The 2020 SEAT Leon delivers on just about every level
One of the big attractions for the SEAT Leon is that it is often seen as being a cheaper version of the Volkswagen Golf – and for good reason since it’s based on the same platform and uses similar tech and engines.
Now the new fourth generation of the Leon will surprise lots of potential buyers because it's not only cheaper than a Golf – but it drives just as well.
It also has similar equipment levels and while it's based on the same platform, the Leon delivers more agility and has sharper looks.
Indeed, the boffins at Volkswagen may be taking a closer look at the Leon upstart to see what they can add to the Golf to fight off what is a genuine contender in the class.
Add the SEAT Leon to their shortlist
This means that buyers of the excellent Ford Focus and the Honda Civic should add the SEAT Leon to their shortlist to fully enjoy what this car has to offer.
It helps too that SEAT’s SUV offerings also impress, particularly the SEAT Arona, so more potential customers are aware of the quality and design ideas on offer from this Spanish carmaker.
As a hatchback, the Leon is impressive and is a sound family car choice – and for those who need more space and practicality, there is an estate version.
The latest model has dropped the useful three-door version - as growing numbers of car manufacturers are doing - and the five-door version has a larger cabin than the model it replaces.
For those who may be interested in a hybrid, the latest Leon eTSI offers plug-in hybrid technology to mate an electric motor and a 1.4-litre petrol engine that offers an all-electric range of 38 miles. That’s a sound choice for commuters and those who mainly travel around town.
SEAT Leon cabin offers quality
The SEAT Leon cabin offers a quality and comfortable place to spend time with most models featuring a 10-inch infotainment screen offering crisp graphics and there is cool ambient lighting too.
In many ways, the Leon's cabin is a smarter place to be in than the Golf’s and there’s more space for tall adults in the rear SEATs too.
The hatchback's boot size is only 380 litres in size, but it is still a practical and robust family car.
Diesel and petrol engines for the Leon
Along with the plug-in hybrid powertrain, drivers get a choice of diesel and petrol engines for the Leon.
Of the petrol engines, the 1.5-litre TSI unit producing 128bhp will return around 52mpg and will meet most people's needs for driving around town. There's a unit producing 148 bhp for more power and this returns 48mpg.
The 1.0-litre petrol engine is a useful unit and will return around 50mpg though it does feel strained at speed on motorways.
The Leon also comes with the option of a 2.0-litre diesel engine which will return more than 60mpg.
The engines are mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a smooth changing DSG automatic transmission.
SEAT Leon offers a sportier dynamic
Behind the wheel, the SEAT Leon offers a sportier dynamic than the sibling Golf and the suspension delivers decent grip and smooth performance on rough roads (though buyers of the Leon FR may find the sports suspension a tad too stiff for everyday enjoyment).
Of the models, the SE Dynamic offers lots of equipment and excellent levels of comfort.
For the money, the model has the firm's digital cockpit with satnav plus a 10-inch infotainment screen and a 10.25-inch digital driver binnacle. There are also tinted windows, larger alloy wheels and all-round parking sensors.
The standard list of equipment for the range is impressive and includes metallic paint, electronic parking brake, leather steering wheel, SEAT's Connect system, 16-inch alloy wheels, two USB points, keyless start as well as LED headlight technology. Only the entry level model features the 8-inch infotainment touchscreen.
Sportier Leon FR model
The sportier Leon FR model features the same kit list as the SE Dynamic but includes sporty bumpers, dual exhaust pipes and larger alloy wheels. In the cabin, there is contrast stitching, three-zone air conditioning, two USB points for rear passengers and a wireless charging tray.
Drivers also get a leather multifunction steering wheel and the car has a lower ride height with its unique suspension setup which helps it stand out from the crowd - but potential buyers really do need to try it first.
SEAT Leon is the firm's bestselling model
The SEAT Leon is the firm's bestselling model and while it is often seen as a poor man's Golf (it's about 10% cheaper) there's a lot to recommend the new offering.
Basically, the SEAT Leon is an ideal family car with great handling and a nice environment to enjoy.
And while it doesn't look like a Volkswagen Golf, it certainly drives like the latest Mk8 Golf and has a similar equipment list. Be aware though that the Leon is not a Golf clone and for those who can see past the badge, it's a hatchback that delivers on just about every level. Find the right one for you by taking a look at the wide variety of used SEAT Leon cars for sale on DesperateSeller.co.uk right now.
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