SEAT has really been coming on song in recent years, with its ability to tap into the wider Volkswagen Group’s learnings while also putting its own style on its vehicles certainly paying dividends.
The latest Leon is based on the eighth-generation Golf, bringing a high-tech interior and a range of efficient engines to market. However, for a more practical option, there’s the new Leon Estate - and that’s what we’re looking at today.
As mentioned, the new Leon sits on a new platform shared with the Golf - badged MQB Evo - which allows it to bring more interior space than before. It also gains hybrid powertrains for the first time, bolstering the Leon’s efficiency levels.
A new suite of safety technology has allowed the Leon to scoop top ratings from safety experts Euro NCAP as well.
What’s under the bonnet?
Interestingly, a diesel option is no longer available with the Estate, which is why we’re testing it with a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine pushing out 148bhp and 250Nm of torque. It can be fitted with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox. The latter also features eTSI mild-hybrid technology which helps to improve efficiency.
Zero to 60mph takes 8.5 seconds while SEAT claims it’ll return close to 48mpg while emitting 133g/km CO2.
What’s it like to drive?
The Leon Estate delivers the kind of unflustered, easy-to-live with driving experience you’d expect from SEAT. It handles smartly with very little body roll, while a range of driver settings allow you to tailor the car’s controls to your liking.
The FR trim our car was finished in did have sports suspension which added some harshness to the ride, particularly when driving over broken surfaces. However, if you’re looking for a more comfortable option, then we’d opt for an SE or Xcellence car instead.
How does it look?
Much like the previous-generation Leon, this latest car benefits from an eye-catching and widespread use of LED lighting. It’s at its very best at the back of the car, where a full-width light bar runs between the two taillights creating a particularly high-tech look.
It’s a look and a feature which would’ve only been the reserve of high-end Audis some years ago, so it’s particularly exciting to see it on this latest Seat.
What’s it like inside?
The interior of the Leon matches the well-made feel you get from the exterior. It’s a hugely digital cabin, with pretty much all of the traditional buttons and controls migrated within the new central touchscreen.
This can make simple operations like changing the temperature a little more difficult than they need to be, though thankfully the Leon Estate still has the practicality boxes ticked thanks to a 617-litre boot which is 30 litres bigger than before.
What’s the spec like?
SEAT really has focused on delivering value for money with the latest Leon, which is why even entry-level cars boast alloy wheels, a touchscreen with smartphone integration and even cruise control and keyless start. The amount of standard tech you get is impressive, to say the least.
FR spec brings larger alloy wheels, those fancy LED lights and wireless smartphone charging - among other features.
The latest Leon Estate is a far more rounded affair than its predecessor, bringing more standard equipment, improved safety levels and a decent driving experience.
If you choose the right spec, it can be great value for money too. In terms of an outright all-rounder, this SEAT really is up with the best of them.