SEAT Leon SC: Graeme's big mistake

  • Our SEAT Leon changes hands, after Graeme slips up during arm-wrestle
  • New custodian Debbie is jumping for joy at thought of time with our Leon
  • Continues to impress everyone in the office who drives it

Graeme: I’ll admit it’s been a while since I’ve spent anytime at the gym – well time not just sat in the café working up a sweat with a burger anyway – but even I wasn’t expecting this. I blame the accident for my weakness. Face well and truly saved…

Whatever the reason, the end result is rather devastating, and it means I’ve lost the keys to our SEAT Leon SC. I don’t mean down the drain, behind the cupboard or in my jeans pocket, but handed over to Senior Staff Writer Debbie. Our Leon’s new custodian.

All because she beat me at an arm-wrestle.

I know.

It’s not all bad of course; I’ve taken delivery of my new long term testcar. A Skoda Octavia vRS estate, affectionately known in the Parkers office as the Custard Wagon. It might be bright, big, economical and surprisingly quick, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to miss the Leon.

There’s been few cars on our Long term fleet that have impressed the team so wholeheartedly as this one. The only other recent car to do so was its predecessor, our diesel five-door Leon.

SEAT Leon

That’s testament to the SEAT’s long list of qualities. We might have chosen ours in a sober shade of grey (with grey alloys to embrace the monotone further) but it’s a car that I couldn’t resist looking back at when parked. The sharp creases, sleek curves and LED headlights make it one of the most attractive mainstream cars on sale.

It wasn’t style over substance either, as while the cabin couldn’t match a VW Golf for ultimate quality, it came closer than any other SEAT before it. The optional Alcantara and leather seats lifted the ambience further, and it was loaded with kit too.

And then there’s the engine, a turbocharged petrol unit that managed to mix surprising performance with decent economy and low emissions. With the sporty FR chassis and six-speed manual gearbox it made our warm hatch an absolute joy to drive, with plenty of grip, feedback and balance. All the while offering a smooth and comfortable ride on longer journeys.

And now it’s gone, and Debbie’s got the keys in her grasp.  Knew we should have made it the best of three…

SEAT Leon SC 1.8 TSI FR

Debbie: Girl power!

Whoever said men are stronger than women clearly need to get their facts straight.

Ok I’ll admit that I may have caught Graeme on an off day because I don't have muscles like Jodie Marsh, but you can be sure that I will be gloating loudly about this victory for the next few weeks.

And what a prize! The SEAT Leon SC is not only great to look at but, but ours comes in the Spanish brand's performance FR trim, meaning sharp handling and top of the range equipment levels. Oh and let us not forget the turbocharged petrol engine I’ve heard so much about.

SEAT Leon FR

First impressions are good, having admired the Leon SC in the car park for some time. Plus our test car has many of my favourite features including heated seats, dual-zone air conditioning and DAB Radio.

A weekend trip to Blackpool is pending which will be a good opportunity to see if the Leon SC is really as good as Graeme says.

If my first impressions are anything to go on, I doubt I’ll risk a rematch if it’s the Leon SC keys Graeme wants. Yet if he’s willing to gamble the Custard Wagon, it could be quite enjoyable to watch him catch the bus for his 120-mile commute.