SEAT Leon SC (13 on) - Review

Review by James Taylor on
Last Updated: 16 Jun 2014
4.5
The SEAT Leon SC is the first ever three-door version of the Leon hatchback and the ‘SC’ moniker stands for ‘Sports Coupé.’ That’s a bit of a stretch as it’s neither a sports car nor shaped all that much like a coupe, but it does look a little sleeker and more alluring than the five-door Leon, itself not a bad looking car.

SEAT Leon SC (13 on)
  • Sleeker looks than regular Leon
  • Quality interior
  • Nice to drive
  • Overly light steering
  • Slightly less space than the five-door Leon

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£15,815 - £24,945

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Used price range:

£8,389 - £18,037

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Summary

Parkers Rating:

4.5 out of 5

The SEAT Leon SC is the first ever three-door version of the Leon hatchback and the ‘SC’ moniker stands for ‘Sports Coupé.’ That’s a bit of a stretch as it’s neither a sports car nor shaped all that much like a coupe, but it does look a little sleeker and more alluring than the five-door Leon, itself not a bad looking car.

Like the regular Leon, the SC is based on the Volkswagen Golf and makes an attractive proposition. It’s more interesting to look at than the Golf, just as nice to drive and has a similarly high quality feel and finish to its interior but carries a cheaper price tag.

Sleeker styling

From the middle of the car back, the Leon’s overall shape has been subtly but attractively revised for the SC: the roofline is lower, the tailgate has a more inclined angle, the rear side windows have a different shape and the bodywork over the rear wheelarches is wider and more pronounced.

It’s also 25kg lighter and has a slightly shorter wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels), with the aim of making the car more agile.

Despite the abbreviated wheelbase, the Leon SC has the same size boot as the five-door car. Access to the rear seats isn’t a problem and only particularly tall adults will find headroom an issue. Rear passengers will have to make do without electric windows though, as the rear windows are fixed in place.

Range of petrol and diesel engines

As with the regular Leon there is a choice of TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines, all of which are turbocharged. They can be combined with either a conventional manual gearbox or a twin-clutch DSG automatic transmission. Impressive though the DSG unit is, it does add a reasonable chunk of money to the car’s price and the regular manual gearbox will suit the needs of most buyers.

Petrol choices kick off with a 1.2-litre unit with 104bhp, average fuel consumption of 57mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km. Top of the tree for performance is a 178bhp 1.8-litre TSI engine which performs well on the road.

The cleanest engine in the line-up is the 1.6-litre TDI diesel which can average 74mpg and emits less than 100g/km of CO2. It also makes it a realistic choice for company car drivers, qualifying for a low BIK rate. The most powerful diesel available is the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI unit which also has a low CO2 emissions figure of 106g/km.

Three equipment levels

As per the five-door Leon, there are three trim grades: S, SE and the range-topping FR, which features sportier styling and suspension settings.

S models are pretty basic but SE models are quite well-equipped and will form the bulk of SC sales. Top FR trim variants gain large alloy wheels, restyled bumpers and the most powerful engine options.

To find out if it’s the car for you, read on for our full SEAT Leon SC review.

Parkers Ratings

Overall

4.5 out of 5

Performance

4 out of 5

Handling

5 out of 5

Comfort

3.5 out of 5

Practicality

4.5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

4 out of 5

Safety

4.5 out of 5

Reliability

5 out of 5

Running costs

5 out of 5

Green credentials

5 out of 5

Buying new

4.5 out of 5

Buying used

4.5 out of 5

Selling

4.5 out of 5

Equipment

5 out of 5

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