What will they cost?
The Focus looks very expensive to begin with, but big discounts bring the price down to within a few hundred pounds of the Leon. Both cars are predicted to depreciate at similar rates, so if you buy outright and sell on after three years, you’ll spend a similar amount in the long run whichever one you choose.
Those buying on PCP finance will find the Seat more affordable. If you put down a £4000 deposit on a 36-month contract, with a 12,000-mile annual limit, the Seat will set you back £229 per month compared with the £269 you’ll pay for the Ford.
The Focus fights back on company car tax, where it’s £9 a month cheaper thanks to its lower CO2 emissions. Leasing costs are also lower at £249 per month compared with £270 for the Seat. The Focus is the more economical in real-world driving, too, albeit not by much.
Both cars come with multi-function steering wheels, four electric windows, USB sockets and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. Equipment is more generous in the Leon, though, particularly if you’re a private buyer, because you’ll get the Technology Pack thrown in for free (if you’re a business user you’ll need to add £1085 to the price to get it). This pack includes an upgrade to a 6.5in colour touchscreen (from the standard 5.0in display), a DAB radio, sat-nav and LED headlights. This trumps the Focus because it can’t be had with LED lights, and sat-nav costs £250 extra – although a DAB radio is standard.
The Leon also comes with dual-zone climate control, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors, while the Focus has manual air-con only. You’ll pay £475 to add cruise control and rear parking sensors to the Focus.
Safety also falls in the Leon’s favour. It comes with a driver’s knee airbag, and while both cars were awarded the maximum five stars from Euro NCAP for their crash protection, the Seat was rated slightly better for adult and child crash protection. Both cars can be had with automatic emergency city braking (£200 on the Ford and £515 on the Leon, but the latter also includes adaptive cruise control that can maintain a set distance from the car in front). Thatcham rates both cars equally highly for resisting theft and break-ins.
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