Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy a SEAT Leon?

You know the drill. The sharply-styled hatch remains as spacious and practical as it did before, with a generous level of equipment and a good range of punchy engines. While the previous model had the visual appeal, it didn’t necessarily translate into a fun drive to match.

This time though, the Leon genuinely drives well enough to be rival for the Ford Focus, and you get a nicer and brighter interior with a full colour touchscreen as well. The fitment of the digital dials will appeal to some drivers too, over the Ford’s traditional dials. The Focus is still the most spacious and fun to drive though, if those are high on your list of priorities, while the Skoda Octavia will offer even more space and comfort. As before, the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3 will feel a little more mature, with a plusher interior and slightly better refinement, but they will be pricey as well.

When it comes to engines, the 130hp 1.5 TSI petrol is hard to beat, combining strong levels of performance and running costs. The top-of-the-range mild-hybrid eTSI model may be better suited to those who spend a lot of their time driving in urban environments, where the short dose of electrical assitance will be most useful, but this is a pricey option.

Those wanting a high-powered diesel engine may be a little disappointed, but as it currently stands, if you want a diesel Leon at all, it’s only available in hatchback form and not with the Estate.

SEAT expect the 1.0-litre TSI SE Dynamic to be the most favoured by company car drivers for its balance of low running costs and equipment levels, while those seeking a performance version will have to wait for the Cupra Leon arriving later in 2020.

However, the new model is a step-change in its under-the-bonnet and driver-assistance technology. The plug-in hybrid model should add massive appeal – and if the popularity of the old Volkswagen Golf GTE is anything to go by, there may well end up being a long queue forming for one. For those looking for a family car bristling with the latest tech, and with great looks to match, the SEAT Leon is well worth looking into.

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