The Seat Leon is about to leave my care after 10 months, and this has given me cause to reflect on what have been the high and low points as far as the car is concerned.
I'll go into deeper detail in the car's final farewell (keep an eye out for that in the next week or so) but there is one thing on the Seat that has caused a fair few of my colleagues to have a moan when handing back the keys.
It's the towbar. When I specced the Leon, I wanted it to be more than just a pretty coupe-like hatchback, and I needed it to fit in with my lifestyle. As I am a keen cyclist, and regularly need to carry more than one bike, I needed a car that could cope.
The Leon's boot can take one bike with a bit of twisting of the handlebars, and two if you take wheels off and place them gently on top of one another. However, this is not only a massive pain to do regularly, it also prevents you from carrying any extra luggage or passengers.
Putting a rack onto a tow bar seemed the best solution. It is not so harsh in terms of wind resistance, so fuel economy shouldn't be so affected, and it is also low enough that my 5ft 3in other half can reach it.
My colleagues are whinging, however, because they don't like the look of the tow bar on the back of the Leon - I'm lazy so tend to leave it on between uses.
I could have gone for a cheaper, fixed tow bar, but I didn't want to ruin the looks permanently. This way I get all the practicality and don't make the Leon look like it is about to hitch up a caravan.
By Tom Webster
Week ending July 8
Miles driven this week 220
I've been away from the office for a week, but not on any sort of exotic holiday – instead I got to enjoy a week of DIY and decorating.
This has little to do with the Leon directly, but I didn't even have to think twice about sticking with the Seat for my week of errands, shopping trips and tip runs.
There were several tip runs, in fact, but this was more down to how our week panned out rather than an inability to fit everything in the car at once. The Leon took everything we threw at it and looked remakably glamorous next to the more battered and utilitarian vehicles found down at Wandsworth tip.
The boot could do with a bit of a hoover out now, but I am very grateful for the existence of the plastic protection on the entry point – it prevented the old laminate flooring from doing damage to the carpet in the back.
By Tom Webster