AS has become the trend, SEAT’s sporty arm is now a separate brand, dropping the Spanish manufacturer’s moniker entirely.

And, interestingly, the first project for the new standalone brand is... an SUV – and it’s made one frankly rude car with this Ateca.

The Cupra name itself is nothing new. But until now it’s been preceded by ‘SEAT’, be it on a Leon or Ibiza, and it’s synonymous with the sporty end of the firm’s offering.

Curious, then that Cupra’s first standalone effort, as it were, isn’t either of the cars with which it has been so long associated, although they surely won’t be far off.

Who needs an SUV with 300ps that does 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds anyway?

After driving this, I do. Very much.

Compared to the standard car everything feels geared towards performance.

Everything feels tighter, more focused.

The Cupra Ateca gets its own body styling, diamond cut alloys, glossy black exterior details and some impactful CUPRA logos and lettering.

Inside, it gets a leather sports steering wheel and black alcantara sports seats, with that logo again making its presence felt.

Standard kit includes keyless entry and start, wireless charging, an 8in touch screen system, dynamic chassis control and park assist.

All the bells and buttons, space and practicality that make SUVs incredibly useful are there.

The difference here is that it certainly goes some, too. Acceleration is rapid and it sounds delightful, with a throaty note (even if it isn’t entirely real).

Power is from a 2.0 TSI petrol engine, which doesn’t sound that exciting, but it produces 300ps and will, as mentioned, have you at 62mph in 5.2 seconds. Top end is 153mph.

CUPRA says that the Ateca is “designed to offer all the space and comfort of an SUV, yet with the calm certainty of its power to deliver”.

And it’s very hard to argue with that. The power is just there when you want it. It makes you feel incredibly confident in the car and what it can do.

There’s lots of grip and it always goes where you want it to.

The brakes are top notch, too. They bring the Ateca to a halt as quickly as it gathers speed. The Brembo discs on the front are huge.

It can be dialled down to comfort mode too, in which the Ateca loses none of its charm as a decent family SUV that is infinitely refined and comfortable on long journeys.

It’s just one that mum or dad can have a lot more fun driving.

If you need the practicality of an SUV but still love to drive, the Cupra Ateca will give you a lot of satisfaction.

Prices are from £35,900.