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...

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Max Adams
22 October 2018

Used Seat Leon (2013-present) long term test
  • 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 £15,012 (trade in) Mileage on arrival 5583 Mileage now 10,013 Official economy 57.6mpg Test economy 49.4mpg


22 October 2018 - The alternatives

You may have noticed that the Seat Leon didn’t repeat its win in the family car category of this year’s Used Car of the Year awards. That doesn’t mean that the Leon is suddenly a bad choice. No, it just means that this time around we found that it wasn’t as compelling an option as it once was. So, with that being said, what could you find for similar money in the What Car? Classifieds?

Our winner in this category for 2019 was the Audi A3, and while it’s true that it’ll be replaced soon, there’s no reason to discount the A3 due to age. The fact that the A3 can still fend off an attack from the brand new Mercedes A-Class is a testament to that.  

Used alternative to a Seat Leon: Audi A3

We found a nice 2016 example for just £16,502 at an Audi dealer in Macclesfield. Importantly, it is a post-facelift A3 1.4 TFSI 150 in sport guise so you get dual-zone climate control, xenon headlights, cruise control, 17in alloys and comfortable sports seats. While it has covered 17,996 miles, it benefits from being registered before the 1 April 2017 change in vehicle excise duty, so you’ll only pay £20 per year in tax whereas our Leon costs £140. If that doesn’t grab you, then we also found an A3 saloon at the same dealer that’s slightly newer and with fewer miles (6013, to be precise) and comes in exactly the same spec for £17,500.

However, if money is a concern, take a look at the Vauxhall Astra. It isn’t the most exciting of cars to drive or to look at, but it is a very good value used buy. For over a £1000 less than a 2017 mid-range Leon, you could have this loaded 2018 Astra Elite Nav with a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine. It comes with full leather, sat-nav, heated front and rear seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone capabilities are also included and you even get ergonomic front seats with lumbar support.

Used alternative to a Seat Leon: Vauxhall Astra

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