Spanish brand Seat has been enjoying something of a resurgence in recent years, particularly with its Leon hatchback, which provides a youthful, yet credible, riposte to the domination of the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.
However, the brand has been strangely absent in the compact SUV market. Where rivals such as Nissan have been cleaning up with crossovers such the popular Qashqai, Seat has been left lagging behind. However all this is set to change.
Seat has confirmed that its first SUV model, which will be based on the Leon hatchback, and which will directly rival the Qashqai, will reach UK showrooms in 2016. The styling is likely to take inspiration from the brand’s IBX concept (pictured above) – first seen at the Geneva motor show in 2011.
The new car will herald the beginning of something of an SUV offensive, with Seat’s UK director, Neil Williamson, confirming that it considering further high-riding models.
“Seat will have four pillars to its range. We already have our Ibiza pillar, our Leon pillar and our ‘other cars’ pillar, which includes models that do a job for us but perhaps aren’t distinctively Seat. And now we plan to add a fourth pillar, which is SUVs,” he told The Telegraph.
“The Leon-sized SUV coming in 2016 is pretty much finished. But we’d ideally like to grow this pillar, first with a smaller SUV and then a bigger one.”
It is likely that the forthcoming crossover will eventually be joined by a smaller, Ibiza-based model, and a more practical seven-seat offering.
Search Motors.co.uk for a used Seat here.