What is it?
The SEAT Leon is a core part of the Spanish firm’s range and now there’s a new one. It uses a brand new platform - which it shares with the latest eight-generation Golf - and brings more standard equipment and technology than ever.
The thing is, can it still deliver the key attributes which have made the Leon so popular over the years? Let’s take a look.
There are a wide variety of updates to this latest fourth-generation Leon thanks to a 1.1 billion euro investment in its model range. That’s why it showcases an all-new look as well as a completely redesigned interior.
What’s under the bonnet?
There are a variety of petrol and diesel engines available with the Leon, ranging from a 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol to a 2.0-litre diesel, all with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Bump up to sporty FR trim, however, and there’s the choice of either that previously-mentioned petrol as well as an additional 1.5-litre petrol making 148bhp. It’s available with either a manual or automatic gearbox, too.
What’s it like to drive?
‘Our’ test car came in sporty FR trim, which has traditionally been the most dynamic of the trim levels available with the Leon. However, this latest generation seems to err more on the side of comfort, feeling far more like a Golf in terms of character than before.
However, the whole driving experience is impressively hassle-free, being comfortable despite the FR’s stiffened suspension and remarkably stable at motorways speeds.
How does it look?
FR-trim cars boast sporty looking bumpers and 17-inch alloy wheels, which does help to give the Leon even more presence out on the road. We’d also argue that brighter colours suit this Seat best, with reds a particular highlight.
At the rear of the Leon is a new full-width light, which helps to give the car a truly next-generation look when driving at night. It also livens up the design of the car during the day.
What’s it like inside?
In the cabin it’s clear to see the Leon’s Golf underpinnings, with the two featuring an interior which looks quite similar. However, that’s no bad thing as despite being quite minimalist it’s superbly well made and solidly put together.
There are very few physical buttons too, with the majority of the controls accessed via the main screen. This does help to give the cabin a clutter-free look.
What’s the spec like?
Prices for the FR start from £23,185, which brings 17-inch alloy wheels with the optional upgrade of 18-inch versions available. You also get dynamic indicators, rain-sensing wipers and a wireless phone charger.
In addition, there’s the lowered sports suspension and redesigned body kit which are included as part of the trim and help to give the Leon a far sportier appearance.
It’s hard to ignore the virtues of the new Seat Leon. It’s well designed, well made and superbly spacious too, while also being comfortable and refined to drive.
It does all of the things that the Volkswagen Golf does, but with the added flair that comes with the Seat badge on the front. If you want a little more personality without losing out on day-to-day abilities, then the Leon is an excellent choice.