This is my first car and I am currently doing lessons in it aswell and I have to say, it seems a damn decent car. I have the 1.6S model after deciding to choose it over the 1.4 version. So far no problems (touch wood) The 1.6 liter engine seems a little flat in third gear after finding second is the best to pull with. The interior build quality is excellent, no rattles, squeaks and shakes, very solid build. I have fitted the car with an after market stereo from Alpine and two 6x9's on the parcelshelf. It is a very attractive car, I just get a smile on my face everytime I walk up to it in a morning and once sat in the car, feels like something that you could drive for hours on end. As for handling, it seems fine at the moment, the owner before my fitted different coils so the car rides lower and is a firmer ride but there is hardly any body roll in corners etc. It pulls very well for overtaking other vehicles and has a nice feel to the gear change.
Now for the down sides. My car has a misfiring problem, especially when it's cold, sometimes it will even stall and will require throttle while turning the key to start it again, my left window switch, if pressed partially down, will actually make the window go up, instead of down. The brakes also make terrible noises when performing an emergency stop but they do feel very solid, like they will stop you in a hurry.
I've had my 1600SX for two and a half years. I bought it after five years with a Focus 1.6 Zetec. At first the SEAT feels like a diesel van because you have to hit the pedal and rev really hard to get any response. With the Focus you just blipped the accelerator and it zoomed off; the SEAT actually does have a decent turn of speed, but it doesn't feel like it at first. And it oversteers much more than the Focus did. In the early days there were several occasions when I went round corners and nearly found myself facing on-coming traffic because I hadn't turned the wheel enough.
Reliability has been excellent. I've never (so far) had any of the wet footwell problems. Nothing has gone wrong apart from a couple of occasions where dash warning lights came on for a few minutes, which turned out to be false alarms. For servicing I've not used main dealers, I go to a local independent garage and it doesn't cost a fortune. The interior is a bit cramped and dated now compared with more modern designs, but it still feels and looks good with decent build quality and nothings falls off or creaks.
So for reliability and cost and build quality it has been a great car. If I'd come to the SEAT from something a bit more average I'd probably think it was brilliant. Because I came to it after the Focus, which was very good, the SEAT has not been quite such a good drivers car as I'd hoped or expected.
I've had this car for 8 months now and its just great. I've had no problems at all with it and find maintainence is really cheap recently my service was due which cost me a measly £50 from Seat themselves, which also included a free winter check. I thought this was an absolute bargain as my brother recently serviced his Vauxhall Tigra and it cost him £120 to service. The leon is a good motor and costs hardly anything to run my car. Being a 1.9 turbo with 110 bhp i expected alot of insurance but this model is only a group 7 and hardly used any diesel. In my view this is the car to go for.
I have owned the car for 4years buying from a seat dealer having traded a leon Tdi 110. I have really enjoyed owning the car it's a brilliant drive (even if the suspension is firm on anything other than smooth roads). Both my wife and I have however found that the front seats are uncomfortable on long journeys.I've had a problem with the climate control which was sorted out by a seat dealer (after 2 attemps) the car is serviced at a independent dealer so prices are reasonable. I'm now looking for a previous shape passat as i have a son on the way and the boot is too small for a growing family.
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