Our cars: Seat Leon SC - April

Article 5 of 11 See all
  • Impressive economy is possible, but boring to achieve

    Impressive economy is possible, but boring to achieve

  • Tom's undecided on the Leon's touch-screen proximity sensor - often useful, often frustrating

    Tom's undecided on the Leon's touch-screen proximity sensor - often useful, often frustrating

  • The Leon's infotainment system, mid crash

    The Leon's infotainment system, mid crash

  • The Leon's towbar was used for actual towing for the first time this week

    The Leon's towbar was used for actual towing for the first time this week

  • Bike fits in Leon's boot, but boot lip makes it tricky

    Bike fits in Leon's boot, but boot lip makes it tricky

  • Leon made it to deepest Wales despite satnav oddities

    Leon made it to deepest Wales despite satnav oddities

  • Sports Styling Pack is smart but staggeringly expensive

    Sports Styling Pack is smart but staggeringly expensive

  • Leon's lights have stayed lit for ages - until now

    Leon's lights have stayed lit for ages - until now

  • Leon SC met Leon ST this week

    Leon SC met Leon ST this week

  • Nav's auto zoom function is annoying Tom

    Nav's auto zoom function is annoying Tom

  • Official bike rack is secure, but heavy

    Official bike rack is secure, but heavy

  • Exposed hinge in the Leon's boot is not the plushest touch

    Exposed hinge in the Leon's boot is not the plushest touch

  • Entrance to rear seats looks small, but it's roomy enough for adults once you're in the back.

    Entrance to rear seats looks small, but it's roomy enough for adults once you're in the back.

  • Steering-wheel buttons are the first niggle on the Leon SC

    Steering-wheel buttons are the first niggle on the Leon SC

  • Why isn't there a convenient USB port at the back of this cubby? An opportunity missed, thinks our deputy content editor

    Why isn't there a convenient USB port at the back of this cubby? An opportunity missed, thinks our deputy content editor

/

Seat Leon SC 1.4 TSI FR

Read the full Seat Leon SC review

Week ending April 24
Mileage 6114
Driven this week 389 miles


I've been filling the Leon's boot this week. Our office is nicely located near a famous park in the London suburbs and, as the evenings have got lighter, several colleagues and I make the most of being able to cycle somewhere that doesn't require constant dodging of the usual street furniture. 

However, it hardly seems worth attaching the big bike rack to the back of the Seat to take just me, my road bike and a change of clothing, so I drop the rear seats and throw it all in. It continues to impress me that my fairly large bike went in without having to take any wheels off - I just need to turn the handlebars so the front wheel is at right angles to the rest of the bike.

However, getting the bike, and any big load, in and out of the Leon is made trickier by the large boot lip at the entrance, and the step in the floor that appears when you drop the seats. I wouldn't want to heft heavier items in and out on a regular basis.

By Tom Webster
Tom.Webster@whatcar.com


Week ending April 17
Mileage 5725
Driven this week 221 miles

I've been trying really really hard to improve the Leon's fuel economy of late, but my commute is making it really tricky.

I've not done the maths on the most recent couple of tank-fulls yet, but have been relying on the dash readout to give a general indication as to how well I'm doing.

The problem is I don't get above 30mph anywhere on the route into work. Thankfully there are a few hills, so I get to coast down them and watch the readout tell me I'm doing 300mpg or similar. Those moments are all too fleeting, though, as I know I have to go back up the other side and watch the instant readout plummet to 12mpg.

Either way, it has taken a lot of the fun out of driving the Leon on a daily basis. It is a nippy and responsive little car, but treating yourself to some of that performance has a real impact on economy.

By Tom Webster
Tom.Webster@whatcar.com

Week ending
April 10
Mileage 5504
Driven this week 248 miles

One button on the Seat's dashboard that doesn't get anywhere near as much use as it probably should is the one that changes the driving mode.

The options on offer are Eco, Normal, and Sport, and they tweak the air-conditioning, steering and engine set-ups. The idea is, presumably, that one uses Eco for the boring, day-to-day commuting, and Sport for the jaunts out on quieter open roads at the weekend.

I'm not sure where Normal fits in with this though. I tend to just leave the car in Eco 95% of the time as I want to save fuel. On the odd occasions that I want to have a bit more fun I'll pop it in Sport, but never do I feel that I want something that doesn't really go to either extreme.

Personally, I would rather have the car set up for optimum economy, with one button to make the most of its performance. Sometimes, too much choice is too much.

By Tom Webster
Tom.Webster@whatcar.com

Our cars: Seat Leon SC - March

advertisement

Free car valuations

advertisement