What is it?
Believe it or not, this is the face-lifted version of the SEAT’s Volkswagen Golf rival in the form of the SEAT Leon 1.0 TSi Ecomotive SE Technology five-door.
With the current model celebrating its fifth birthday this year, SEAT has taken the opportunity to upgrade the tech, increase the safety, tweak the already sharp styling and fit new engines including this downsized 1.0-litre that we have here to test.
With the diesel stigma, could this small family turbocharged petrol Leon be the sensible business choice in the new, facelifted range?
We took it for a spin to find out.
- That refined and new to Leon 113bhp, turbocharged 1.0-litre TSi three-cylinder engine, which also boasts an impressive 200Nm of torque. Okay this engine might be small in size but it feels mighty in performance and like the Golf we tried earlier, feels sprightlier than the 113bhp SEAT rates it at. Then there’s the 9.6 sec 0-62mph time which is slightly quicker than the Volkswagen. However, it’s not just performance of this engine that impresses – it’s the smooth, willing overall feel to this engine. Well-mated to a slick, six-speed manual transmission, emissions are 102g/kg while consumption is 64.2mpg.
- 113bhp doesn’t sound like much, but this engine makes this Leon feel very light on its wheels and has had an even more positive effect on this SEAT hatch’s already polished dynamics. The ride on the SE Technology’s standard 16-inch alloys and comfort suspension is impressively refined, yet in the corners it remains a tidy handler.
- Inside, SEAT has wisely left the Leon’s stylish and spacious interior well alone in the facelift. Look closer and there’s now an electric parking brake and the latest larger eight-inch touchscreen.
- The SE Technology trim also has plenty of standard kit including heated, electrically-operated door mirrors, air-conditioning, remote central locking and cruise control.
- Like the interior, we’re pleased to say they have left the Leon’s already sharp-looking styling looks pretty unchanged. On closer look, SEAT has re-styled the front bumper, plus front and rear lights. On our test car the front lights were LED lit, along with the fog lights and daytime running lights.
- This 1.0-litre TSi petrol might be small and mighty, but you find speed drops quickly and rather than one downshift, with this car you often have to make two to keep up the speed. We wonder if there would be more problems if this Leon was fully loaded up.
- The standard 5-inch touchscreen looks and works well, but we wish it had sat-nav.
Verdict on SEAT Leon 1.0 TSi Ecomotive SE Technology five-door
We reckon the 1.0-litre TSI version of the face-lifted SEAT Leon could be the pick of the standard range. The downsized 1.0-litre TSi petrol has a lot to offer including impressive performance, consumption, emissions and a keen drive.
These traits, along with the keen drive, plus sharp interior and exterior styling and quality build, could make this the better value option than Volkswagen Golf with the same engine for business buyers.