What used Seat Leon estate will I get for my budget?
Prices for the Seat Leon ST start at £7000, making it outstanding value not only versus a Golf Estate of the same age, but also compared with a Skoda Octavia. At this end of the market you’re most likely to find ex-company cars, which means the 1.6-litre diesel engine and around 80,000 miles or more on the clock.
Up the ante to between £8000 and £10,000 and you begin to get some real bargains. Again, take your pick of petrol or diesel models and you’ll find a 2015 car with a below-average mileage and a full history from an independent dealer, or a 2016 car in the same condition from a private seller, maybe even a 2017 model. This is a price that substantially undercuts the amount you’d pay for the equivalent Golf or Focus, so for those on a tight budget, the Leon is well worth seeking out. Moving up further to around the £10,000 mark buys a 2017 or 2018 facelifted model in excellent condition and low mileage from an independent dealer. Spend around £11,000 to £15,000 on 2019 and run-out 2020 models.
For ultimate fuel economy you'll need the 1.6-litre diesel, from which you can expect a genuine 60mpg, or even slightly more on a long run. The punchy 2.0-litre diesel is good for 55mpg in normal driving.
If you're looking at a post-2016 facelift Leon the 1.0-litre petrol will return a genuine 50mpg and feels perkier to drive than you might expect.
Under the newer, more realistic WLTP figures the 1.6 diesel averages 57.6mpg. The mid-range 2.0-litre diesel, meanwhile, gets around 64mpg (56mpg under the WLTP), depending on which age and variant you go for. The most economical petrol model is the 1.0-litre, which, impressively, gets similar fuel economy to the 2.0-litre diesel at 52.3mpg under the WLTP. If you want to upgrade to the 1.4-litre petrol, expect fuel economy figures in the region of 54mpg, or 51.4mpg for the 1.5 130 and 47.9mpg for the 1.5 150 Evo.
Go for the sub-100g/km 1.6 TDI registered before April 2017 and you won’t pay anything in road tax. In fact, it's only if you opt for a 1.8-litre petrol or 2.0-litre diesel in FR trim, or the high performance Cupra, that you'll pay a three-figure tax bill.
After that date, all Leon STs will cost you a flat tax rate of £155 a year, unless you choose a high-end version with enough options fitted to have lifted its price to over £40,000 when it was new. If that's the case, expect to pay a surcharge of £335 a year.
All Leon STs require servicing every 12 months or 10,000 miles, with costs alternating between £160 and £270. You also need to factor in a new cambelt every five years or 80,000 miles, which costs in the region of £500 once you've factored in doing the water pump at the same time.