SEAT Leon ST SE

Dynamic Technology

1.6 TDI

SEAT Leon ST, front
SEAT Leon ST, front
SEAT Leon ST, front
SEAT Leon ST, front
SEAT Leon ST, rear
SEAT Leon ST, interior
SEAT Leon ST, boot
SEAT Leon ST, rear
SEAT Leon ST, interior

THE estate version of the SEAT Leon takes the long view when it comes to interior space.

The ST model gets an extra 10-inches added to the rear compared to its smaller sibling.

Not much you might think.

But the result is a dramatic increase in boot space of more than 50 per cent to 587 litres with the rear seats up, and 1,470 litres when they are folded.

That puts it in the same ball park as the best in class which, with the addition of a recent revamp earlier this year, leaves the Leon estate in a good position to snaffle sales.

There are obviously some bright sparks on the Leon design team as the ST model boasts a plethora of neat ideas.

These include handles in the boot allowing the back seats to be easily folded, a split boot floor plus a front passenger seat that flips over when you need extra space to load that awkwardly-shaped item.

As for the refresh SEAT has given the Leon, that is more evolution than revolution.

The exterior has always been easy on the eye and the addition of snazzy LED lights and a restyled bumper and grille do nothing to detract from its appeal.

Step into the car and you'll immediately appreciate the Leon ST's quality with the SE Dynamic Technology model offering a touchscreen infotainment system, which, for an extra £150, also offers various ways of linking your smartphone to the world wide web via MirrorLink, Apple Car and Android auto.

Other nifty options include a £240 Convenience Pack including must-haves such as rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights, as well as a £385 Park Assistance Pack giving access to parking sensors and a rear view camera.

The interior is modern and airy with a simple, stylish and effective layout suited to the young thrusters this part of the Volkswagen family enjoys catering for.

Good quality materials are in evidence throughout and natty design flourishes include chrome trim and dash inserts with a metallic grey gloss finish. The extra length ensures plenty of head, shoulder and leg room for rear-seat passengers.

The seats are supportive and comfortable while the estate has the option of a panoramic glass sun roof for those requiring more light.

Power is provided by an extensive range of engines which, in addition to the 1.6-litre diesel under the bonnet of my test car, also include two other oil burners and five petrol options. The seven-speed DSG automatic transmission was pretty smooth, but for those wanting to do-it-themselves, five and six-speed manual gearboxes are also available.

Fuel economy for the 1.6-litre diesel is excellent with an official figure of 67.3mpg converting into the high 50s in the real world, while carbon dioxide emissions are 112g/km. The oil burner propels the car from 0-62mph in a shade under ten seconds on its way to a top speed of 122mph.

The Leon has always been fun to drive and even in slightly heavier estate guise it is up for a jaunt down a tight and twisty country lane as it never loses its grip and has steering that is both informative and precise.

FAST FACTS

SEAT Leon ST SE Dynamic Technology 1.6 TDI

Price: £21,400

Mechanical: 115ps, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 122mph

0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 67.3

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 112g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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