This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest SEAT Leon Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The SEAT is seen as a cheaper alternative to the Volkswagen Golf and this does show somewhat in the interior. It lacks the soft touch materials used in the Volkswagen and although build quality is excellent it doesn't exude the upmarket feel of its German rival with some hard plastics. It's more stylish though, with a sporty steering wheel, circular air vents and clear dials.

The thick windscreen pillars hamper visibility however - especially when driving in town. In 2009 the Leon was facelifted and the interior given a significant overhaul. There steering wheel, instrument dials, air conditioning and stereo controls were all upgraded, giving it a far more upmarket feel and modern appearance.

This Leon is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, resulting in improved interior space. While there's no shortage of headroom, three six-footers would be fighting for shoulder and legroom in the rear, but two adults or three kids fit easily. The front offers enough space for most shapes and sizes and although the seats are rather firm they are also very supportive, particularly those in the Sport models.

The firm ride can affect comfort levels though - especially on cars with sports suspension and larger alloy wheels. Revised models from mid-2009 (you can spot them by the more angular rear lights) have an improved suspension set-up and the ride quality is noticeably smoother as a result.