The Seat Leon has played a starring role in the firm’s range of cars for many years now. It’s always been the more youthful company in the larger Volkswagen Group, offering a fun and exciting driving experience with plenty of character. Now, it’s looking to keep that thread going with the Leon.
As one of Seat’s best-selling vehicles, the Leon is hugely important. This new version sits atop the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia, but has been kitted out with a variety of touches to keep it in line with the look and feel of other Seat models. Aiming to combine fun and value-for-money, the Leon could potentially be the pick of the bunch. It’s also packed with the latest kit as well as a series of efficient engines. But what else has the Leon got to offer? Let’s take a look.
As mentioned, there are a good number of powertrains to choose from in the Leon. In fact, there are three petrol and one diesel to pick between as well as plug-in hybrid. Opt for the standard SE Dynamic trim and you can choose from a 1.0-litre petrol engine with 109bhp or a 1.5-litre variant with 128bhp. Both offer great economy and emissions around the 120g/km CO2 mark, depending on wheel size. On FR-specification cars, you can also pick a more powerful 148bhp 1.5-litre engine, available with a manual or automatic transmission.
The diesel is a 2.0-litre unit with 113bhp. Though its power output is relatively modest, this is an engine with a focus on efficiency and CO2 emissions of just 113g/km back this up. The new plug-in hybrid brings a great combination of efficiency and performance. It combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and battery, capable of powering the Leon on electric-only power for up to 38 miles.
Ride and handling
The Leon errs on the comfortable side of things with non-FR trim levels, bringing a compliant and comfortable ride that will ensure that long stints behind the wheel - or sat anywhere else in the cabin - won’t be too tasking. The steering is good too, with accuracy that helps when putting the Leon through more complex corners.
Move up to FR trim and, as a result of the sportier suspension and larger wheels, the ride does get a firm edge. However, many people will see this as a worthwhile trade-off for the more dynamic look that you get with this specification.
Whichever specification you opt for, the Leon remains impressively sure-footed at motorway speeds, yet that well-judged steering means it’s easy to drive around town, too.
Interior and equipment
The Leon benefits from the same level of technology and equipment that you get in the new Golf, which means that tech-hungry drivers are well catered for. There’s a large central infotainment screen that incorporates all of the major infotainment and media functions, as well as both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are very few physical buttons, too, which does help to give the cabin as a whole a clean, refined look.
There’s also a very clear and easy to read digital dial setup and it can be configured to show all manner of different readouts and information.
The Leon has always been priced competitively and that has been continued for this latest version. Prices for the SE Dynamic start at £20,995, with standard equipment including 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, that digital cockpit and the 10-inch infotainment screen.
Upgrade to FR - priced from £23,185 - and you get a differently styled set of 17-inch alloys - the option to upgrade them to 18-inch variants - as well as dynamic indicators, rain-sensing wipers and a wireless phone charging kit. Of course, FR trim also brings redesigned bumpers and lower, stiffer suspension for a more dynamic look.
The new Seat Leon is a seriously accomplished all-rounder. It’s quiet, comfortable and spacious, while good levels of standard equipment mean that you’re not feeling short-changed regardless of the specification you opt for.
The inclusion of a plug-in hybrid powertrain means that there’s real scope for reduced fuel bills with the Leon, though more traditional petrol and diesels ensure that there’s something for all drivers, too
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