Seat Leon review

Category: Family car

Section: Introduction

Seat Leon 2022
  • Seat Leon 2022
  • Seat Leon 2022 rear cornering
  • Seat Leon 2022 RHD dashboard
  • Seat Leon 2022 RHD rear seats
  • Seat Leon 2022 RHD infotainment
  • Seat Leon 2022 front tracking
  • Seat Leon 2022 left tracking
  • Seat Leon 2022 headlight details
  • Seat Leon 2022 boot open
  • Seat Leon 2022
  • Seat Leon 2022 rear cornering
  • Seat Leon 2022 RHD dashboard
  • Seat Leon 2022 RHD rear seats
  • Seat Leon 2022 RHD infotainment
  • Seat Leon 2022 front tracking
  • Seat Leon 2022 left tracking
  • Seat Leon 2022 headlight details
  • Seat Leon 2022 boot open
What Car?’s Leon deals
New car deals
Save up to £665
Target Price from £21,785
Save up to £665
or from £268pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £19,995
Leasing deals
From £242pm

Introduction

What Car? says...

A change of outfit can make all the difference. While the Seat Leon shares underpinnings with several other cars, it's the best of the bunch – and not just because of its racier exterior styling.

If you're not familiar with exactly where the Leon sits in the family car world, it’s about the same size as the Volkswagen Golf, which has some of the same parts, and the bestselling Ford Focus. It also shares much with the Audi A3 and the Skoda Octavia.

Speaking of rivals, if the Seat Leon has caught your eye but you're also attracted to the huge boot of the longer Octavia, you'll be pleased to know there's an estate Leon too. Check out our full review of it here.

Once you've decided which family car is for you, make sure you get it for the best price by checking our free What Car? New Car Buying service. It has lots of competitive Seat Leon deals.

More on the Seat Leon

Seat Leon vs Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf >>

Used Seat Leon buying guide >>

Seat Leon long-term test >>

Why the Seat Leon is our 2021 Family Car of the Year >>

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The entry-level Seat Leon engine is a 109bhp 1.0-litre petrol (badged TSI 110 for the manual and eTSI 110 for the auto). It pulls well enough from low revs and doesn’t struggle to keep up with faster-moving traffic, with 0-62mph in 10.9sec. We prefer the 128bhp 1.5-litre TSI 130 petrol, though, because it has more punch, dropping that to a respectable 9.4 sec. In fact, it’s good enough to negate the need for the more expensive 148bhp version of the same 1.5-litre engine.

There are mild-hybrid automatic versions of the 1.0 eTSI and 1.5 eTSI petrols too, although the 1.5 eTSI is no faster than the 148bhp 1.5 it’s based on. There's also a 187bhp 2.0-litre petrol, plus 113bhp and 148bhp 2.0-litre diesels bookending the range. We'll update this review when we've driven them.

Suspension and ride comfort

SE and SE Dynamic models roll a little more and don’t have as much grip as the FRs, although they still hang on tenaciously enough, steer just as well and handle very tidily indeed.

The e-Hybrid has sports suspension as standard, but is the least sporty model in the line-up because its battery makes it around 250kg heavier. It exhibits the most lean in corners and the front end is quicker to wash wide when pushing on (that’s also true of the slightly wallowy A250e and the softly sprung Octavia iV).

Noise and vibration

You’ll hear a bit more road and wind noise during motorway cruising in the Leon than you would in a Focus or Golf, but not enough to make it a wearing long-distance companion. Indeed, its light but positive clutch pedal and sweet manual gearshift make it a pleasure to drive in more built-up areas. The DSG automatic gearbox on eTSI models is smooth and provides swift shifts, but the Leon's brakes feel a bit inconsistent, especially when the car is using them to recover energy while going down through the gears.

FAQs

  • The current version of the Seat Leon did not feature in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey but Seat as a brand performed rather averagely, finishing in 17th place out of 30 manufacturers. That's just ahead of Volkswagen and significantly better than Ford, but not as good as Hyundai, Kia, Mazda or Skoda. The Leon comes with a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty and a third year of cover as long as your total mileage doesn't exceed 60,000 miles. Read more here
  • The Seat Leon is available with mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) engines but there is no electric car version. The PHEV – called the e-Hybrid – combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for an official electric-only range of 40 miles. There are also mild-hybrid automatic versions of the 1.0 eTSI and 1.5 eTSI petrol engines. Read more here
  • Our favourite version of the Seat Leon is the 1.5 TSI with FR trim. The 130bhp petrol engine does not give the Leon particularly quick performance (0-62mph takes 9.4sec) but it is economical and flexible, and is much cheaper than more powerful options. FR trim comes with sports suspension, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers and other useful features. Read more here
  • The Seat Leon FR Sport has all the features you get with FR trim, but comes with bigger (18in) alloy wheels, a full LED light bar at the back, a heated steering wheel and front seats, electric driver’s seat adjustment and suede upholstery. Read more here
  • The Seat Leon has a good infotainment system. Entry-level SE trim versions get an 8.3in touchscreen, a DAB radio, a seven-speaker sound system, two USB-C ports, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring. Higher trim levels have a bright and clear 10in touchscreen, and add built-in sat-nav and natural voice recognition. Some top models have two extra USB-C ports and wireless phone-charging.Read more here
  • The Seat Leon’s boot has 380 litres of space in most versions – enough for six carry-on suitcases – and about 100 litres less if you select the PHEV (e-Hybrid) engine. That means non-PHEV versions offer about the same load-lugging capacity as the Ford Focus and a bit more than the Volkswagen Golf. There’s a big drop down from the boot entrance to the floor but Seat doesn’t offer a height-adjustable boot floor to rectify this. If you need a lot of load-lugging space, see our Seat Leon Estate review. Read more here
At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £665
Target Price from £21,785
Save up to £665
or from £268pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £19,995
Leasing deals
From £242pm
RRP price range £22,225 - £33,905
Number of trims (see all)6
Number of engines (see all)6
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, diesel
MPG range across all versions 41.5 - 65.7
Available doors options 5
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,275 / £2,262
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £2,550 / £4,524
Available colours