Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Seat Leon SC Fr 2.0 Tdi

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Seat Leon SC Fr 2.0 Tdi

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Donaldson

MORE and more motorists want a car that stands out but doesn't bring a costly downside to this desire for style.

That's why you see so many SUVs around today; cars that ape the look of a rugged off-roader without the cash penalty that comes from running a pukka go-anywhere machine.

And that's the same thinking that went into the car you see here. It's a svelte coupe whose elegantly sculpted lines might hint at high running costs but really represents no more of a cash drain than many a plainer machine.

Indeed, in the precise model I drove, it could almost count as a practical economy car rather than coupe, countering its pleasing shape with room for adults in the rear, a big boot and economy that tops 50mpg without trying.

The Leon family comes in a variety of shapes, from plain hatchback Leon (albeit with hidden rear door handles for a semi-coupe look), through ST estate, to the SC coupe tested here.

Under their bonnets sit a comprehensive choice of petrol and diesel engines drawn from the reserves of the VW Group, parent to Spanishbased SEAT, along with Audi and VW itself in Germany and Skoda in the Czech Republic.

There's much fun to be had with the bang-up-to-date petrol engines on offer, and which lead off the Leon ST range at PS15,550 for a nippy 1.2-litre version. The range is topped off, at nearly twice the price (PS28,230) by the storming, 155mph Cupra.

Sitting about mid-table in the SC range is this diesel version, tagged FR (for Formula Racing) and kitted out with stiffer suspension, bigger alloy wheels, sports front seats, a thick leather wrapped steering wheel and dual zone climate control.

Helping it stand out from a slightly lesser SE spec'd car are dark tinted rear windows, chunkier front and rear bumpers. LED tail lights, twin chromed exhaust pipe and alloy trims on the door sills. …

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