Seat Leon

 

The Seat Leon is a sharp styled five door hatchback or an estate (ST), as Seat is part of the VW group the Leon is basically the new Volkswagen Golf restyled with street cred, so if you are after a sporty car that is as well built as it is comfortable and is filled with extras for a budget price then look no further than the Leon. The Seat Leon Leon’s shape is certainly familiar but it has a new nose, a longer wheelbase and more pronounced ‘shoulders’. It’s also noticeably different at the rear, thanks to a full-width light strip that animates when you approach the car. There’s more room than in the previous model as there is an extra 50mm between the front and rear axles. This has almost exclusively been used for back seat passengers who have an extra 49mm of space, the boot remains a little on the small size at 380 litres.

 

Only three trims are avaialble on launch, SE Dynamic, the sporty FR and a First Edition FR. SE Dynamic cars have keyless start, full-LED headlight technology with automatic high beam, 10.25-inch digital driver instrument binnacle display, 10-inch centre-dash infotainment screen with navigation, 17 inch alloys, front and rear sensors and tinted rear side windows.  ‘FR’ trim adds sporty front and rear bumpers, Dynamic 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust pipes and a suspension set-up that gives a 15mm lower ride height. The Limited first edition FR has Adaptive chassis control , upgraded alloys, reversing camera and keyless entry, but the price of  £1799 AP makes it an expensive option.

 

Two 6 speed manual Petrol engines are on offer, a 1.0 and 1.5, both have a turbocharger and Active Cylinder Management. The 1.0 litre offers 108bhp a 0-62 time of 10.9 seconds and economy range of 47.1-52.3 mpg. The 1.5 is avaialble with 128bhp (0-62 9.7 seconds) or 148bhp (0-62 in 8.8 seconds) that offer economy of 51.4 mpg and 48.7 mpg respectively.

Specify 7 speed DSG auto transmission with the larger 1.5 engine and  you get the brand’s Mild Hybrid eTSI tech. This technology uses a 48V starter-generator and lithium-ion battery enabling the vehicle to coast with the engine switched off (while retaining all key electric functions, such as power steering), harvest energy under deceleration and provide electrical torque assistance during 47.9 mpg 8.7 acceleration reducing the 0-62 time to 8.7 seconds and increasing the fuel economy to 47.9 mpg.

 

The new Leon Estate (ST) is 93mm longer, 16mm narrower and 3mm lower than the outgoing model, the sleek design and practical additional boot space, 617 litres, make it a shrewd choice.  There is an increasing demand for estate cars as we all take a break from SUV’s and the Seat ST is a great looking option by adding £200 to the Advance Payment of the hatchback.

Full Q3 Seat prices here

 Summer Best Buy – Seat Leon SE Dynamic or FR 1.5 litre 128bhp Manual hatch  –  £199 Advance payment (£64.87 wpms)

 Summer Best Buy – Seat Leon FR 1.5 litre 148 Mild Hybrid Automatic hatch  –  £999 Advance payment (£69.50 + £100 wpms)