Seat Leon SC 1.4 TSI FR
Read the full Seat Leon SC review
Week ending March 28
Driven this week 210 miles
The only issue I've had with the Leon so far has been with the buttons on the steering wheel. For some reason they simply stopped working one day. They still went in, and the rotary dials still turned, but they did nothing.
As I could still operate the system through the touch-screen and the volume dial on the dash, I wasn't too fussed, but knew I eventually needed to get it sorted.
A quick visit to my local Seat dealer in West Molesey had it all fixed though. I steeled myself for a length of time away from my car while they delved into the electronics, but it turned out to be a simple fix. Once they had taken the steering wheel off, it transpired that a plug had come out of its socket.
Plug reattached, the problem was solved and I had my car back on the same day. Here's hoping all problems with the Leon will be as easy to fix.
By Tom Webster
Week ending March 21
Driven this week 485 miles
The Leon has been with me on several trips to visit the in-laws this week, clocking up several hundred miles in the process. As they have moved deeper into rural Wales relatively recently, some of these trips were to previously unvisited locations.
No problem, though, as the Leon's sat-nav has yet to let us down when it comes to finding obscure spots, thanks largely to the fact that you can put a full postcode into the system.
There are a couple of oddities to the setup though. Whenever you select postcode entry, it always starts off on the number entry page. Given that I have yet to discover a UK postcode that starts with a number this means I have to press an extra button to swtich to letters.
The other strange thing is that it displays a 'No street data for this location' message every time I put in a postcode. The first time this had me worried that it meant it had no idea where I was asking it to go. However, it has yet to let me down, so it's not entirely clear what it is referring to, or why it is bothering to tell me when it is perfectly capable of doing its job without this data.
By Tom Webster
Week ending March 14
Driven this week 221 miles
The Geneva motor show meant that I spent a bit of time out of the office recently, so I’ve not had much of a chance to drive the Leon. In my absence, publisher Chris Lowe nabbed the keys, so it's over to Chris:
'The FR really changes this car into something fun but still reassuringly practical, traits earning its recent award as 'Best buy less than £25,000' in the What Car? Coupe of the Year category.
'I recently drove a standard three-year-old Leon, so not a fair fight, but on a trip to Oxford in the FR, I left the M40 noting the average MPG at a pleasing 51.3mpg. I'd had the car in economy mode, choosing to test the car's Bluetooth with Spotify on my iPhone5 - a fine job without even a hint of tin-like echoes. Switching to Sport mode on the winding country lanes, I was less the motorway auto-pilot and experienced the difference two letters, ‘FR’ gives you.
'Returning to the car after my meeting, it immediately picked up my phone and Spotify started where it left off without me reaching for phone or the touchscreen. The expected M25 stop-start traffic meant I was up and down the gears, with the average MPG quickly falling. The gearbox is an unsung hero in the Leon though, it almost finds the next gear for you.
'Next morning, however, the reality of taking a small child to nursery was not what the Leon was designed for. Getting an 18-month-old into the back of the three-door was a squeeze, and then getting into the back to strap her in was equally challenging. The boot space for quite a large pushchair wasn't bad for a coupe, but I wouldn't see this as a family run around without adding 10 minutes fuss to every journey.'
By Chris Lowe