SEAT Leon - Used Car

Review

SEAT Leon Ecomotive, 2017, front
SEAT Leon, 2017, front
SEAT Leon Ecomotive, 2017, front, action
SEAT Leon, 2017, side
SEAT Leon, 2017, rear
SEAT Leon, 2017, interior
SEAT Leon, 2017, rear seats
SEAT Leon Ecomotive, 2017, front, static
SEAT Leon Ecomotive, 2017, side
SEAT Leon Ecomotive, 2017, side, action
SEAT Leon Ecomotive, 2017, rear
SEAT Leon Ecomotive, 2017, rear, action

THE SEAT Leon has just been replaced and that's likely to make the outgoing model a little cheaper secondhand.

And that model, built from 2013 to this year, has loads to recommend it, with a stylish interior, very good equipment and a smooth, svelte body shape.

It's been available with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines over the years and with five or six-speed manual gearboxes in different models. Some petrol and diesel engines are also available with the excellent seven-speed DSG automatic.

And there's a huge range of trims - 18 at last count - so just make sure any car you look at has all the bells and whistles you want. Some of those trims are based on the standard ones with extra equipment, so check prices to make sure they're not too expensive.

Check on the comparison between petrol and diesel power too. Many drivers are still buying diesels because they think they will save.

But when the higher price of buying even a secondhand one comes into the equation, plus the extra cost of the diesel at the pump, a petrol model will often cost less to run over three or even five years.

For example, the 1.2 TSI petrol Leon is cheaper to buy and run than the 1.6 diesel according to my research.

Other petrol engines available in the range include 1.0-litre, 1.4 and 1.5 petrol turbos with 115, 125, 140 or 150bhp.

Even the 1.0-litre manages the 60 miles an hour sprint from rest in 9.5 seconds, while when it's driven carefully it should also manage over 50 miles per gallon.

And the 150bhp 1.5 brings the sprint down to 8.1 seconds and should be capable of 47mpg under the latest more realistic economy calculations.

Diesels are the well-known VW Group 1.6 TDI with 110 or 115bhp and 2.0-litre with 140, 150, 184 or 190bhp.

The 1.6 is good for 61 miles per gallon and covers the 60mph sprint in about 10 seconds and the 150bhp 2.0-litre should make 55mpg and do the sprint in 8.1 seconds.

The Leon is based on the same floopan as the equivalent Volkswagen Golf and all the engines are shared by the two cars.

Performance is good to excellent in them all and the petrol engines are all delightfully smooth and quiet. The diesels have better economy, but they're not as smooth and are more expensive to buy aat the same year and mileage.

Interior space is good, with room for four and five on a shorter run. The boot is a decent size and the rear seats fold 60/40 for maximum versatility.

Lower order cars have a comfortable ride allied to very good road-holding and handling, but the more sporting models have stiffened suspension for sharper handling and this gives a much firmer ride with little gain in the road-holding department.

All Leons are five door hatches and the level of equipment makes the VW Golf look overpriced.

Kit in the base S includes start/stop, an alarm, audio remote, air conditioning, electric mirrors and front windows, traction control, remote locking and height adjustment for both driver's seat and steering column.

SE adds alloy wheels, cruise, heated mirrors, lumbar support for the driver's seat and rear electric windows.

Pay about £8,300 for a '15 15-reg 1.4 TSi FR 150bhp or £9,600 for a '17 17-reg 1.6 Tdi SE Technology.

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