SEAT Leon review - a Golf fighter at every level - SEAT Leon design

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

The Leon has recently been given it's mid-life touch up, but the changes are so minor it would take a true anorak to pick them out. The thing is though, the Leon was such a sound design in the first place it still looks fresh, even in the presence of newer rivals.

Still sat on a good set of proportions, the SEAT is sharply detailed and outgrows its Golf on a budget image with aplomb. Basic S models can look a bit weedy on steel wheels, but from there up, especially in FR or Cupra trim, the SEAT totally pulls off a fun and youthful vibe. The LED headlamp upgrade on SE and FR models is well worth the extra outlay as it offers both excellent night vision and distinctive daylight running light signatures.

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The hot Cupra shares its bodywork with the FR, so it’s attractive, but as a result looks very subtle for a hatchback boasting just under 300bhp. Only larger 19-inch wheels, the lack of foglights, ‘Cupra’ badging and dual exhaust pipes give the game away. Finally, the bright colour packs available on the previous pre-facelift model have yet to be transferred into the new model, giving you less personalisation options, itself not necessarily a bad thing.

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