Used Seat Leon (2013-present) long-term test review

Does the Seat Leon – our 2018 used car of the year winner – still make for a great used purchase and how does the cylinder deactivation technology fitted to its 1.4 EcoTSI engine work in the real...

Used Seat Leon (2013-present) long-term test review
  • The car 2017 Seat Leon 1.4 EcoTSI FR Technology
  • Run by Max Adams, used cars reporter
  • Why it’s here To find out if our 2018 Used Car of the Year still represents a stonking used purchase
  • Needs to Cope with the daily commute and occasional long-distance trips, as well as establish whether the fuel-saving tech makes financial sense against the cheaper 1.4 TSI 125 model

Price when new £25,245 (including £1885 worth of options) Value on arrival £15,194 Value now £15,041 (trade in) Miles on arrival 5583 Mileage now 6885 Official economy 57.6mpg Test economy 50.9mpg

17 August 2018 – fun and frugal

With the miles racking up at an alarming rate, it’s about time I went over what it’s like to drive my used Seat Leon.

In my introductory piece I mentioned that my car has sports suspension as part of its FR technology specification. But while the resulting ride is undoubtedly firm, the car's movements are so well controlled that you're rarely bothered by the unpleasant shocks and shudders that are a feature of most sports suspension set-ups.

True, really bad raised welts – such as the ones I encounter on my route to work via Cobham – can upset the Leon’s composure. However, few cars really manage to deal with that appallingly bad section of road well.

Used Seat Leon (2013-present) long-term test review

There are four separate driving modes to choose from in the Leon: sport, normal, eco and a configurable option called individual. Having played about with them, I’ve now settled on a mixture of the other three for individual; normal works best for the steering, making it feel more progressive and natural, sport gives the sharpest and most satisfying accelerator responses, and I’ve set the air conditioning to eco to try and save fuel.

As I mentioned previously, my car's 1.4-litre petrol engine has active cylinder deactivation. This means that cylinders two and three can be taken offline during gentle driving, with the system generally working above 1400rpm and accompanied by a small 'eco’ indicator in the instrument cluster.

My average so far is 50.9mpg, which is almost 4mpg more than I achieved in the 1.0-litre Volkswagen Polo that I ran previously. What’s more, I saw a figure of 64mpg during a steady 226-mile run, some 13mpg better than my most frugal effort in the Polo.

With buyers (rightly or wrongly) dismissing more fuel efficient modern diesel options amid fears they'll be hit by new taxes, and electric cars still not suitable for everyone, cylinder deactivation is a great alternative for reducing your CO2 and running costs.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more long-term tests >