SEAT Leon FR 130ps

SEAT Leon, 2023, nose
SEAT Leon, 2023, front
SEAT Leon, 2023, rear
SEAT Leon, 2023, dashboard
SEAT Leon, 2023, display screen
SEAT Leon, 2023, boot

SEAT has cemented its reputation as being the youthful arm of the VW empire by offering sporty styling, punchy engines and excellent handling.

But there is much more to it, their cars are economical and family friendly and are in fact great all-rounders offered at competitive prices.

The FR model is a great example of this with sharp angles and creases, sporty bumpers, dual exhaust pipes and matched with eye catching lighting designs,

Now in its fourth generation, the interior is particularly roomy, especially in the rear, with excellent head and legroom, It feels a pleasant environment aided by ambient lighting.

Stowage space is also excellent with plenty of storage areas and pockets to complement a decent boot area of 380 litres. Like all hatchbacks, this can be extended by folding the rear seats.

The layout is minimalist and largely dark plastic with the main focus a high-resolution 10.25-inch configurable driver instrument cluster and 10-inch infotainment system.

This includes In-car connectivity with Full Link including cloud-based functions and services like smartphone connectivity, which allows occupants to connect their mobile devices to the vehicle's infotainment system.

This is complemented by a wraparound dashboard light that covers its entire width and continues through the doors. It's not only an ambient decorative light, but it also provides a number of key functions such as blind spot detection.

Even the entry-level SE provides keyless start, LED headlight technology with automatic high beam, electric and heated side mirrors, electronic parking brake, cloth upholstery, leather steering wheel and gear stick, and SEAT Connect technology as standard.

This model adds goodies like 17-inch alloy wheels, upholstery stitching that matches the exterior colour, a leather multifunction steering wheel, three-zone air conditioning, wireless charging tray in the front and two USB points in the rear. In addition to the front two.

On the road, the 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine produces plenty of grunt, hitting 60mph in just under 10 seconds, but also delivering plenty of torque, so power is always on tap.

It is a refined unit that, mated with a six-speed manual box, provides a pleasant driving experience. The DSG automatic transmission is designed so that the gear selector is no longer mechanically connected to the gearbox, instead using electronic signals to indicate a shift. There are three driving modes, Eco, Normal and Sport, but in addition, the FR and FR Sport models offer a sliding scale of changes to adapt the car to their exact requirements.

Sitting 15mm lower to the ground the suspension set-up ensures the FR not only looks sportier, but delivers excellent handling characteristics with plenty of grip when leaning into corners. It really is a fun car to drive. The downside is that it can feel unsettled on some lesser road surfaces.

Economy is excellent with the mid-40s mpg comfortably achievable.

All SEATs are safe and the Leon offers the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) designed to see more of its surroundings and react to obstacles on the road or sudden movements by other drivers.

£25,545 130ps, 1498cc four-cylinder turbo petrol engine driving front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox 129mph9.4 seconds46 16 130g/km29% 3yrs/60,000 miles

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