What's the used Seat Leon estate like?
Seat named the Leon after the city of the same name – and it also means “lion” in Spanish. That’s a brash title for a sensible estate car and its standard family car sibling, but it fits the latest, fourth-generation model more than ever.
Launched in 2020, the Leon is sharp, well-rounded and efficient, and the estate receives extra practicality and spaciousness over the hatch. This current model has a lot to live up to. You see we liked the previous version of this Leon Estate, known as the Leon ST, a lot, and the contemporary Leon family hatchback we actually crowned our What Car? Used Car of the Year a few years back.
Trim-wise, you can pick between relatively modest SE (or SE Dynamic) trim, the more extrovert styling and sportier driving manners of the FR versions or a more luxury-focused Xcellence trim.
The entry-level SE trim is surprisingly well-equipped. You get 16in alloys, air-conditioning, keyless start, cruise control and metallic paint as standard. Step up to SE Dynamic and, in addition to various infotainment upgrades, buyers will also enjoy front parking sensors, larger 17in wheels and tinted rear windows.
FR trim plays to the Leon’s strengths, with its standard sports suspension making it great fun through the bends. You get more goodies than you do with SE Dynamic trim, including an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers and climate control.
Finally, we have Xcellence with its extensive list of bells and whistles. It gets 17in alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, heated front seats, a heated leather steering wheel, suede-lined seats, a powered driver’s seat with memory and adjustable lumbar support, three-zone climate control, a rear view camera and keyless start and entry. And breathe.
On the road, the Leon boasts fun driving dynamics and keen handling. It also won’t rattle your fillings out and is compliant over large undulations, such as speed bumps, but it does fail to be quite so absorbent over rough town roads or pockmarked A-roads. The FR trim’s sports suspension makes for a slightly less comfortable ride, but it’s the plug-in eHybrid versions that are the least forgiving Leons along pockmarked roads. This is because the extra weight of the battery makes more demands on the suspension.
Interior quality is great, with squidgy, dense-feeling plastic on the top of the dashboard and above the armrests on the doors. Plus, the buttons on the steering wheel are nicely weighted and don’t feel at all cheap.
Space for front and rear passengers is plentiful and boot space is slightly above par compared with rivals, which is to say very good, but not quite on the level of the super-practical Skoda Octavia Estate. It’s worth noting that the eHybrid’s boot is smaller than that of the non-electrified Leons.
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