SEAT Leon review - a Golf fighter at every level - SEAT Leon performance and 0-60 time

SEAT's Leon is much more than a Volkswagen Golf understudy

Evo rating
Price
from £20,000
  • Neat styling, spacious interior, tidy handling, economy
  • Interior a touch plain and dark, high rear boot lip

Discounting the high-performance Cupra 300 models - which dismiss the 0-62mph sprint in only 5.7 seconds - Leon performance is still perfectly competitive throughout the range.

All versions of the Leon will crack 0-62mph in under ten seconds - the slowest is the 1.6 TDI ST estate, which needs 9.9 seconds for the benchmark test. The difference between the two body styles is typically around two to three tenths when tested against the stopwatch - little enough that you'll struggle to notice in regular driving.

The 1.2-litre TSI petrol models just dip under ten seconds (9.9sec as the five-door hatch) and Leons only get quicker from there - the 1.4-litre TSI will get you to 62mph in 7.9 seconds (whether you opt for the six-speed manual or the seven-speed DSG). It'll do 134mph too, where the law allows, obviously....

Step up to the 1.8-litre TSI and you won't see any great increase in the benchmark sprint (7.1sec if you opt for the DSG 'box) but top speed rises to 138mph (139mph for the DSG) and you'll gain in mid-range performance too.

The quickest diesel is the 2.0 TDI 184, which reaches 62mph in 7.8sec and tops out at 142mph, though the real benefit of the torquey diesel lump is strong low- to mid-range performance combined with surprising economy if you temper your speed. Even the 1.6-litre TDI feels lively enough, as long as you prepared to make use of the five-speed gearbox and keep the engine spinning around the 184lb ft torque peak.

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