New SEAT Leon revealed

  • New sub-100g/km engine in line-up
  • Fuel efficient eco diesel to return 74.3mpg
  • New look, new chassis, new SEAT badge

SEAT has announced an all-new version of its popular hatchback, the Leon.

The first car wearing the firm’s new badge, the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf rival enters its third generation with a host of new technology, a total redesign and a range of efficient engines offering low running costs.

Company car drivers will be pleased to see a sub-100g/km model. The Ecomotive version uses a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine, which generates 104bhp and 250Nm while returning CO2 emissions of 99g/km and a claimed fuel economy of 74.3mpg on the combined cycle.

The other diesel engines include a 2.0-litre which is capable of 148bhp and 320Nm, and a claimed 70.6mpg on the combined cycle. Another more powerful 2.0-litre diesel will arrive later, making 181bhp and 380Nm. There will also be a 1.6-litre diesel with 89bhp.

In terms of petrol engines, early 2013 will see the inclusion of a 1.2-litre petrol engine available with either 85bhp or 104bhp. There will be a 1.4-litre with 120bhp and also a 1.8-litre with 178bhp.

Gearbox options will be a choice of five- or six-speed manuals and six- or seven-speed DSG twin clutch systems, depending on the engine configuration you choose.

The new Leon gets a totally redesigned chassis along with a raft of new driver assistance systems. There’s technology which detects the driver getting drowsy, full beam assistant (which flicks the main beam headlights off when a car is detected in front) and a lane-keeping assistant (which makes slight corrections to the power-assisted steering to prevent the car from straying out of its lane).

SEAT will install its Easy Connect multimedia system into the Leon. This takes the form of a touch-screen in the cockpit, which is then coupled to one of several media systems depending on which trim you choose. The Media System Touch gets a CD player with SD card slot, four speakers and a five-inch touch screen. The Media System Colour includes a better screen, six speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux-in. The Media System Plus adds iPod connectivity, DAB, voice recognition, eight speakers and sat nav. Then there’s the SEAT Sound System, which upgrades to ten speakers and a sub-woofer.

In terms of practicality, the new Leon gains 40 litres over its predecessor, with 380 litres available behind the rear seats. The wheelbase is also slightly longer, affording occupants more interior space.

There’s no word on prices or trim levels for the UK yet, but we’d expect to see more of the new Leon at the Paris Motor Show in September.