Seven-seat Seat crossover could launch in 2017

Company is currently assessing levels of customer demand...

Seven-seat Seat crossover could launch in 2017

A seven-seat Seat crossover could be launched in 2017, joining forthcoming rivals for the Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Juke in production.

The Spanish manufacturer has already confirmed that it will bring its long-overdue mid-sized SUV – previewed as long ago as 2011 by the IBX concept (above) – to market in 2016. It will be built on Seat's behalf by Skoda in the Czech Republic, and is likely to be joined soon after by an Ibiza-based SUV to rival the likes of the Juke, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008.

However, while Skoda is also planning a large crossover, Seat has yet to commit to such a vehicle. Its boss, Jurgen Stackman, says there could be space above the company's Qashqai rival. 'Strategically that is possible, yes,' he told What Car?. 'What we have to work on, though, is finding out if there is enough of a business case for such a vehicle. We know that the small SUV would be a great addition for us, and a return to a bigger car segment could make sense too - but is the European customer ready to buy that car from us?'

Stackmann ruled out another large Seat saloon in the foreseeable future, though, saying, 'That particularly body style in that size of car is a no-go for us. People in that market are either buying premium or buying an SUV.'

Stackmann also confirmed that the SUV arrivals are likely to mean the end for other low-selling models in the Seat line-up. In particular, the Seat Altea and Seat Toledo are believed to be under pressure, although sales for the second of those two models in Mexico could yet prove its saviour.