Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New Leon Has Loads of Style

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

New Leon Has Loads of Style

Article excerpt

Byline: Stewart Smith

SEAT believes it is entering a new era with the introduction of its all-new Leon five-door hatchback early next year. It's the third generation of the Spanish manufacturer's mid-size family car which is based on its parent company's Golf.

Much of the underpinnings and engineering are shared with the new Golf from SEAT's parent company VW but its styling, to my mind, is much better.

It has a more dynamic sporting character than the German motor with a classy front end and nicely contoured rear, and the interior has been completely revamped with a better layout than before and higher quality materials used.

Every engine in the new Leon range is new and SEAT claims the TDI diesel and TSI petrol units are the best in their class in fuel consumption and emissions. The likely biggest seller in the UK could be the Leon 1.6 TDI with a standard stop-start system - its average fuel consumption is claimed at 74.3 mpg and with just 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre it will be exempt from road tax.

I drove this particular model on a demanding route taking in city driving, motorways and twisty mountain roads in Spain and was very impressed.

I also had a brief run out with the 1.4 petrol TSI which has 140 bhp on offer and it performed pretty well, with plenty of strong pulling power. SEAT claims you could get around 53 mpg out of it on average. It tops out at 131 mph and accelerates from rest to 62 mph in just 8.2 seconds - so it's no slouch.

When the new SEAT goes on sale in the UK in March the engines on offer will include 1.2, 1.4 and 1.8 TSI petrol units and 1.6 and 2.0 TDI oil-burners, with a choice of 6-speed manual and 5-speed DAG automatic gearboxes.

Trim levels, and a wide choice of optional extras, will be S, SE and FR.

The new Leon is around 90kg lighter than the previous model and its handling and road holding have been improved a lot. …

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