UNDER the skin, SEAT’s Leon Ecomotive is a VW Golf Bluemotion, but I prefer the SEAT’s looks and you certainly lose nothing in build quality.
Of course, a car like this is all about low, low emissions – 99 grammes per kilometre – and superb economy. But don’t be fooled.
As with all cars, the combined government figure bears no relation to what you will get on the road. It’s supposed to be capable of 74mpg, but the best I could get was 54, driving very carefully.
If you want a realisable figure for any car, take the town driving figure and you’ll be getting close.
The Leon has fantastic road holding and handling, a comfortable ride and brilliant steering feel.
It can be very quick when you want it to be and is reasonably smooth and quiet – although not up to the latest diesels from Mazda, which are amazing.
It will not go below 40 miles an hour in fifth gear and so at slower speeds economy can suffer.
Inside, it comes with Golf switchgear, gearchange and quality of build. It has height and reach adjustable steering, and supportive seats with height adjustment for the driver.
A big boot will swallow a surprising amount but can be quickly extended with the easy-fold 60/40 splt back seats.
SEAT Leon Ecomotive
Mechanical: 103bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving the front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 117mph
0-62mph: 11.7 seconds
Combined mpg: 74
Insurance group: 6
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
BIK rating: 13%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles
Main rival: VW Golf Bluemotion