2020 Seat Leon Plug-in Hybrid: prices, specification and range

Seat brings plug-in hybrid power to its Leon family hatchback, with claimed fuel economy of 235mpg and up to 36 miles of electric-only range

James Allen
Oct 30, 2020

Seat already offers a range of conventional petrol and diesel engines for its Leon family car, and it’s now catering for drivers who are after a plug-in hybrid hatchback with the launch of a new ‘e-Hybrid’ version.

As is the case with many other plug-in hybrid cars, the big draw of the Leon e-Hybrid is the claimed low running costs - at least if you charge the car’s batteries regularly. Seat claims the regular hatchback and the more spacious estate versions of the plug-in Leon can return up to 235mpg and cover up to 36 miles using just the electric motor. However, drive beyond that distance without charging and the petrol engine will take over and you'll use more fuel as a result.

Other than the plug-in 'powertrain', the Leon e-Hybrid is mostly the same as the standard car - meaning it has a good amount of space inside for passengers, and the interior is well-built and comes with a decent level of in-car technology.

One area where the plug-in hybrid does vary from the standard car is in terms of boot capacity, which is notably lower than with the standard model, in order to accommodate the plug-in hybrid’s 13kWh battery pack. This means that the Leon e-Hybrid may not be for you if you’re after the greatest possible luggage volume from a family hatchback.

Quick facts

  • Claimed economy of up to 235mpg
  • Up to 36 miles of electric-only range
  • Hatchback and estate versions available
  • Two-wheel drive and automatic only
  • Priced from £30,970 upwards
  • Available to order now

2020 Seat Leon Plug-in Hybrid performance and fuel economy

Powering the plug-in hybrid Seat Leon is a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s paired with an electric motor. Combined, they produce up to 204hp, which means the e-Hybrid is the most powerful Seat Leon variant on sale at launch - though that's likely to change as high-performance petrol models become available.

As is the case with many other plug-in hybrids, the petrol-electric Seat Leon is also claimed to be a very efficient car on paper. Seat says both the hatchback and estate versions are able to return up to 235mpg, which is much better than the figures it quotes for the most frugal petrol (up to 52mpg) and diesel (up to 67mpg) versions of the Leon.

However, in order to get close to those figures out on the public road, you’ll need to ensure you regularly charge the battery that powers the electric motor, so you can maximise the amount of time it can assist the petrol engine or drives the car on electric power alone. If you let the battery run flat, the Leon e-Hybrid will burn fuel like any other petrol car, with little economy benefit from the electric motor, but all of the extra weight of the heavy battery to carry about.

2020 Seat Leon Plug-in Hybrid range and charging times

The Leon e-Hybrid uses a 13kWh battery pack, which is a fairly big battery for a plug-in hybrid family car. As a result, Seat says the car can cover up to 36 miles on electric power alone, providing you set off with a fully charged battery.

In theory, that should mean drivers will be able to complete relatively short trips around town or work using just the electric motor, without the petrol engine needing to kick in, though how far you’ll be able to go will depend on factors such as how fast you drive, and the traffic conditions on the road you’re driving on.

By plug-in hybrid standards, it doesn’t take too long to recharge the Lean e-Hybrid’s battery pack. According to Seat, a full charge takes around three hours and 42 minutes using a 3.6kW charging point or wall box unit - as long as if you specified the optional Mode 3 charging cable. The car can also be recharged using the mains power supply at home, though Seat says it will take five hours and 48 minutes to fully recharge via a three-pin plug socket.

2020 Seat Leon Plug-in Hybrid dimensions

Many plug-in hybrids have reduced luggage volumes in comparison with their conventionally-powered counterparts, due to the way the big battery pack is packaged in the car, and the Seat Leon e-Hybrid is no exception. The hatchback version’s boot capacity of 270 litres is quite a bit down on the 380 litres of the regular Seat Leon.

Meanwhile, the estate Leon e-Hybrid’s capacity of 470 litres is also noticeably less than the 620 litres of luggage space you’ll find in the equivalent petrol and diesel versions. Yes, this means that the estate plug-in hybrid is still decently practical, though with the hatchback, you're getting a boot that's more similar in size to what you'd get with a much smaller supermini.

The battery pack doesn’t seem to have affected the rest of the Leon e-Hybrid’s interior, though, as Seat is quoting identical cabin dimensions to the standard version. As a result, the plug-in Leon should have plenty of space, with good amounts of head and leg room in the front and back seats.

2020 Seat Leon Plug-in Hybrid prices and specifications

Prices for the Seat Leon e-Hybrid start at £30,970 for the hatchback model, and £32,000 for the estate. While that does mean the plug-in Leon is quite a bit more expensive to buy than the petrol and diesel versions, this Leon is similarly priced to other hybrid hatchbacks like the plug-in versions of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon and Renault Megane Sport Tourer.

Standard equipment levels are also fairly decent on the Leon e-Hybrid. All cars come with a 10-inch touchscreen media system, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, a wireless phone charger and driver aids like a lane keep assist that helps prevent you from straying out of your lane on the motorway. You’ll need to go for higher grades if you want features like heated front seats and a panoramic sunroof, though.

Seat Leon Plug-in Hybrid vs Audi A3 TFSI e plug-in hybrid

With more and more plug-in hybrids going on sale, the Seat Leon e-Hybrid has quite a few rivals to go up against. Perhaps one of its closest competitors is the plug-in hybrid ‘TFSI e’ version of the Audi A3 hatchback - mainly because, underneath, they’re very closely related, as Audi and Seat are both part of the VW Group.

Both cars have the same engine and electric motor combo: a 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor combo that produces 204hp, which is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox. Both cars also use the same 13kWh battery pack, though Audi says the A3 can go slightly further on a single charge (up to 41 miles) than the Seat (up to 36 miles).

Likewise, the plug-in hybrid A3 has an advantage when it comes to on-paper fuel economy - up to 282mpg for the Audi, versus 235mpg for the Seat. However, the plug-in Leon claws back a bit of ground with its lower starting price (£30,970 for the Leon e-Hybrid; £33,060 for the A3 TFSI e) and, unlike the Audi, the Leon is also available as an estate car.

 

Read more about:

Latest news

  1. 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible: prices, specification and performance

  2. 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT: performance, range and charging times

  3. 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTD: performance, specifications, economy and prices

What our customers say