SWAPPING a 4-door SEAT Leon 1.6 diesel hatch for a 1.4 petrol coupe the big questions seemed to be – will the sums stack up using a petrol engined car for my kind of mileage (around 25,000 a year), and how will we all come to terms with a 2-door? That is to say Sports Coupe?
50 miles later it was more a case of trying to keep a straight face and, frankly, not thinking too deeply on either of these terribly sensible considerations.
this car is fun – sports car performance on the cheap
Fact is, this car is fun; sports car performance on the cheap, and far far better to drive than I imagined a little 1.4 could get.
It’s quicker by a full second to 62mph than a 1.6i MINI Cooper for example, not something the average punter would ever imagine. (The SEAT undercuts the MINI on emissions too – so the company car tax rate is only 15%.)
‘Course if you look below the skin it’s not so surprising. The engine (and other important bits like the chassis) is also found in more illustrious seeming stuff like the Audi A3. It isn’t big, but it generates 140PS. And as a last comparison, that’s not just more than the MINI, it’s more than a real sports car like a Mazda MX-5 too.
And not remotely raucous. Very demure it sounds, and it stays the same even as you whiz through the speed limit which you have to be very careful not to do.
So all in all the SEAT Leon SC (Sports Coupe) has been very pleasant surprise.
Added to which, all this fun was coming with around 43mpg.