SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI FR - SEAT LEON Car Review

Review

Added: 03 Sep 2006
Last update:

THE Racing Formula is proving a very successful one for SEAT, with a large proportion of buyers opting for the sporting package.

In the case of the FR version of the Leon power from the two-litre turbodiesel engine is increased from the Sport model’s 138bhp to a new high of 170bhp.

This translates into a 0-62mph acceleration time of just over eight seconds with a 133mph top speed.

Economy stays the same but there is a price to pay nonetheless, in addition to the extra £1,000 over that of the Sport.

This is the noise penalty, which is greater than that of the standard car because the engine is working harder.

Use the performance to the max and the engine lets you know what it is doing until it settles down to quiet motorway cruising at which point it becomes indistinguishable from even the quietest petrol-powered model.

The other downside is that there is a noticeable delay between flooring the throttle and the delivery of power until the turbocharger reaches maximum boost.

Included in the FR package are ESP, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, half a dozen air bags and four electric windows.

The suspension is stiffened to enable the car to take bends more quickly without lolling around too much and there are some cosmetic touches to the bodywork to create a more sporty appearance.

My main criticism of the Leon FR is the blackness of the interior, the excessive screen reflection from the upper dashboard on a sunny day and the lack of satellite navigation, which should be standard in a car costing £17,495.

For those hell-bent upon squeezing every ounce of performance from their car’s oil-burning engine the Leon FR delivers the goods but when the Sport is so impressive anyway some potential buyers may baulk at the prospect of shelling out the extra grand.

This is especially true when you consider that some of that money is to pay for the cruise control, which is a contradiction in terms for a sports model.

FAST FACTS

SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI FR 5dr

Price: £17,495

Mechanical: 170bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox

Max speed: 133mph

0-62mph: 8.2 secs

Combined mpg: 47.1

Insurance group: 12

CO2 emissions: 161g/km

BiK rating: 22%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust

Words: Steve Hughes

Keywords: SEAT, LEON