Seat Leon (2013-present)

The Seat Leon gives you Golf-like practicality with a more stylish design

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Choice of three bodystyles
High-tech options
Efficient engines

Weaknesses 

Limited rear visibility
Awkward to load boot
Interior doesn't match exterior style
Best New Discount

Seat Leon Hatchback 2.0 tsi 290 cupra lux [ez] 5dr dsg

Total RRP £31,490

Your quote £25,924

You Save £5,566

The Seat Leon is something of an unsung hero in the family hatchback market. Yes, it has its fans – especially among aficionados of hot hatches, who love the range-topping Cupra version of the Leon – but many car buyers are unaware that this is essentially the same car as the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia, which are all part of the same Volkswagen Group as Seat.

Sharing the same mechanical parts – including engines – with other Volkswagen brands means that the key components have been tried and tested in real-world conditions, in volume, so reliability shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

But despite all those common elements, the Leon is a distinct car, with a sharply-creased design that originates in the company’s Barcelona studio, and is designed to appeal to younger buyers who are less likely to consider a Golf or Octavia. 

The straightforward interior isn’t quite as eye-catching but well-made, filled with soft-touch plastics on the upper surfaces, while switchgear also feels solid.

The car was updated in February 2017, when all but entry-level models were fitted with a larger 8in touchscreen, replacing a 6.5in version, as well as the option of wireless phone charging and safety technology, such as adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, so that the car can adjust its speed to keep a safe distance to the vehicle in front, including when stuck in stop and go traffic. The latest smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink) was added to the car earlier on 2016.

The interior is spacious enough for four adults – the five-door variant is more practical that the three-door SC, while there’s also an ST estate version for extra load-lugging capabilities and an X-perience four-wheel-drive estate. The three- and five-door cars' 380-litre boot capacity matches that of the Golf and A3, and is larger than the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

Buyers have plenty of choice when it comes to selecting an engine that best suits their requirements, with nine options to pick from. For the economy-minded, there are 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI diesels (with two different power outputs), while the six petrol engines range from a three-cylinder 1.0 TSI to a 300PS 2.0 TSI in the Cupra.

However, the 1.4 EcoTSI is the most popular in the UK, combining cylinder deactivation technology (which shuts down two of its four cylinders when not required, saving on fuel) with a very useful – and usable – 150PS output.

The Leon is, unsurprisingly, as good to drive as the Golf and A3, with accurate steering, sharp and agile handling and a comfortable ride quality (albeit on the slightly firm, but not uncomfortable, side).

For buyers looking for a stylish, tech-filled, comfortable and economical hatchback, the Leon is a real contender. And if you do choose the 1.4 EcoTSI, it’s just over £4,300 cheaper than a comparable Golf, which is a significant enough saving to make it a serious alternative.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 17:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
380 litres
Width: 
1,816mm
Length: 
4,271mm
Height: 
1,444mm
Tax : 
£140-£200 in first year, £140 thereafter

Best Seat Leon for... 

Seat Leon 1.6 TDI
The smaller of the two diesels in the range is, not unexpectedly, the more efficient, with a combined fuel consumption figure of 70.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km
Seat Leon 1.4 TSI
A flexible, economical engine (57.6mpg) that can also deliver decent performance (0-62mph takes 8 seconds) offers the best of both worlds.
Seat Leon SC Cupra 2.0 TSI
With a 5.7-second 0-62mph time (in three-door SC format: the five-door takes 0.1 longer, while the ST estate manages 6 seconds), this is a quick hot hatch that is also huge fun to drive..
Seat Leon X-Perience 2.0 TDI 184 DSG SE Technology
Unless you really need four-wheel drive, the most expensive Leon X-Perience (£29,880) makes little sense over the standard Leon ST estate with the same engine (£25,690). The equivalent Skoda Octavia Scout is also cheaper, but is effectively the same car.

Seat Leon History 

  • March 2013 First Seat Leons are delivered.
  • June 2013 Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI 184 added to the range, with a 184hp diesel engine.
  • September 2013 Eco-friendly Leon Ecomotive introduced with over 80mpg and no road tax.
  • March 2014 Leon Sports Styling Kit added as an option, and includes additions such as spoilers, side skirts and sportier bumpers.
  • December 2014 Leon X-perience launched, with permanent four-wheel drive and all-road looks.
  • September 2015 Leon Cupra's power output increased to 295hp.
  • September 2015 Seat Leon Connect is launched, with Full Link technology, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It's rolled out across the range in 2016.
  • April 2017 Revised Leon launched with updated exterior styling and a larger 8in touchscreen on most models.

Understanding Seat Leon car names 

  • Leon
  • Trim
    Technology
  • Body style
    SC
  • Engine
    1.4ECO TSI
  • Gearbox
    DSG
  • Trim
    There are eight trim levels – S, SE Dynamic Technology, SE Technology, SE Lux, FR Technology, FR Titanium, Xcellence Technology and Cupra – that offer different equipment at different starting prices.
  • Body style
    The Leon is available in four body styles: a three-door SC, five-door hatch, ST estate and X-perience four-wheel-drive estate.
  • Engine
    Buyers have a choice of nine engines in total – three diesels and six petrol options – ranging from 1.0-litre to 2.0-litre.
  • Gearbox
    There are five-speed and six-speed manual gearboxes, plus six-speed and seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

Seat Leon Engines 

Petrol: 1.0 TSI, 1.2 TSI, 1.4 TSI 125PS, 1.4 EcoTSI 150PS, 1.8 TSI, 2.0 TSI
Diesel: 1.6 TDI, 2.0 TDI 150PS, 2.0 TDI 184PS

Seat offers an array of engine options with the Leon, so there should be something to suit every buyer.

The 1.0-litre TSI 115PS engine that props up the petrol options is a sparky little unit that offers a lot more performance than you might expect from a three-cylinder powertrain. It offers plenty of power for buyers using the car primarily in urban environments, but also works well on highways and country roads. A 64.2mpg fuel economy figure and CO2 emissions of just 102g/km are also impressively diesel-like in their parsimony.

The 1.2 TSI feels a little dated in comparison to the three-cylinder, with less power (and marginally less pace) and less impressive economy figures.

Of the two 1.4 TSI engines, the 150PS version certainly takes advantage of its additional 25PS in the performance stakes (8 seconds compared to 9.1 seconds for the 0-62mph sprint), but also returns better economy.

The 1.8 TSI 180PS adds ‘warm hatch’ pace for sub-Cupra fun, although a half-second improvement to the 0-62mph time compared to the 1.4 EcoTSI seems a poor trade-off for 10.5mpg lower fuel economy, so it’s hard to see this variant’s attractions.

There’s no such problem with the 2.0 TSI 300PS Cupra, with proper hot hatch pace at its disposal (0-62mph in 5.7 seconds).

The diesels offer what diesel buyers are looking for: economy. The 1.6 TDi is a little less refined in day-to-day use, with an audible rumble, but 70.6mpg and 105g/km have their own attractions to buyers.

The lower-powered 2.0 TDI is more refined and offers 64.2mpg and 112g/km, while the 184PS 2.0-litre diesel is very similar in running costs (62.9mpg and 118g/km). The more powerful engine manages 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds, compared to the 8.4 seconds of the 150PS variant.

 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

1.0 115PS

Petrol

64.2mpg

115hp

9.6s

123mph

1.2 110PS

Petrol

56.5mpg

110hp

9.9s

121mph

1.4 TSI 125 PS

Petrol

54.3mpg

125hp

9.1s

126mph

1.4 EcoTSI 150PS

Petrol

57.6mpg

150hp

8.0s

134mph

1.8 TSI 180PS

Petrol

47.1mpg

180hp

7.5s

140mph

2.0 TSI 300PS

Petrol

39.2-42.2mpg

300hp

5.7-6.0s

155mph

1.6 TDI 115PS

Diesel

70.6mpg

115hp

9.8s

122mph

2.0 TDI 150PS

Diesel

64.2mpg

150hp

8.4s

134mph

2.0 TDI 184PS

Diesel

62.8mpg

184hp

7.5s

142mph

Seat Leon Trims 

S, SE Dynamic Technology, SE Technology, SE Lux, FR Technology, FR Titanium, Xcellence Technology, Cupra

The Leon has a range of trim levels that has expanded over its life to take into account new technological options.

Things kick off with S trim, which is pretty well equipped for an entry-level model, including 15-inch alloys, air conditioning, electric door mirrors, LED daytime running lights, Media System Colour five-inch touchscreen with FM radio and six speakers, Bluetooth, USB and SD connectivity and multi-collision braking system.

SE Technology trim adds 16-inch alloys, with SE Dynamic Technology adding 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, heated door mirrors, dark tinted rear windows, Media System Plus with eight-inch colour touchscreen, USB/Aux-in port, SD card slot, eight speakers, voice control, Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free system, navigation system, leather steering wheel and gearknob, electric parking brake with auto-hold, XDS electronic differential lock system, rear parking sensors, cruise control, Hill Hold Control and Front Assist with Pedestrian Protection.

The sportier FR Technology cars also feature twin exhaust pipes, full LED headlights including daytime running lights, front fog lamps and taillights, electric adjustable/ heated and folding door mirrors, exclusive FR front and rear bumpers, dark tinted rear windows, SEAT Drive Profile (with four modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, Individual).

FR Titanium (only available on the three-door SC) adds 18-inch ‘Titanium’ alloy wheels, Emoción Red paint, side skirts and roof spoiler.

Xcellence Technology adds a connectivity hub (wireless phone charger with built-in GSM signal booster), twin exhaust pipes, chrome radiator grille and window surrounds, full LED headlights including daytime running lights, front fog lamps and taillights, LED interior Illumination pack, front sports seats (leather), Xcellence logo steering wheel and door sills, multi-coloured ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, KESSY (Keyless entry & go), front parking sensors and Convenience Pack (auto lights and wipers).

High-performance Cupra models add a Cupra Drive Profile (Dynamic Chassis Control with choice of four modes: Comfort, Sport, Cupra, Individual), progressive steering and mechanical differential lock, full LED headlights, Full Link (smartphone integration with MirrorLink, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay), Media System Plus with 8-inch touchscreen and DAB radio, dual zone climate control, flat-bottomed steering wheel, sports seats in black Alcantara, aluminium pedals and gloss black interior trim.

Seat also offers a range of optional packs, such as Driving Assistance Packs that offer High Beam Assist and Lane Assist or Traffic Sign Recognition; Advanced Comfort & Driving Packs that augment the Driving Assistance Packs with the likes of Automatic City Braking (Front Assist) with Pedestrian Protection, Traffic Jam Assist, Emergency Assist; Safety Pack Plus, with a Tiredness Recognition System, seat belt reminder for rear seats, High Beam Assist and Lane Assist; a Park Assistance Pack; Dynamic & Comfort Pack, with Adaptive Suspension; and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Seat Leon Reliability and warranty 

The Leon is a model that owners like, as it appears in 23rd place in the 2016 Driver Power survey for overall satisfaction.

Seat also acquits itself pretty well, coming in a mid-table 16th in the table of most reliable manufacturers.

Leons come with Seat’s three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is fairly standard compared to most of its rivals (apart from the Hyundai i30, with five-year cover and the Kia Cee’d’s seven-year version).

Used Seat Leon 

The Leon has been on sale since 2013, so there are now a number of used examples of the current generation on sale for buyers in the market for one.

Used values have held up pretty well, with three-year-old Leons available, on average for around 40% of their original list price.

Nearly new models with around 4,000-5,000 miles on the clock look like real bargains, on sale at 20% less than the new price.

New cars are also available at discounted prices, with BuyaCar showing savings of over £3,400 to £3,900 for various versions.

Seat Leon Prices

Seat Leon Cupra

2.0 tsi 290 cupra [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £24,947

You could save up to: £5433

2.0 tsi cupra 300 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 41.5mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £24,647

You could save up to: £5433

Seat Leon Cupra Lux

2.0 tsi 290 cupra lux [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £25,924

You could save up to: £5566

Seat Leon FR

1.5 tsi evo 150 fr [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,051

You could save up to: £4629

1.5 tsi evo 150 fr [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £20,239

You could save up to: £4791

1.5 tsi evo fr [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £17,630

You could save up to: £4435

2.0 tdi 150 fr [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £20,569

You could save up to: £4836

2.0 tsi 190 fr [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £21,335

You could save up to: £4940

Seat Leon FR Sport

1.5 tsi evo 150 fr sport [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £20,943

You could save up to: £4887

1.5 tsi evo 150 fr sport [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,131

You could save up to: £5049

1.5 tsi evo fr sport [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,522

You could save up to: £4693

2.0 tdi 150 fr sport [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,461

You could save up to: £5094

2.0 tsi 190 fr sport [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £23,227

You could save up to: £5198

Seat Leon FR Technology

1.4 ecotsi 150 fr technology 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 57.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £18,411

You could save up to: £4629

1.4 ecotsi 150 fr technology 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 57.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £19,599

You could save up to: £4791

1.4 tsi 125 fr technology 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £16,990

You could save up to: £4435

1.8 tsi fr technology 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 48.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £20,735

You could save up to: £4940

Seat Leon SE

1.0 tsi se [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 58.9mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £14,783

You could save up to: £3387

1.6 tdi se [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 58.9mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £16,050

You could save up to: £3560

1.6 tdi se [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £17,150

You could save up to: £3710

Seat Leon SE Dynamic

1.0 tsi se dynamic [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 57.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £15,452

You could save up to: £3503

1.6 tdi se dynamic [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £16,719

You could save up to: £4316

1.6 tdi se dynamic [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 68.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £17,819

You could save up to: £3806

Seat Leon SE Dynamic Technology

1.2 tsi se dynamic technology 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £14,816

You could save up to: £4139

1.6 tdi se dynamic technology 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £16,063

You could save up to: £4312

1.6 tdi se dynamic technology 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 68.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £17,163

You could save up to: £4462

Seat Leon SE Technology

1.0 tsi ecomotive se technology 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £16,041

You could save up to: £4309

1.0 tsi ecomotive se technology 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £17,141

You could save up to: £4459

1.2 tsi se technology 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 57.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £15,296

You could save up to: £4204

Seat Leon Xcellence

1.5 tsi evo 150 xcellence [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £20,485

You could save up to: £4825

1.5 tsi evo 150 xcellence [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £21,673

You could save up to: £4987

1.5 tsi evo xcellence [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £20,023

You could save up to: £4762

2.0 tdi 150 xcellence [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,003

You could save up to: £5032

2.0 tsi 190 xcellence [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,769

You could save up to: £5136

Seat Leon Xcellence Lux

1.5 tsi evo 150 xcellence lux [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £21,185

You could save up to: £4950

1.5 tsi evo 150 xcellence lux [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £22,373

You could save up to: £5112

1.5 tsi evo xcellence lux [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £20,723

You could save up to: £4887

2.0 tdi 150 xcellence lux [ez] 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £22,703

You could save up to: £5157

2.0 tsi 190 xcellence lux [ez] 5dr dsg

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £23,469

You could save up to: £5261

Seat Leon Xcellence Technology

1.4 ecotsi 150 xcellence technology 5dr [leather]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 57.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,845

You could save up to: £4825

1.4 ecotsi 150 xcellence technology 5dr dsg [lthr]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 57.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £21,033

You could save up to: £4987

1.4 tsi 125 xcellence technology 5dr [leather]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £19,383

You could save up to: £4762