SEAT Leon 2.0 TFSI Sport - SEAT LEON Car Review

Review

Added: 25 May 2006
Last update:

IN a world of lookalike cars SEAT dares to be different and there is little on the road in the price bracket that looks as different as the new Leon.

The latest generation of this popular Spanish car, which starts from £11,795, has been out for a few months now but still turns heads wherever you park it.

The "hot" Sport two-litre 16V TFSI version came a little later to showrooms but is certainly making a big impression on all those who see it - and drive it.

With its steeply raked windscreen, small grille, teardrop headlights, muscular haunches and curvaceous roof line the new Leon is dramatically different to its predecessor.

And despite being a five door it looks like a three-door coupe thanks to the hidden rear door handles which are built into the side windows.

Inside the sporty theme continues with high back sports seats which hold you firmly in place on tight corners and a shrouded instrument cluster with black faced dials.

The facia itself is very uncluttered, almost plain. The overall affect is different to anything else on the market but works well.

On the road the 185bhp TFSI is superbly quick in all of its six gears when you wind the revs up and it boasts one of the smoothest gear changes around, making it easy going on long journeys.

There is plenty of elbow, leg and head room inside for five people and even when fully laden it is not lacking in performance or road holding.

The ride is on the firm side but not at the expense of comfort and the build quality of the car seems to have now reached the same standard as SEAT's stablemate in the Volkswagen Group, Audi. And they don't get much better

Certainly the sound proofing has been improved making the Leon sporting yet very refined, a combination not often achieved in this price bracket.

Despite its sporting credentials the Leon is very much a family car as can clearly be seen by the abundance of space in the boot area, measuring 341 litres with the rear seats in place and a massive 1,166 litres with them folded down.

That means it's a car which will be ideal for the sporting dad who wants something with plenty of spirit yet still needs the practicality of a vehicle which can accommodate all the things the kids have to carry.

At nearly £16,000 the TFSI is very much at the top end of the Leon range but you get a lot of car for your money.

With the Leon you will have a family car which is anything but boring - and there aren't too many of those around.

FAST FACTS

SEAT Leon 2.0 TFSI Sport 5dr

Price: £16,020

Mechanical: 185bhp, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox.

Max speed: 137mph

0-62mph: 7.8 secs

Combined mpg: 34

Insurance group: 14

CO2 emissions: 199g/km

BiK rating: 26%

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

Words: Edward Stephens

Keywords: SEAT, LEON