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 rea...

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 £15,038 (trade in) Miles on arrival 5583 Mileage now 8503 Official economy 57.6mpg Test economy 45.6mpg

12 September 2018 – varied talents

I didn’t want my precious Seat Leon to go. However, every long-term test car must go into service when a call to action is put out by one of our number, and so it was that I had to hand over its keys to Mark Pearson, who was between cars and due to go on holiday for two weeks. The only news I had of my trusty steed during its time away was this one update from Mr P, which I put here before you now:

"With so much to admire in this car, how do you pick out just one outstanding feature?

"Well, having borrowed it for a couple of weeks, and thereby got used to its many and varied talents, it’s the engine refinement that has me shaking my head in disbelief. The 1.4-litre petrol unit may not be the last word in power (although with 148bhp, there’s always enough of it, and the experience of procuring it is a satisfyingly linear one), but it’s impressively quiet in the Leon and almost astonishing in its smoothness.

"Of course, it has cylinder shut-off technology, too, where it drops two of the four when it senses it doesn’t need them, but the process is all achieved so competently that you don’t notice it happening.

"This refinement meant that after driving so many rough-and-tumble diesels in the course of my work, it was always a pleasure to return to the equanimity of the Leon. The rest of it is a joy, too, especially the excellent driving position.

Seat Leon (2013 - present) driving position

"Only a slight mid-corner hop when pushing it hard in bends (probably too hard) and the unrelenting black and slight blandness of its interior count against it, in my eyes, and maybe I’ve got used to the bigger boots offered by some SUVs. But on the whole, the Leon is a delightful car, and I’m not surprised that you have to prise the keys out of young Max’s hands."

Sadly, my time apart from the Leon has been extended further, because it’s presently being put through its paces as part of our True MPG testing program. The results, next time.

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