This is a great car - it's quick off the mark and the turbo kicks in really quickly
After bedding it in, you get an extra purring sound from the engine, which is great. On the downside, it guzzles fuel like nothing else! I got my car last week (02/03/06) - it's now one week later and I have put in a staggering £130 of petrol, and I've only done 500 miles. Even at 70mph in sixth gear, the car gives around 12mpg, which isn't great.
For those who have the black mesh grill, replace it with wire mesh and you will then be looking at a beast of a car!
The steering is very light and alert, and the brakes are responsive, too. I can't complain, although I'm using my 28-day get-out clause and opting for the 2.0-litre TDi!
What a great car to drive!
Prior to buying my Leon I was looking at the Golf, the A3 and the new Civic. In the end I chose the Leon Sport as the Golf and A3 did not offer value for the money (remove the chassis and they're all the same car).
The price for a basic model Golf with no options was still almost as expensive as a Leon with options. I haggled with salesman and got about £1500 off the cost of the car, then kitted it out with reverse parking sensors, Bluetooth phone kit (which is brilliant) and a spare wheel.
There are only a few gripes with the car. There's no power in first gear, I have to shift up to second as soon as possible in order to reach all the power. The fixed cost maintenance is stupendously expensive - I'm paying £1700 for three years (SM&T). My parents pay about £700 for three years for their Toyota Verso, and the new Civic is only just over £500.
Also, the official car kit looks poo! Occasionally the bluetooth phone kit freezes - this is solved by switching off the ignition and removing the key.
Having come from owning three Audi A4s, this car is a revelation.
What I can't get over is how much better the car is than its Golf and A3 counterparts. We have a 2.0TDi A3 Sportback and Golf five-door in our family, and we all agree this Leon is the better car.
It looks better, drives better (thanks to its lighter weight), is crammed full of equipment that the other cars can't have because of huge trim variations - and best of all, it's a hell of a lot cheaper.
I went away from Audi because they have become poor value for money and the dealers are also extremely arrogant to private buyers with under £30,000 to spend. I also am not a fan of their styling direction, either. The Golf was never an option because it is bland.
But the Seat? Well, it is writing its own rules, I love the inverted snobbery and the feeling that most owners know they are driving an absolute bargain.
I worry about residual values - but then I never got good residuals on my Audis and at least I haven't had such a huge outlay.
My only other gripe is the fuel economy - I can't better 45mpg and I've tried all sorts of techniques. However, an enthusiatic North York Moors jaunt still delivers 38mpg and a hell of a grin on my face.
I love the fact that I can afford an Audi but choose not to - and the looks I get from Golf drivers is priceless. My advice is buy with confidence - it's a cracking car!
Having taken delivery of this vehicle last Friday, I have been very impressed with the overall package offered by the Leon. Upon ordering, I opted for four extras, including alloy wheels (the same as that on the Stylance), metallic paint, front fog lights and MP3 player with steering wheel controls.
The ride quality and handling are excellent, and although I haven't quite got a handle of running costs, I don't expect them to be astronomical. All in all, it is a very enjoyable, sporty, affordable car that really does punch above its weight.
As this is the entry model with regard to engine and performance, I have no hesitation in recommending this model to anyone who is looking for something in the mould of those points above - and no doubt the larger engines are even more fun to drive.
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