SEAT Leon SC : Weekend at Blackpool

  • We drive our SEAT Leon SC all the way to Blackpool
  • Three-door SC's practicality better than expected
  • Comfort levels are well up to the task of long journeys

Until now, I’ve only managed to take the Leon SC for a few short drives since I won the keys from Graeme in that memorable arm wrestle but I've been instantly impressed with our test car's pace and handling. Although it’s not billed as performance car (the SEAT Leon Cupra gets that title), the Leon SC still has some impressive performance credentials to its name; 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and a power output of 178bhp to name a couple.

The car is great fun to drive and as Graeme has mentioned before, the 1.8-litre petrol engine loves to rev. Quick off the mark, the car sticks to the road through the corners and offers plenty of feedback though the steering – it’s been a joy to drive.

So it will come as no surprise that I was pretty eager to put a long trip in the diary so I could get more time behind the wheel.

The perfect opportunity came along recently when my partner suggested we take a weekend trip to the sunny seaside town of Blackpool.

Blackpool is a good 400-mile round trip from where I live and the journey is made up of a mixture of country lanes and motorways - a perfect test route.

So with my bags backed I was ready for a weekend filled with seaside fish and chips, arcades and pubs, not forgetting the infamous Big One rollercoaster.

The Leon is a small three-door hatchback so I didn’t have particularly high expectations when it came to practicality. However I was pleasantly surprised and found the car very capable. I'm not known for travelling light and the Leon’s 380 litres of boot space on paper just didn’t quite seem enough to me. I was happy to be proved wrong however (it doesn’t happen often), with all our luggage easily fitting inside.

Stopping at the services is inevitable on a long journey and grabbing a coffee or two is the norm in my house. I can’t tell you how many cars I've driven which have cup holders that are not big or secure enough to house a big Costa coffee cup.

Thankfully the Leon SC was more than up to the job with two large cup holders for those travelling in the front.

When you are travelling long distances comfort levels become a lot more important and the Leon SC proved excellent while cruising on the motorway. Engine noise is pretty non-existent and the suspension managed to soak up most of the potholes and bumps despite the car's large wheels.

We arrived in Blackpool after what felt like only 20 miles on the road, not 200. I was deeply impressed with how the Leon SC captivated my attention during the drive - we didn’t need to resort to a round of Eye Spy to pass the time.

Although the Leon’s Monsoon Grey paintwork is not the most eye catching, the LED headlamps and 18-inch alloy wheels turned many heads as we cruised through the centre of Blackpool towards our hotel.  

It is very rare that I look forward to the journey home, especially when there are 200 miles to cover, but this weekend proved to be the exception to that rule.

Mileage: 6531

Consumption: 35.88mpg (calc.)