Experience the thrill of driving every month with evo magazine, devoted exclusively to the greatest performance cars in the world. If you're passionate about performance cars then evo is your ultimate monthly read.
SEAT Leon Supercopa TDI review
What is it?
The SEAT Leon Supercopa, a run-out special for the Spanish Golf that’s stuffed to bursting point with equipment. Based on the Leon FR+ warm hatch, engine choices are a 168bhp 2-litre TDI and 208bhp 2-litre TSI petrol. The former, tested here, costs £22,535 before options.
There’s a host of extra equipment to help shuffle Leons out of the showroom; as with the FR+, bi-xenon headlights, a touchscreen media and satnav system and sports seats are standard fit, while the Supercopa adds a World Touring Car inspired bodykit and bold 18in alloy wheels (which look like they’ll be a challenge to clean).
Under the skin, as with other fast Leons, VW’s XDS electronic faux-differential is standard fit, and helps meter out the TDI’s abundant low-down torque as you exit corners. Transmission options are a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG twin-clutcher.
What’s it like to drive?
As with the FR+, it’s a tidy thing to drive and smooth, brisk progress is easily sustained via the turbodiesel’s shove and light, accurate steering. It’s a little bit uninteresting, though – it lacks the feedback and rewards of other hot hatches, such as a VW Golf GTI or Renaultsport Megane. But neither of those can offer a claimed 55mpg and easily attained 45mpg.
It’s a car that’s feeling its age a bit now though, having been on sale since 2005. The usual quick Leon downsides – fiddly ride over urban roads, coarse tyre roar at speed, over-servoed brakes – are all present. But with an equivalently engined and specced Golf GTD costing well over £25,000, the Leon offers as good a value as ever.
How does it compare?
The similarly good value but more staid Skoda Octavia vRS and more expensive and polished Golf GTI and GTD both possess the same petrol, diesel, manual and DSG combinations as the SEAT. Outside the VW group, the nearest rival is the recently launched Ford Focus Zetec S, with 161bhp diesel and 178bhp petrol options and near identical pricing. It looks and feels far newer than the Leon, but isn’t any more stimulating to drive.
Anything else I need to know?
It looks very smart, the Supercopa, but with the Leon FR+ being otherwise identical – and £750 less – the value of its bodykit is your call.
|Engine||1968cc, 4-cyl, turbo|
|Max power||168bhp @ 4200rpm|
|Max torque||258lb ft @ 1750-2500rpm|