The Leon ST’s suspension set-up changes as you move up the range.
Beyond the standard suspension, SE Technology and FR Technology trims come with lowered sports suspension. The higher-powered versions, which include the 177bhp 1.8 petrol and 181bhp 2.0 diesel, get a more sophisticated rear suspension set-up, and by the time you hit the dizzying performance heights of the Cupra model, features adaptive dampers as well. Meanwhile, the X-Perience version has raised suspension to give extra off-road ground clearance – but most owners aren’t likely to venture far away from the tarmac.
In practice, whichever ST you choose you’ll notice that the ride is a little firmer than on, say, a VW Golf Estate. It just about manages to remain comfortable, although the more basic suspension in the lower models does create a bit of patter from the rear of the car when you’re cruising along and never really settle down.
If anything, the high-performance Cupra’s ride is the most impressive of the lot when its adaptive dampers are set to Comfort mode. True, it’s still undeniably firm, but better controlled as a result and surprisingly comfortable for such a focused performance model.
With its extra high suspension delivering a bit more wheel travel, the X-Perience model is also smoother than the regular ST, too.