If you're getting impatient waiting for Seat to introduce its highly anticipated SUV model, you may wish to consider the new 4x4 Leon X-Perience, which will be available to order from the beginning of September.
Priced from £24,385 to £28,870, the unusually named X-Perience, is a crossover version of the Leon ST estate, and features a slightly raised ride height, all-wheel-drive and under-floor protection, for mild off-road use.
Following in a similar vein to Audi and VW's Allroad and Alltrack models, the X-Perience aims to offer enough mud-plugging ability to suit the majority of buyers, but without sacrificing the on-road manners and subtle aesthetic of the estate car on which it's based.
As such, styling alterations have been limited to a number of bodywork-protecting additions, including plastic cladding around the wheel arches and doorsills.
Power is provided courtesy of a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, available in two guises. The entry level TDI 150 version produces 148bhp and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The more powerful TDI 184, which produces 181bhp, is available with a twin-clutch DSG automatic gearbox.
The X-Perience is available in two trim levels: SE and SE Technology. Entry level SE models are equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, tinted rear windows, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, and hill-hold assist. The interior also features a leather steering wheel finished with contrasting orange stitching.
Range-topping SE Technology cars are further bestowed with sat nav and DAB digital radio, both of which are controlled through a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, plus automatic LED headlamps and windscreen wipers, 18-inch alloys and electrically folding door mirrors. The seats are upholstered in suede-like Alcantara.
Customers looking for additional opulence can spec the 'Lux' pack, which for £1,250, adds black leather upholstery, heated front seats (electrically adjustable on the driver's side), chrome roof rails and a headlamp washing function.
The Leon X-Perience makes its showroom debut this December. Seat's forthcoming SUV model is not expected to be fully unveiled until 2016.