4.5 out of 5 4.5
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Spanish Golf alternative is stylish and great value

SEAT Leon Hatchback (13 on) - rated 4.5 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £18,720 - £31,310
Used price £3,445 - £23,585
Used monthly cost £86 - £589
Fuel Economy 35.8 - 57.6 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £200
Insurance group 12 - 36 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Most engines are fuel efficient
  • But also offer strong performance
  • Interior is well-built and well-designed

CONS

  • High boot lip hinders access slightly
  • Touchscreen media system can be fiddly
  • Suspension is on the firm side

SEAT Leon Hatchback rivals

Written by Tom Goodlad on

The SEAT Leon is the Spanish firm’s answer to a range of competitive family hatchbacks, using tried-and-tested mechanical components shared with the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia, but wrapping it up in a sharply-styled Spanish body that helps the Leon to still look like one of the newest models out there in the hatchback segment.

The Leon comes in a wide range of engines and trim levels, with some tweaks being made to the line-up throughout its life. Changes have been made to the names of models and the engines available, but all offer a good amount of equipment as standard, and no model is particularly disappointing performance-wise.

Competition is tough though, with the impressive Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and Kia Ceed among our favourites, while those other models from the VW Group offer comfier rides and a bit more space than the Leon. If you ant some more space, the Leon ST is the estate version with a far bigger boot. 

Simple trim levels and plenty of equipment

SEAT made the front of the car a little bolder for 2017 with a remodelled bumper and grille, plus revised LED headlights, foglamps and indicators. Inside the old multimedia system was replaced by an improved unit, with a 6.5- or 8.0-inch screen depending on the trim level. The larger device saw its button count fall to just two, forcing drivers to prod the screen or use the voice control functions to change settings. The rest of the centre console was shuffled around and an electronic parking brake added, freeing up space for a larger cubby and optional wireless charging pad.

2019 SEAT Leon FR interior

There should be a trim level to suit all as well, with no less than eight available: SESE DynamicFRFR Black EditionXcellence and Xcellence Lux, plus the top-spec Cupra and Cupra Lux models. All come with a generous amount of standard equipment - more for your money than you'd get in an equivalent VW Golf, with Leon FR models adding a more aggressive look to bridge the gap between regular models and the Cupra line-up. The Xcellence models are more focused on comfort and luxury.

Passenger and luggage space

The third-generation Leon offers a practical interior hiding behind its sharp lines, with enough space for four adults or a young family, and a well-shaped 380-litre boot (a match for the VW Golf and Audi A3 Sportback). The wheelbase is also slightly longer than the old car to give more room for rear-seat passengers. The SEAT Leon is also cheaper than many of its rivals, boasts plenty of standard equipment and comes with a range of fuel efficient, low CO2-emitting engines. Finance rates for the Leon also compare favourably against rivals, with low monthly payments on SEAT’s PCP offer.

TSI and TDI engine range impresses

Taking full advantage of the Volkswagen Group’s cache of engines, the SEAT Leon boasts a wide range of petrol and diesel units. The 115hp 1.0-litre TSI kicks off the turbocharged petrol range, supplemented by a 1.5-litre TSI Evo engine with a choice of 130hp and 150hp outputs. There is a pair of TDI diesels, including the entry-level 1.6-litre with 115hp and a 2.0-litre with 150hp. There's a choice of manual and DSG automatic gearboxes available across the range and, whichever you specify, they work with precision. All engines provide impressive performance, so you won't be disappointed with any of the powertrains on offer. 

Leon Cupra sits at the top of the line-up 

At the top of the range is the Leon Cupra, a car that's SEAT's equivalent to the Volkswagen Golf R, producing 290hp. This car has been developed continuously during the Leon's life, and it is the fastest car SEAT has ever built. Along with that 290hp power figure is a healthy 380Nm of torque, with this particular model being driven via the front wheels (all-wheel drive is only available on the ST estate) and a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Up to 300hp was available, but the Leon's range updates over the course of a few years have altered the power output slightly. 

Read on for our full verdict on the SEAT Leon hatchback to see if it's still worth a look over its rivals.

Dealwatch special

Our leasing partner, ZenAuto, is offering Seat Leons from £272 per month. The usual terms and conditions apply.*

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*These deals are indicative examples of some packages available as of 2 January 2020 but are subject to change without prior notice. Everyone's financial circumstances are different, and the availability of credit is subject to status. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically. Bauer Consumer Media Limited is an appointed representative of ZenAuto Limited for the broking of regulated hire agreements. ZenAuto Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ZenAuto Limited's registered office is Number One, Great Exhibition Way, Kirkstall Forge, Leeds LS5 3BF. ZenAuto Limited's company registration number is 10967345. ZenAuto is the trading name of ZenAuto Limited. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.

SEAT Leon Hatchback rivals

Other SEAT Leon models: