27 March 2015
Traded a '61' plate VW Polo 105bhp in for a Seat Leon 140FR petrol in 2013 and best thing I did for many a year! The latter is a joy to drive with all the benefits of German technology with Latin flair. A truly great engine. Very smooth but powerful when required mated to a click gearbox and exceptional handling, and choice of 3 driving modes, with SPORT giving tighter steering, and a noticeable kick up the backside. Plenty of passenger room, for 5 adults and a good sized boot. Have just recorded 500 miles in the 50 litre fuel tank, so 45 mpg.So very good for a car that has top speed of 135mph.However more spirited driving will bring this figure down? Road tax was zero for the first year and is now £30.per year. Cheaper than my wife's HYUNDAI I10 which runs out at £135 per annum.Downsides.?Maybe 18 inch wheels would have improved the already taut handling, and the car has a tendency to drip in water when the boot is lifted, if it has been raining, but in general a good value for money car. Great to drive spiritedly,or pootle about in, and better than it's sister cars such as the VW Golf, or Skoda equivalents! And maybe, just maybe I might have a look at the new SEAT Cupra 280 bhp?
Submitted: 2014-04-24 | ID: 94629
I brought the Leon from new, I had a BMW prior to this, but there’s no comparison, the Leon beat it hands down. It has achieved everything I have asked of it. Why only 3 stars? I have had all the major engine components (Cam belt, etc) replaced and just after 75000 there is a major problem with the engine and gearbox. Greenflag came to recover me from the Motorway, checked the vehicle and stated that it should not be driven without urgent attention. The car has been taken to two different garages and they ’cannot find a thing wrong with it’. But the problem continues to happen (when the garages are closed Grrr). Neither garage were prepared to start replacing parts of the engine/gearbox/clutch because of the cost and it might not solve the problems. To top it all the Leonhas started to develop electrical problems with intermittent lights appearing on the dash!! I am gutted. It has been a fabulous car. I was expecting us to grow old and rusty together. I feel very disappointed that realistically 75000 is all that I will get from it. I would recommend a LEON to anyone, it is a fantastic car. I just hope I will get the same joy from my next car...the search begins!!! : (
Responses to this review
I have a 2006 Leon too, bought from new here in Switzerland, but only 60000 km on the clock... same thing - random lights appearing on dash, oil light flickers going around corners (intermittently), but garage can find nothing wrong. Luckily has not yet broken down, but hearing your story, Patrick, that might be around the corner... Shame... - from Switzerland
I had the old shape leon 2002 plate TDCI 19 and the same thing happened to me the lights kept flickering and one snowy morning they decided to come on and the car just stopped had to call the police as in a dangerous place RAC came start the car could not find anything took it to my local garage and he nearly give up when it happened to him and in the end what was wrong was a very fine crack in the alternator got a new one put in and back to the car I loved hope this helps - Susan Henderson from Scottish Borders
Submitted: 2012-03-02 | ID: 47075
This car is something else! I’ve been a Ford driver all my life and this is my first car which isn’t. The power and rigidity is tremendous. Very good spec level and love the six speed box and cruise control! I might upgrade the audio but that’s something for a bit later. I’m amazed to get such barnstorming power and great economy! Keep it up VW! Sorry SEAT ha ha! <br /><br />
Submitted: 2012-02-10 | ID: 47077
I have just got my first SEAT Leon Cupra 20v turbo. It is running at around 268bhp, what a car! My wife loves it and now she is looking to get one too.
Submitted: 2011-09-16 | ID: 47078
I have the 1.8 tsi 160 bhp with DSG transmission. This engine is powerful and yet fuel consumption is small. It’s a firm ride but still comfortable. Fun to drive and plenty of space compared to it’s size. But above everything, the car just looks fantastic.
Submitted: 2011-03-25 | ID: 47070
Firstly, due to downsizing from an estate Saab, I was given this small sporty black hatchback! I thought this would be cramped, but actually it’s comfortable and reasonably laid out! Good equipment on this model (FR-170), ride is very hard but you get used to it. If you ride in the rear it is not comfortable because of the hard shocks, but generally it handles great and is fun to drive! Top Speed? Sorry, but you need to drive one to believe it! I would like to also say that SEAT Cars are very good on quality now.
Submitted: 2011-01-26 | ID: 47071
To my way of thinking, the hybrid road is not the one to take when diesel economy can reach high peaks. So - to the Seat Leon Ecomotive: You’ll do all round good owning one of these. You’ll delight in the performance, marvel at the economy and revel in the plaudits of the Green Lobby because the purity of its exhaust - whilst not quite fume free - emits just 99g/km; so this Leon is road fund licence exempt, making it the most environmentally responsible car in its class and probably less polluting than a driver with a bad case of halitosis. It is, I suggest, a three times winner in fact. Certainly my money is on this one to run and run. Twist the key and you start a smooth and quiet1.6,105 PS Turbodiesel engine - which is one of SEAT’s newest engines.(You’ll never know there’s a diesel under the bonnet). This makes for the most fuel efficient Leon, with a claimed ’combined’ fuel consumption of over 74mpg and an amazing 83mpg achievable in the extra-urban cycle. I was not able to replicate these figures, which might have been because of the Arctic conditions during the test - but readers can rest assured that my non numerical conclusion about the economy was that the Ecomotive Leon is ’jolly good on fuel’. Despite all this goodness, thankfully the ’man-in-a-hurry’ will not be disappointed either. 118mph and walloping torque is surely ample for all but the deranged. I’m pleased to report that enthusiastic overtaking is easy and you’d be would be forgiven for concluding that little performance has been sacrificed on the altar of righteousness and low fat diets. The engine revs freely and responds with alacrity to a squeeze on the throttle. The car can be especially satisfying to the driver who is willing to use that slick five-speed gearbox. The Leon, of course, is an elegant car that combines the sleek looks of a coupe with five-door practicality, so it’s rather more dynamic looking than some of its anodyne rivals. It’s a step away from the mundane; from boring clone cars. It’s an indulgence and it puts a bit of fun back into motoring. The stylish, flowing lines are in keeping with the ’sporty’ image of the brand and it’s not hard to accept it as more appealing than its key competitors such as Ford Focus, Peugeot 308 or Renault Megane. The interiors roomy feel is confirmed by use - and my three ’hamburger size’ passengers fitted in easily and had no complaints. It’s an excellent cabin design that is simply laid out and recognisable as SEAT: and there’s top quality too - so typical of anything from the VW Group. Bristling with equipment, the SE builds on an already generous S specification with the addition of tinted rear windows, dual zone climate control, one touch power windows, a top line sound system and cruise control. For the driver, seat and wheel adjust to provide an excellent driving position and as you set mirrors and minor controls, you soon realise that this is a car that can be tailored easily and accurately to your needs. Driving on all roads from Motorways to twisty lanes clearly reveals that this is a driver’s car in all-important aspects. It takes only a mile or two to appreciate the refinement and flat-riding suppleness, which gives the Leon good grace and poise without allowing it the hint of a wallow over bumps. If you’re in the mood for making rapid progress, you find that the Leon flows effortlessly through bends; handling with real aplomb. There is, of course, grip in abundance and you would need freakish bad luck to come unstuck. Even in the Arctic conditions of the test the Leon was surefooted and confidence inspiring on surfaces more slippery than Teflon. Too often people overlook ’Greeny’ ’Eco’ variants of a model because the perception is that they’re strangulated and boring. With the Leon Ecomotive this is definitely not the case. It’s reasonable price of £16,860 and the extensive equipment say ’good value’ and it makes fundamental real world sense. It’s a spacious, comfortable, soundly constructed, five door hatchback that’s an abundantly easy, reassuring and relaxed car with which to live. On those grounds alone its case is strong.
Submitted: 2010-12-23 | ID: 47073
I’ve got the Leon Cupra had the car from new. It will be 4 years old in March 2011. Its fast the 240 bhp engine is a joy and the gear box is great with short sharp gear changes. Most of the running gear is borrowed from the golf the engine is form audi so the car is mostly bullet proof. The interior is sound and well put together although some of the plastics are cheaper than you’d find in a golf. The front seats are great and hold you firmly through the corners although for rear passengers the ride can be slightly harsh on minor roads where there are pot holes. The car is not without it’s faults. The paint is soft and can suffer easily from chips. The rear tyres wear unevenly causing them to bobble which can cause road noise and the front tyres do wear out quite quickly. The boot is very small so this may not be the best car for a small family. I’m replacing it next year. I’m getting something bigger so sadly it wont be another cupra. If I was looking for another hot hatch then I’d have another in a heart beat.<br /><br />
Submitted: 2010-12-10 | ID: 47072
I have had 3 new SEAT cars this past 10 years, the one I have now is the Leon 2006. My problem is the traction light is on all the time, SEAT have said it would cost £1500 to fix. I have since been told this is a fault in these models. The car has only done 32,000 miles, otherwise it’s a lovely car.
Submitted: 2010-08-04 | ID: 47074
We have the Leon FR tdi with the btcc bodykit and the black alloys. The car looks the business and feels it too, it has awesome power and is very economical. It’s an all over good sporty car with practicality when needed for the family.<br /><br />
Submitted: 2010-05-28 | ID: 47065
Bought my 2nd SEAT in 04 with 11k on the clock. Had no problems whatsoever in the seven years I’ve had the car. Passed MOT every year and only had to replace tyres. Looking to buy new car for my husband and will definately buy another SEAT.
Submitted: 2010-05-19 | ID: 47066
Your review will help others decide which vehicle to buy. By spending just a little bit of time filling out a consumer car review you can share your experiences with other drivers, giving information only owners will talk about, no marketing spiel, just the real thing. We publish all reviews, whether you rate the vehicle high or low. We are impartial. We are independent. We are committed to 100% real reviews. Please give others the benefit of your advice: give them your review.
Your review will be checked for offensive language within the next few days and then put on RoadTestReports.co.uk and all of our partners websites.
SEAT’s Leon FR diesel is, without a doubt, a lionhearted car committed to a crusade on behalf of better motoring. Modern, functional and thoroughly alluring, it’s a leap away from the mundane - from boring clone ’cars-as-an-appliance’. It’s an indulgence: a lot of fun and more. At your first involvement, the word ’humdrum’ is removed from your vocabulary. From most angles the lean, low profile looks tremendous - a coupe with five-door practicality. Stand back and feel the sense of integrity and solidity of that arresting shape with its glossy paint and startling presence. Fastidiously sculpted and with just the right hint of bicep in the design to let you know that it’s a thoroughbred for keen drivers - the Leon is still a capacious, comfortable, family sized car. Getting into a Leon is always to be reminded of that ample interior space and splendid ergonomics. Big seats, loads of room, excellent visibility and a cohesive air of quality (SEAT is part of the Volkswagen Group) let you know that this car is a finely honed machine. Second only to the range-topping Cupra version, the FR is the civilised performance model for ’Captain Sensible’. ’Zesty’ rather than ’ballistic’ it has that everyday charm for today’s traffic conditions - yet with a capability to go supersonic when conditions allow. The most important ingredient for capturing that elusive essence of fun in any car is its engine and in the FR version of the Leon there’s either a 2.0 litre 211PS petrol or a willing and lusty 170PS diesel. Testing the diesel version, I could tell that engineers who really understand what makes one engine a workhorse and another a pure delight, had been at work. Smooth and restrained at low revs for relaxed urban use - yet ride on the crest of the creamy torque and the once unassuming engine thrusts you forward with impressive alacrity - satisfyingly bowling you along at speeds up to nearly 135mph. All this though, would be a chore if the six speed gearbox was less than delightful. Thankfully the changes are light, swift and pleasant - slotting home with almost military precision to provide you with enjoyment pure and simple. But you can only have so much fun travelling in a straight line, so bend swinging must match the straight-line experience. Thankfully the Leon FR is deliciously ’chuckable’ letting you ply your chosen line with total confidence to make ’press on’ driving a pleasure. The test model was vivid Crono Yellow (Sunflower yellow to you and me) that left the cheeky young stripling driving a Focus ST, blinking in our wake as we scorched along Shropshire’s secret roads at Warp Speed. Whilst the Focus was burning fuel at an alarming rate I delighted in enough pep to make Salvador Dali’s moustache curl - with a surreally low fuel consumption to boot. Averaging nearly 55mpg overall means that even if you can’t stretch to a Goya, you should be able to stretch to this ’goer’ at £19,500. You have to pay more, of course, if you want to add the various ’option’ packs - ’Winter Pack, Bluetooth ’wired to Mars’ Communications Pack, Convenience Pack (No lavatory included I’m afraid) or Technology Pack. But this is certainly one of the few cars available today to offer all the convenience you need plus the performance you crave to shrug-off the traffic queue and take the freelance route - a practical combination that sacrifices nothing in the driving stakes. Decent ride comfort and sharp handling makes for a lovely car either to drive like fury or to savour slowly. The Leon FR is a splendid ’all rounder’ - and it’s not only me saying this. Jaded old colleagues with advanced rigor mortis assure me that they have been rejuvenated by Seat’s Leon FR. "Keep it on the road! There’s a good chap" cried my old pal Dougie. "The lady wife’s expecting a late holiday". But he needn’t have worried - the Electronic Stability Programme, Emergency Brake Assist and Stall Warning Buzzer - plus lovely sticky tyres were guaranteed to save our bacon. Similarly the man from the Saturn Five Gazette assured me that it met with his full-boost, inter-galactic approbation. So I’m pleased to report that this is no Spanish donkey. Indeed it will give many an Italian stallion a run for its money. It certainly hit the spot with me. An ’Ole!’ in one for SEAT, you might say.
Submitted: 2010-03-20 | ID: 47067
Nice drive but not the economy I was expecting, giving approx 47mpg on a run, which is not as much as my old standard Octavia was giving 7 years ago.
Submitted: 2009-11-02 | ID: 47068
Having previously owned a Mk 1 Seat Leon, I was very loathe to buy another one owing to lots of technical problems. However when I had the Mk2 as a courtesy car whilst the older one was getting fixed....I loved it. In fact I went out and bought one. What a difference in the ride, little less powerful 1.6 engine, but no back end swinging out and having confidence in the car with the handling and reliability. Positives I’m sure you are all aware of. The only technical defects I have so far are: Window pack unit (put windows down by itself o/night), 1 x bearing replaced (horrendous droning noise). Getting knocking noises in suspension now, but the car is coming up for 3 years old. I would say the main problem I have with the 1.6 in this variant is the way the gearbox is set-up. In that I mean the revs are a bit too high, almost as if it needs a 6th gear as it creams and wheezes at 70mph at nearly 4000 revs/min.
Submitted: 2009-09-14 | ID: 47069
Bought used with 12K on clock. Loved the look of the car. The engine performance is superb and power and acceleration is great! Can’t imagine what the FR would be like! Only downfall is the bumpy ride which I suppose I can sacrifice for the handling of the car. Quite a lot of rattles from interior body though which seems usual apparently! Really like the semi-auto gearbox too!
Submitted: 2009-06-30 | ID: 47086
A great car to drive - willing acceleration and excellent cornering. In my opinion it is better looking than the Golf and I like the fact that there are not so many on the road - nice to be an individual. The only complaint is that the suspension is on the hard side and you notice this more as a passenger. However as a driver I always get out of the car with a grin on my face and look forward to getting back behind the wheel.
Submitted: 2009-06-22 | ID: 47087
Just a great car - plenty of performance, great looks and not to many on the road. A true drivers car. I have not owned a Seat before but was drawn to the Leon because of its looks and simple lines - although its a quick car it does not have the over the top spoilers fitted. I have had the car from new (March) and done over 17k miles without any problems. The ride is excellent although you do feel the bumps on minor roads. When I replace this car it is likely to be for another Leon.
Submitted: 2008-12-09 | ID: 47079
Simply the nicest drive I have encountered for a long time. The car looks awesome with the full BTC kit on it and with the 18" alloys handles well. The electric pack that came with it is very pleasing. It’s early days but I can’t imagine changing brands now. The only downside is the 1.6 perhaps lacks a little punch...so would maybe for those out their that like speed go for the 140bhp upwards.
Submitted: 2008-10-10 | ID: 47080
This car is powerful, 237bhp and 221lb of torque make this a really hot hatch. Volkswagen parts are used to build it so there is also no debating its quality and reliability. A really smooth drive, quiet and efficient. The DSG six-speed gearbox is auto impressed me so much that changing gears is now a thing of the past!
Submitted: 2008-04-29 | ID: 47082
This is the first Seat car I’ve owned and I’m so impressed with the Leon. It accelerates effortlessly and makes long journeys enjoyable. It has bags of space in the rear and the boot is very generous, my only critisism is the boot opening shape, which can make loading big items a bit awkward. The main boon with this car is you’re getting a VW engine without having to fork out VW prices, which was the main selling point for me. Great car overall.
Submitted: 2008-04-22 | ID: 47081
I’ve owned my Leon for just over a year and I’m really impressed, fuel consumption from the 1900 tdi diesel power plant is excellent, ride and cockpit comfort are a step up from my old focus. However that said the handling and driver experience was better with the focus (it’s just the new ones look awful). I’ve not had any major or minor problems just a puncture which cost me £112 for a new tyre. What will I be replacing my leon with ? More than likely a new Leon.
Submitted: 2007-11-29 | ID: 47083
My Seat Leon looks great, performs well & is not bad on fuel. Very similar to the VW golf but not as common. Very pleased with the residual values on these, so should not depreciate too quickly. 56 Reg was a bargain at under £13,000.
Submitted: 2007-10-25 | ID: 47084
I’ve had my car now for 7 months and I’m very pleased with its performance and fuel consumption, this being my first diesel. The car is very easy to drive and the noise levels I had expected from the engine have not materialised. My family find it very comfortable to travel in and I am very pleased with my purchase. I can see this car giving me many years of happy motoring.
Submitted: 2007-08-08 | ID: 47085
Thank you for helping us to maintain the quality of our content. Once you submit this report, the item you are flagging will be immediately removed from the site pending a moderators decision.
All you need to do is fill in the grey 'Captcha' box below to prove that you are human!
Ecomotive SE 1.6 TDI CR - With the new Leon Ecomotive, SEAT extends its extra green model line and adopts Stop/Start and Brake Energy Recovery technologies for the first time. Helped by other consumption and emission cutting measures, this Spanish five-seater now dips below the crucial 100g/km CO2 figure, but it costs a litt [...]
FR 2.0 TSI DSG - Sitting just below the range-topping 150+mph Cupra in SEAT’s extensive Leon line-up is the almost-as-sporty FR model. The FR costs a little less, and it isn’t quite as blindingly quick, but this particular hot hatch offers more than enough power and pizzazz for all but the most hard-core of speed fr [...]
1.9 TDi Ecomotive - It has been the widely held view in recent years that most marriages come to a messy and expensive end where nobody really benefits. This marriage is different however, it is a marriage between economy and performance...
The SEAT Leon is a good- and distinctive-looking small family car. The Leon features a fine choice of excellent petrol and diesel engines. Good value for money and good running cost make this spacious family hatch a very appealing proposition.
Average driver rating ( based on 112 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 80 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 79 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 60 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 60 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 56 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 49 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 48 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 47 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 46 reviews )