Driving position and dashboard
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 seat has height and lumbar adjustment as standard on all versions and provides good cushioning on a long trip. FR, Xcellence and Cupra models have a sportier seat with extra side support.
All models also come with a height-adjustable centre armrest, and the controls that you’ll use regularly – for heating and ventilation, for example – are clear and positioned within easy reach. Between the speedo and rev counter is a small digital display that offers a range of useful information, such as fuel range and average consumption. Fully digital instruments are standard on selected trims, starting from the FR Black Edition.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The view ahead out of the Leon is hard to fault, making it an easy car to place on the road generally. Reversing it is trickier, though, because its thick rear pillars hinder rearward vision; the same is true for most of its rivals, though, including the Volkswagen Golf.
No matter, though, because front and rear parking sensors are standard from SE Dynamic trim upwards, while Xcellence trim and above give you a rear-view camera. From the Sporty FR trim up, you also get LED headlights that provide excellent vision at night.
Sat nav and infotainment
All versions come with an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen that's generally quick to respond to your inputs, but the screen's graphics aren't as sharp as those of many of its rivals – even the in-house ones, such as the Golf and Octavia. Other annoyances are small icons that are hard to hit on the move, plus a lack of shortcut buttons to take you quickly from one menu to another.
Seat's Full Link is standard, adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (for operating your smartphone’s apps from the touchscreen). You also get a DAB radio, Bluetooth and, from SE Dynamic trim up, in-built sat-nav with 3D mapping. Wireless charging is standard on top-spec Xcellence Lux and Cupra models.
The Leon's dashboard is smart rather than plush. The major contact points feel fine – all models have a soft leather-covered steering wheel and gear knob – but there are signs of cost cutting elsewhere. 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 its VW Group-sourced switches and buttons feel robust.
Ultimately, it looks smarter inside than a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, but the Skoda Octavia is just as robust and slightly better finished. If you want something really snazzy, the Golf and Mazda 3 are a healthy cut above.