This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest SEAT Leon Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

All units are refined. The 1.4 offers adequate performance and the 1.6 copes quite well with day-to-day driving, but both have to be worked hard on the motorway. The GTi-bashing 1.8 20v and Cupra are very quick and offer plenty of mid-range pull, but 1.8T is the best real-world performance option. The diesels are all modern, quiet running and plenty of torque despite a slight clatter during start-up.

Last-of-line 1.9 with 150bhp has almost too much pulling power.

The body is well controlled and the steering is quick, making it a better drive than the Golf that it’s based upon and more appealing to keen drivers. But at lower speeds the ride isn’t quite as composed, but this is less of a problem at motorway speeds. Traction control works overtime when you try to get frisky. Otherwise, it’s safe, predictable and very un-Golf like.