Interior layout

Seat Leon ST review

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Seat Leon ST
Review continues below...
21 Feb 2017 15:07 | Last updated: 22 Aug 2018 15:58

In this review

Interior layout

The interior layout, fit and finish

Seat Leon estate driving position

You shouldn’t have any problems getting comfortable in a Leon. The steering wheel moves in and out, as well as up and down, while the driver’s seat has a good range of movement forwards and backwards and height adjustment is standard on all editions. The FR Technology, Xcellence and Cupra models get a sportier seat with extra side support, which makes longer journeys more comfortable.

It’s frustrating, though, that lumbar adjustment doesn’t come as standard on the entry-level S trim; you need to step up to the SE edition for that, which is equipped with a supportive height-adjustable armrest, too.

All of the controls that you’ll need to use regularly –those of the heating, ventilation and infotainment, for example – are positioned within easy reach. The instrument console also contains a small digital display between the rev counter and speedometer that, on higher-spec models, offers a range of useful information such as fuel range and average consumption. The high-up infotainment screen means you don’t have to divert your gaze too far from the road when adjusting your music or the sat-nav.

Seat Leon estate visibility

The view ahead from the Leon ST is hard to fault; it’s easy to place the front corners of the car. Over-the-shoulder vision is also pretty good, although the compared to some other estates, the angled rear pillars do hinder things a little.

Rear parking sensors are standard only on SE Dynamic Technology and pricier FR Technology, but you can add them for a reasonable cost to entry-level S and SE Technology trims. Xcellence and Cupra editions come with front and rear parking sensors. A reversing camera is also on the options list.

Seat Leon ST

Seat Leon estate infotainment

Entry-level S Leon STs get a 5.0in colour touchscreen mounted high in the centre of the dashboard, which includes Bluetooth. It’s a pity you can’t add a DAB radio or multifunction steering wheel to the entry-level model, though, even as cost options. These comes from SE Technology trim upward, which also upgrades the screen size to 8.0ins and adds sat-nav plus two USB sockets.

Seat's 8.0in touchscreen system tries to be clever by hiding its buttons to free up real estate on the display – then, when it detects that your finger is moving towards the screen, it brings up the relevant buttons again. It’s not quite as slick as it sounds – you’ll occasionally find yourself waiting for the hidden buttons to reappear while the system spots your finger and plays catch-up – and some of the icons are quite small and situated inconveniently close to the edge of the screen.

The pinch function for the map isn’t very responsive, either, yet the rest of the menus are, and the graphics look sharp. It’s particularly frustrating when you’re on the move, and we vastly prefer the rotary dial controllers you’ll find in some rivals, or even the rotary knob from the older Leon ST.

Full Link (for operating your smartphone’s apps from the touchscreen), is either an inexpensive option or standard on the upper-level trims, while the Xcellence trim includes a wireless phone charger – be warned, though, that the system only natively works with Android-based phones.

Seat Leon estate build quality

The Leon ST’s dashboard is smart rather than plush. The major touch points feel fine – all models bar the standard S have a soft leather-covered steering wheel and gear knob - but there are signs of cost cutting. It’s not hard to spot harsher materials around the interior, there are a few sharp edges around the seat bases and some brittle-feeling plastics around the rear door handles. It all seems well put together, though, and the VW Group-sourced switches and buttons feel robust.

Ultimately, it looks smarter than a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra but not quite up to VW Golf standards, but considering the price differential to the Golf, the Leon remains impressive.

 

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There are 13 trims available for the Leon estate. Click to see details.See all versions
SE
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£15,864
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SE Dynamic Technology
SE Dynamic Technology adds 17in alloys, rear privacy glass and rear parking sensors to the SE Technology’s specification....View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£16,616
Average Saving £3,339
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SE Dynamic
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£16,616
Average Saving £3,339
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SE Technology
SE Technology offers a number of nice upgrades over S trim, including 16in alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and gearlever, 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio and sat-nav, au...View trim
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£17,138
Average Saving £3,362
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FR
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£18,981
Average Saving £3,444
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FR Technology
Sporty FR Technology trim is our favourite of all the Leon versions, though. As standard it has LED headlights, power-folding door mirrors, passenger lumbar adjustment, dual-zone climate control, f...View trim
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£18,981
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FR Sport
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£21,040
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Xcellence
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£21,586
Average Saving £3,559
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Xcellence Technology
This trim might be tempting if you prefer a slightly less sporty looking car than the FR models. Instead you get a chrome front grilled and window surrounds, plus added luxuries including keyless e...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£21,586
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Xcellence Lux
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£22,376
Average Saving £3,594
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Cupra
This trim is only for the performance Cupra 300 model. Based on the already well equipped FR Technology trim it adds adaptive dampers and a limited slip differential, and on the inside a leather sp...View trim
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£30,534
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Cupra Lux
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£34,285
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Carbon Edition
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£34,525
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