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Cork Independent

Motors

Seat Leon: a seriously high-class hatch

Thursday, 29th October, 2020 10:18am

The new Leon is something of a deceptive car. Glance at a photo of one and you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s actually a Ford Focus, or maybe a Hyundai i30.

On a flat, 2D image the lines of the Leon simply don’t come through. See it in person, though, and that all changes. You can see the chiselling, you can perceive the implied muscle in the styling. It’s actually a really handsome machine.

Step inside and you’ll find one of Seat’s best cabins yet. Not only is it topped off with a big, bright, touchscreen in the centre of the dash, but it also looks and feels like truly high-quality item. It’s comfortable, spacious, and a very pleasant place in which to while away a long journey.

The engines are excellent, too. The 2.0 litre diesel options may have fallen out of fashion, but the 1.0 TSI and 1.5 TSI petrols are very good, and very frugal, choices, especially now that both come with the option of mild-hybrid assistance.

It’s when you drive the new Leon that you really start to love it, though. It has much sharper steering than the other three, similarly-sized VW Group cars (the Golf, the Audi A3, and the Skoda Octavia) and so is far more entertaining on the move than they are.

The only downside is that the big touchscreen can be rather fiddly to use, and the touch-sensitive ‘slider’ controls for cabin heat are maddeningly awkward. Oh, and don’t spec it with 18 inch alloys or you’ll find the ride way too hard. Other than that, the new Leon is a seriously high-class hatch.Neil Briscoe

neil.briscoe@mac.com

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