SEAT Leon Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

The SEAT Leon is an affordable hatchback that’s currently in its fourth generation, having been first launched back in 1998. When it comes to convenience and performance, it can reliably go toe-to-toe with its rivals, and the latest 2020 re-vamp brings a sleek and sophisticated feel to its exterior. Available as a 1-litre or 1.5-litre petrol engine – as well as a 2-litre diesel engine – the SEAT Leon brings a new edge to your urban commute by combining family practicality with style and a smidge of adventure.

Visit the SEAT Leon model page to explore available cars and learn more about the model

What we think about the SEAT Leon

Fun and comfortable to drive, stylish to look at and practical enough to suit all kinds of driving needs, the Leon is an impressive family hatchback.

Pros

+

Smooth feeling on the road

+

Good looks

+

Attractive pricing

Cons

Slightly weak engines

The 2020 SEAT Leon has a few different trims, all of which feature a turbo-charged engine, with the entry-level petrol version having a 1-litre variant. The Leon achieved an excellent safety rating, and its fuel efficiency is impressive, particularly considering the good level of performance that the engine provides.

Driving performance of the Seat Leon

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

The Leon’s an enjoyable car to take around town and on the motorway, though its off-roading capability is a little lacking. It feels good to drive, with direct, responsive steering and excellent grip. The smooth suspension can handle drastic surface changes and potholes well, and the six-speed gearbox is easy to shift, with a firm mechanical action. All running relatively quietly, the different engines are each speedy enough to overtake vehicles easily, and it has a tight turning circle for effective cornering around city streets and country lanes.

Safety and reliability of the Seat Leon

Our Safety Rating8 / 10

The 2012 version of the SEAT Leon scored a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and with the updates made to the 2020 iteration, we’re confident it’ll see another five-star rating once it’s been tested. Most recently, it achieved 94% for adult protection, and 92% for the protection of child passengers. As for safety features, standard additions include a driver tiredness recognition system as well as automatic lights and wipers. For peace of mind on cluttered metropolitan streets, the City Emergency Brake function automatically recognises pedestrians and stops the car as needed.

Under the bonnet of the Seat Leon

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

The latest SEAT Leon is available with petrol, diesel, mild hybrid and e-Hybrid engines, ranging from 1-litre to 2-litres. Its basic 1-litre petrol engine has three cylinders and provides a decent 113 bhp. A 1.5-litre version is also available on higher trims, and it can hit 62 mph from standing in as little as 8.2 seconds. There’s also a 1.6-litre diesel, which is capable of managing 0-62 mph in 9.8 seconds. If you’re after raw power, look to the 2.0-litre petrol engine – with 286 bhp and a 0-62 time of just six seconds, it really is a lot of fun.

What you'll find in the Seat Leon

Our Design Rating9 / 10

The SEAT Leon is an impressively stylish and sophisticated vehicle for its price point. It features a number of elegant curves in the body to give it a more refined look than the average SUV, and its aesthetic is enhanced further by the metallic paint that comes as standard on all trims. With the angular look to the grille at the front and a full-width brake light at the rear, the Leon has a distinctive design that helps it stand out from the crowd – or the car park for that matter.

Comfort and interiors in the Seat Leon

Our Comfort Rating7 / 10

The Leon’s interior has quite a basic, simple design, but the high quality of its build makes it one of the car’s most impressive features. The main dashboard structure is soft to the touch, with sharp lines, large dials, and other minor touches to give it a premium aesthetic. The colour scheme is also subtly sophisticated, particularly if you have a taste for darker tones. Upgraded versions are available with customisable mood lighting and colourful stitching on the seat fabric. For road trips and weekends away, the generous 380-litre boot space should be more than enough.

What features you'll find in the Seat Leon

Our Features Rating7 / 10

Inside the cabin of the latest SEAT Leon is an eight-inch touchscreen. It’s set high on the dashboard, which makes for easy use, and it can be upgraded to ten inches as an optional extra. The basic infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to easily sync up your smartphone for expanded functionality. Besides audio and other information services, it’s worth noting that the air conditioning is also controlled through the touchscreen, so get used to navigating menus. Sat nav is offered as standard on all but the most basic trim on the new Leons.

SEAT Leon steering wheel

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Seat Leon

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

The entry-level, 1.0-litre petrol engine offers up to a respectable 53.3 mpg. Understandably, that fuel efficiency sees a noticeable drop on higher-performance models, though it’s never less than decent. The 1.5-litre engine offers 51.4 mpg, while the top-end petrol engine with a 2.0-litre capacity dips to around 38.7 mpg. If you’re one to put a lot of miles on the clock, the 1.6-litre diesel engine might be the one for you with an average of up to 58.9 miles for every gallon.

Running costs of the Seat Leon

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

Decent fuel efficiency means that the SEAT Leon shouldn’t cost you too much to keep on the road. The car’s turbo-boosted engines make it slightly more expensive to insure than some other hatchbacks, although these costs are still relatively low, partly due to its high safety rating. In the UK, SEAT provides a two-year unlimited warranty, and a third year up to 60,000 miles. Honestly, this is a bit stingier than some other manufacturers’ packages, and servicing costs can be quite high – but the Leon’s great reliability record helps to compensate.

Our verdict of the Seat Leon

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

The SEAT Leon offers an impressive combination of performance and style, making it one of the more attractive urban-focused, family hatchbacks on the market.