sibling, but benefits from a larger trunk, which makes it a full-fledged competitor for the Volkswagen Golf R Estate.
The compact wagon arrived with a rather awkward timing, just as Seat turned the Cupra into a stand-alone brand. Starting this year, the company’s high-performance models will no longer have a "Seat" badge, but their own logos, although they will still use the nameplate. However, it turns out that some Seat cars will still wear "Cupra" identification, including this new station wagon. Whether this will go on only until the current models are discontinued is not yet known, but if you want both the "Seat" and "Cupra" badges on your car, you’d better hurry.
Continue reading to learn more about the Seat Leon CUPRA R ST.
Seat Is Going To Have Its Hands Full Over The Next Few Years With New EVs and The Fourth-Gen Leon On The Table
Everybody’s getting in on electrification these days, and you can add Seat to the growing list of automakers that are making a push for the burgeoning segment. The Volkswagen-owned Spanish automaker is planning to release a plug-in hybrid version of the next-generation Leon as the company begins its push for more all-electric cars in the future. The new Leon isn’t going to be Seat’s first all-electric car, but the model that’s going to come after it will be. The yet-to-be-named model is expected to arrive in 2019 where it will be developed alongside Volkswagen’s ID hatchback.
2018 CUPRA e-Racer
SEAT’s now standalone CUPRA performance brand is making its debut appearance at the Geneva Motor Show, and it’s making history in the process. The world’s first fully electric racing touring car in the world is wearing a CUPRA badge, and it’s called the CUPRA e-Racer. Largely based on the SEAT Leon TCR touring car, the CUPRA e-Racer not only looks like a serious race car, it also has as much as 670 horsepower at its disposal.
The 2020 Seat Leon Will Get Volkswagen Group’s Newest "industry leading" tech
The fourth-generation Seat Leon is getting first dibs on a state-of-the-art infotainment system that’s being developed by the Volkswagen Group. The new infotainment system is reportedly being developed with an eye towards improving its functionality to include certain abilities like updating maps, apps, and other features over-the-air. Once the system is used on the new Leon, it’s expected to filter down across the entire Volkswagen Group range.
Cupra Could See Electric Drivetrain Tech Before SEAT
The newly minted standalone brand Cupra is shaping up to be much more than just a go-to for performance thrills. According to a recent report from Autocar, SEAT brass have divulged that Cupra could also act as the development workhorse for a number of new technologies, including electric drivetrain tech.
Continue reading for the full story.
2018 Cupra Ibiza
The Ibiza nameplate has been around since 1984, when Spanish automaker SEAT introduced it as a replacement for the outgoing Fura. Framed as an affordable and fun B-segment supermini, the Ibiza has seen five generations over the years, the most recent of which dropped in 2017 at the Geneva International Motor Show. A variety of body styles have been used as well, including a five-door hatchback, a sedan, a coupe, and a wagon, but the most interesting of the lot is the hot-to-trot Cupra model. These high-performance iterations (“Cupra” is an amalgamation of “cup” and “racing”) are aimed squarely at the enthusiast market, bringing more power, aggressive styling, stiff suspension, big brakes, and an interior-spec upgrade to match. These days, Cupra fancies itself a standalone brand, much in the same way Polestar detached itself from Volvo. And while the first effort for the sub-brand-turned-automaker is the 300-horsepower Ateca SUV, you can bet a freshly Cupra-tized Ibiza is on the way too. That much was revealed in a slew of images posted to social media prior to an expected debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. In response to the leak, Cupra dropped a selection of official pics, given us a clearer view of the pumped-up five-door.
While Cupra is saying the Ibiza isn’t considered an official part of the range just yet (this latest model is designated as no more than a design exercise), we think it’s highly likely the hot hatch is production-ready. The brand will show the new Ateca in Geneva, which is all well and good, but in all honesty, the Ibiza is the the one we really want. Read on to find out why.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Cupra Ibiza.
Fresh from the bowels of the SEAT – Cupra split comes the Cupra Ateca, a rebadged model with the typical tuner enhancements. Highlights include a considerable horsepower increase, mild revisions to the exterior, plenty of Alcantara inside, and a swath of standard features suited for what would have been the range-topping model of the SEAT Ateca range. Of Course, there’s a lot of ground for the Cupra Ateca to cover when you consider the sheer size of the compact SUV Market. Sure, there aren’t a lot of performance compacts out there, but the Cupra Ateca will be fighting for dominance against vehicles like the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, and Jaguar F-Pace, all heavy hitters that could make things for the new kid on the block a little more difficult. So, let’s see what the new Ateca brings to the table and just how well it stacks up against the competition.
Cupra’s first model, the Cupra Ateca, comes to the market with 296 horsepower, a new seven-speed DSG transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and it even has an Otto Particulate Filter System to combat those pesky emissions. This is the first model from the Cupra brand now that it has split away from SEAT, and it will be followed by models like the Cupra Arona, Cupra TCR race car, and the Cupra Ibiza.
Leaked: 2019 Cupra Ibiza
Like a teenager that had to navigate through rocky adolescent years, the Seat Ibiza Cupra has evolved from an ugly duckling to a fierce swan, if such a thing existed. The hot hatch’s impressive evolution shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, because Cupra is now going at it alone after breaking off from the Seat mothership to become a standalone performance brand. As far as first impressions go, Cupra is on the right track because leaked photos of the Cupra Ibiza reveal a hot hatch that looks ready to steal some thunder from its rivals.
Cupra Breaks Off From Seat To Become Standalone Performance Brand
Seat just announced that it’s hot-to-trot go-faster division, Cupra, is breaking off from the pack to create its own stand-alone sub-brand. The first solo Cupra offering is expected to drop next month at the Geneva International Motor Show.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 Seat Ibiza
First put into production in 1984, the Ibiza is one of Seat’s most successful models. In the 33 years it’s been on the market, the Spanish automaker has managed to move as many as 5.4 million examples of the Ibiza. That’s an impressive number, with a total of four generations coming and going over the years. Now, there’s a new fifth generation, which saw a debut earlier this year at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show following a reveal at the island that provided the car’s namesake, Ibiza, off the eastern coast of Spain. This refreshed entry in the supermini segment sees improvements across the board and was created in order to offer customers higher levels of safety, a fresh aesthetic, greater performance, and more comfort as well. Both gas and diesel powerplants are available, while a seven-speed automatic transmission and the latest smartphone support are on the table as well. Under the skin is a brand new platform, courtesy of Seat’s parent company, Volkswagen Auto Group.
Of course, as one of Seat’s most popular models, the trick is to add to what’s already there without taking away anything from the outgoing model. As such, the question is this – does the new Ibiza have the same spark as the old? Read on to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Seat Ibiza.
Seat Arona Brings New Digital Display In Frankfurt
Major auto shows usually stand out for debuting incredible supercars, thrilling luxury models, and futuristic concept vehicles. That’s because gearheads are more attracted by outstanding automobiles and the hype around them rather than mundane vehicles for the masses. But, as soon as the hype goes away, we of return to those affordable, every-day cars, simply because most of us drive such vehicles and cannot afford fancy supercars. Seat is among the companies that are looking to succeed by selling affordable vehicles, and it brought four new products to the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, including its brand-new Digital Cockpit.
Set to make its debut in 2018, the new Digital Cockpit is the firm’s latest instrument cluster and brings forward a more modern and versatile design. The Digital Cockpit will make its market debut in the Arona crossover and Leon Cupra R, both showcased in Frankfurt, but it will also be offered in the Ibiza and Ateca later on. Alongside the Arona, Leon Cupra R, and the Digital Cockpit, Seat also unveiled Amazon Alexa, a new voice-activated digital service. But before we look at the new cars, let’s check out this new Digital Cockpit that should make driving a Seat a more exciting experience.
Continue reading for the full story.
2018 Seat Leon Cupra R
The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is just around the corner and we’re already getting a steady stream of cars that will be in attendance at the event. One car that has our attention is a hot hatchback from an automaker that normally doesn’t get its share of the spotlight. Prepare yourselves as Seat is looking to take Frankfurt by storm with the new Leon Cupra R, the automaker’s most powerful road car in history.
The Leon Cupra R will be joined by the likes of the Ibiza and the Leon Cupra Evo 17 in Frankfurt, but make no mistake, the Cupra R will be the highlight of Seat’s booth, in large part because of its status as a limited edition model and its significance for the company moving forward. Remember, Seat recently filed trademark applications for a Cupra sub-brand, seemingly separating the model from the entire Seat family in hopes of turning it into a performance sub-brand. I can’t help but wonder then if the Leon Cupra R is more than just a limited edition hot hatch, but a preview of sorts of what we can expect from the Cupra sub-brand in the event that its separation from Seat does happen. For now, though, our attention should be on the Frankfurt-bound Leon Cupra R. With its credentials, the hot hatch has at least earned its place as one of the most exciting cars to hit the upcoming motor show.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Seat Leon Cupra R.
Seat’s Trademark Application Points At Possible Performance Sub-Brand
Trademark filings have become quite the rage these days as one automaker after another has made filing applications for their own reasons. Turns out, you can add SEAT to that list because the Volkswagen-owned, Spanish automaker has filed trademark applications for a host of new names and logos, the gist of which appears to be plans for a performance sub-brand named Cupra.
The name “Cupra” itself isn’t new as it relates to SEAT. For one, it’s the same name SEAT has used in the past to denote performance variants of its lineup of models, as shown in recent years by the Leon Cupra and the Ibiza Cupra. Now it appears that the Spanish automaker has a much bigger purpose for the name if plans to turn it into its own sub-brand come to fruition. Adding meat to this notion are the subsequent trademarks that the company also filed, including names like Tango, Salsa, and Bolero. These names sound inconsequential on the surface, but a brief trek in the history of SEAT will reveal that the company has independently used these names before, mostly on concept vehicles that were released in the early part of the previous decade. It’s still a little too early to draw any conclusions from these trademarks and there’s likewise no guarantee that Seat will use them for the things we’re speculating on. Then again, the thought of a new hot hatch brand entering the market is too enthralling to pass up.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.