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Seat Leon Review

4/5
Seat Leon

The Seat Leon range...

List Price

£20,235 - £37,980

Acceleration (0-62mph)

7.5 - 10.9 seconds

Top speed

119 - 137 mph

Engine Power

110 - 204 bhp

CO2 Emissions

- g/km

Fuel Economy (Combined)

- mpg

Prices & Specification
Pros

Good range of engines; good equipment levels; attractive sporty styling.

Cons

Restricted visibility; limited and awkward stowage space; a less than comfortable ride.

The SEAT Leon represents good value, with a large range of good engine choices, a good selection of equipment with all trim levels and plenty of space in the large and airy cabin. Downsides are a less than generous and awkward stowage provision, a not particularly comfortable ride – especially at speed – and restricted visibility. The VW engines in the SEAT Leon means it should prove to be a reliable and solid buy.

Performance4.5/5

The SEAT Leon has six petrol and seven diesel engines available throughout the range and all of them are good. Petrol engines on offer include 1.2 and 1.4 litre units; diesels come with 1.6 and 2 litre options. If economy is your main priority, the Ecomotive – a 1.6 TDI diesel – is well worth considering. Overall the SEAT Leon diesels are less sluggish and have more pulling power than the petrol choices, but you can’t really go wrong with either.

Handling3.5/5

The SEAT Leon does not offer the most comfortable of rides – it has a firm ride and most of the road’s lumps and bumps can be felt rather too easily. However, the Leon takes corners well and has good grip and little body roll; in addition wind and cabin noise are at a minimum. Models at the top end of the range have electronic gizmos which facilitate faster cornering – but the downside is that the ride in these models is, if anything, even firmer. There is a degree of driving fun to be had with the SEAT Leon though, and it could just be the answer to your sporty ambitions.

Exterior3.5/5

The SEAT Leon has a smart and sporty appearance. The roofline swoops to the front; but looking at the car face on, it is quite square. Door handles are body coloured and set into the door, and windscreen wipers are integrated into the front pillars, all of which adds to the SEAT Leon’s sleek image.

Interior3.5/5

The SEAT Leon’s interior has adequate space for four six-footers, and two smaller passengers in the back would positively rattle around! It’s airy in there, and comfortable, with well supported front seats. Drivers of all shapes and sizes will find a comfortable driving position; the steering wheel adjusts two ways and the driver’s seat is height adjustable. Some of the plastics, though, feel a little flimsy; and the chunky windscreen pillars do not make for easy viewing of the road ahead or at junctions. Luggage space in the SEAT Leon is not over-generous or easy to access; the shallow boot has a difficult lip to manoeuvre around – not ideal for carrying anything of any significant weight or size. There’s not much in the way of additional cubbyholes and pockets in the cabin either – with the lack of anywhere to hide it, you could soon start to notice the clutter accumulating.

Equipment4.5/5

The SEAT Leon comes with six trims – the entry level ‘S’, moving up through the S Copa, SE Copa, FR, FR+ to the Cupra R. Standard equipment at all levels includes body coloured door furniture and bumpers, driver’s height adjustment, split folding rear seats, dust and pollen filter, electric front windows, trip computer, CD player with MP3 compatibility, and an impressive array of safety features. Working your way through the SEAT Leon range you will find various goodies added to the mix until, with the Cupra R, you have a car with exclusive Cupra R front and rear bumpers and styling details, bucket sports seats in quilted lack leather, aluminium pedals, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, the SEAT media system, including sat nav with Bluetooth phone connection, 19 inch alloys and a host of other features.

Safety4.5/5

The SEAT Leon was rated four stars in the pre-2009 Euro NCAP tests. There’s plenty of emphasis on safety features, with stability control, front, side and curtain airbags, and an electronic limited-slip differential for improved traction. There’s an anti-theft roof antenna, immobiliser, remote central locking with deadlocks and the fuel filler cap is linked to the central locking.  ISOFIX points are available in the rear.

Buying & Owning4.5/5

You will not get nearest rival VW Golf at a price as low as the SEAT Leon. With only the basic entry level ‘S’ trim missing out on alloys, and air-condition present in all models, the car does come with a very competitive amount of kit. SEAT offer a three year, 60,000 mile warranty included in the price, and running costs should prove to be economical. The Ecomotive version is particularly attractive for those needing to think about frugality, stating 74.4 mpg and low CO2 levels. When it comes to selling on, the SEAT Leon is likely to prove a popular choice.

Reviewed by cars2buy