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SEAT Leon 1.0 TSI EVO FR 5dr

  • Manual
  • Petrol
  • 49.6 mpg
  • 5 door estate
  • 128 g/km CO2
  • 128 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 49.6 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 11.3 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 110 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

With 620-litres of luggage space and riding on the same MQB chassis as the Volkswagen Golf MK8, the improved version of this second generation SEAT Leon Estate offers sharp handling, excellent build quality and solid practicality. Plus the imptroved version of this car delivers improved media connectivity and some fresh new engine options. As before, the prices being asked represent a substantial saving over those of a comparable, identically-engined Golf Estate. It's hard to grumble at that sort of deal.

Background

So to the SEAT Leon Estate, launched in fourth generation form back in 2020 as a compact station wagon that actually wasn't that compact. And a sensible estate that claimed to be sporty. It's always been a car of contradictions then, but one that promises to be quite appealing family transport, especially in the improved form we look at here with its updated engines, smarter cabin and improved media connectivity. Practical and sporty, it aims to offer a more dynamic option to family estate buyers, with a 'lifestyle' appeal that might even pique the interest of folk looking at Qashqai-class crossovers. That's what SEAT says anyway. Time to look at this car in a little more detail.

Driving Experience

You might not be surprised to learn that this Leon Estate offers a very similar driving experience to that of its hatchback stablemate - which wasn't guaranteed given the fact that this variant must carry along so much extra length behind its rear axle. With this fourth generation Leon, most mainstream versions continue to persist with an old-school torsion beam rear suspension set-up. Which isn't to suggest that nothing has changed here with this revised model. Quite the contrary. Take the engine range, which is now four cylinder-only. That's a reference to the fact that the previous entry-level three cylinder 1.0-litre TSI petrol unit has been replaced with a four cylinder 1.5-litre TSI powerplant developing 115PS (5PS more than the old unit) and 220Nm of torque (20Nm more). It's linked to 6-speed manual transmission. As before, there are two mild hybrid eTSI petrol units available, also based around the 1.5-litre four cylinder powerplant, exclusively available with 7-speed DSG auto transmission and developing either 115PS or 150PS. SEAT has also taken the opportunity of this update to introduce a new generation eHybrid Plug-in Hybrid unit. This is now based around the 1.5-litre petrol unit (replacing the old petrol 1.4) and develops 204PS in combination with a 115PS electric motor and a now-bigger 19.7kWh battery pack which can now take the car up to 62 miles between charges. As before, you'll also be offered the option of diesel power - there are two versions of the efficient VW Group 2.0 TDI 'twin dosing' unit, offering either 116 or 150PS. Closely related to this ordinary Leon Estate is the CUPRA Leon fast estate variant, which can be had with either an uprated 245PS version of that 1.5-litre Plug-in Hybrid powertrain we just mentioned. Or with a conventional 2.0-litre TSI petrol unit, developing either 310PS in 4WD Estate guise.

Design and Build

There are no significant visual changes with this updated model. Thanks to this Leon Estate, nobody, SEAT says, now needs to have to compromise in their choice between a sporty car and a practical one. That may be over-stating things a bit but it's true that this is still one of the more dynamic shapes in the family estate segment. To create it, the Spanish designers have had to compromise a little on ultimate carriage capacity: without the smartly angled rear screen for example, you could certainly fit a bit more in, but then the car would look a little more boxy and boring. We're guessing that most potential family buyers would rather sacrifice a few cubic inches for a more assured driveway statement. Full-LED headlights feature at the front and there's a more distinctive full-width 'coast-to-coast'-style lamp arrangement at the rear. The mid-term updates are more evident inside, where this improved Leon Estate gains a smarter 10.4-inch central touch screen, with an even bigger 12.9-inch monitor available as an option. The fiddly temperature control slider is now illuminated and an upgraded 15W smartphone charging pad is available, with refrigeration to cool your 'phone whilst charging. Otherwise, things are as before. The interior design centres around the use of SEAT's 'Digital Cockpit' layout, which brings together a high-resolution 10.25-inch configurable driver instrument cluster and the aforementioned central screen. That middle monitor's 'diagonal' graphic design positioning apparently gets its inspiration from the Diagonal avenue of Barcelona. Interior light is an important feature here. It includes a wraparound dashboard light that covers the fascia's entire width and continues through the doors. In the rear, there's decent leg space (a slight failing of earlier generation Leons); a 50mm increase in wheelbase length for this MK4 design usefully improved that. Boot space rises significantly over the hatch - from 380-litres up to 620-litres (though that falls to just 470-litres with th e-HYBRID).

Market and Model

The Leon Estate commands a price premium of around £1,300 over the hatch version, which means asking price figures mainly in the £25,500 to £36,000 bracket. Customers get a choice of four trim levels - 'SE', 'SE Dynamic', 'FR' and 'FR Sport'. Even base 'SE'-spec gets you quite a lot: 'Kessy Go' keyless start, full-LED headlight technology with automatic high beam and 16-inch alloy wheels, plus an eight-inch centre-dash infotainment screen with SEAT Connect technology and access to the 'Apple CarPlay' or 'Android Auto' media systems. 'SE Dynamic' mid-range trim upgrades you to the SEAT Digital Cockpit package, which gets you a 10.25-inch digital driver instrument binnacle display, plus a larger 10-inch centre-dash infotainment screen with navigation. Plus at this level, you get Park Assist (front and rear sensors) and tinted rear side windows, as well as larger Dynamic 17-inch alloy wheels. To make your Leon Estate really stand out, you'll need one of the meaner-looking 'FR' trim levels, which add sporty front and rear bumpers, Dynamic 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust pipes and a unique suspension set-up that gives a 15mm lower ride height. 'Xcellence' trim adds luxury touches like microsuede cloth upholstery and Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control.

Cost of Ownership

It's not easy to cut back the weight of a modern family estate in a market where buyers want their cars to be safer and more heavily equipped. Yet thanks to the installation of the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform, this SEAT manages to be singularly impressive in its lack of bulk. Lots of work's been put into engine efficiency here. The standard 1.5 TSI and 1.5 eTSI petrol units feature a Miller-cycle combustion process and variable geometry turbocharger, along with integrated Active Cylinder Management. The Miller-cycle optimises valvetrain control with early closure of the inlets which, combined with a higher compression rate and turbocharging, better control the air-fuel mixture and improve fuel efficiency by up to 10 per cent. As for the WLTP figures, well expect around 50mpg on the combined cycle and about 125g/km of CO2 for the 1.5 TSI and 1.5 eTSI variants. For the 2.0 TDI 115PS diesel, the figures are up to 67.3mpg and up to 111g/km. As before, the brand's Mild Hybrid eTSI tech uses a 48V starter-generator and lithium-ion battery enabling the vehicle to coast with the engine switched off (while retaining all key electric functions, such as power steering), harvest energy under deceleration and provide electrical torque assistance during acceleration. If you want to go further, the Plug-in eHybrid model's 1.5-litre TSI engine is now paired to a 19.7kWh battery pack which can be fully charged in about 3.5 hours and offers up to 62 miles of electrified range.

Summary

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, estate cars were purely for estate people - those with dogs, photocopiers to cart about and weekend leisure equipment. You wouldn't really consider one if you didn't actually need to. But station wagons like this improved version of the second generation Leon Estate are rather different. Why wouldn't you choose one of these rather than a standard Leon five-door hatch? After all, the Estate variant isn't much more expensive, looks just as good, drives just as well and offers a lot more everyday flexibility Like the best of its family hatchback-based competitors, it's also successful in offering nearly all the practicality in a larger estate car with the easy parking and deft manoeuvrability of a much smaller one. Is there really any point in considering a five-seater compact SUV or MPV when a car like this SEAT can be so versatile? Your call.

  • Lockable tailgate
  • Start/stop system with regenerative braking
  • 7 speakers
  • Auxiliary input socket
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • FR sports bumper
  • Illuminated front door sill
  • Matt black roof rails
  • Rear side wing doors
  • 12v power point in centre console
  • Flat bottomed perforated leather steering wheel with red stitching and FR logo and leather gear stick
  • Front centre armrest
  • Front seatback storage pockets
  • Height/reach adjust steering wheel
  • Luggage tie-down hooks
  • Sliding boot cover
  • Tool kit
  • Two tone cloth upholstery
  • Media system plus with navigation - Leon
  • 3 point seatbelts on all rear seats
  • Child proof door locks
  • Driver and front passenger airbags with front passenger airbag de-activation, front side and curtain airbags
  • Extended safety system - seat belt tensioner, window closure and hazard lights
  • Seat belt reminder for front and rear seats
  • Tiredness recognition system, driver alert system
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Anti theft alarm system with interior monitoring in cab, backup horn and towing protection
  • KESSY Go (Keyless start)
  • Locking wheel bolts
  • Wireless phone charging
  • HC+NOx: N
  • NOx: 0.03
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 128
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 139
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 128
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 130
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 111
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 168
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 126
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 999
  • Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 74.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 76.4
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 6.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 4.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 7.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 5.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 46.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 57.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 38.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 50.4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.0
  • Badge Power: 110
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: TSI EVO
  • Coin Series: FR
  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 13E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 92
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 88
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 71
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 80
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 11.3
  • Engine Power - BHP: 110
  • Engine Power - KW: 81
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5500
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 148
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 20.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 200
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2000
  • Top Speed: 124
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: DYNAMIC BI-SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Height: 1437
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4642
  • Wheelbase: 2684
  • Width: 1799
  • Width (including mirrors): N
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 45
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1890
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 620
  • Max. Loading Weight: 643
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 660
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1247
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.5