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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Seat Leon

Overall verdict
Seat’s strongest car in a long time, the Leon is now a Golf-baiting player.


Well-built, well-priced with plenty of fresh VW Group tech underneath.


Dash looks a little bare, doesn't have a VW badge on its nose


What is it?

The Seat Leon is Spain’s attempt to out-Golf the Golf. In the past, buyers who wanted something Golf-ish for a bit less money have tended to buy, erm, a second-hand Golf, but the third-generation Leon – based on the same spangly MQB platform as the MkVII Golf and the new Audi A3 – might finally be the car to lure budget-conscious hatch buyers from the German end of the new car market.

For a start, it certainly looks more distinctive than the hyperconservative Golf, with sharp swage lines and pointy door mirrors. The three-door SC looks particularly sharp, while the Seat Leon Cupra is a consummate hot hatch and the Seat Leon X-Perience is a polished attempt on the crossover market.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
2.0 TSI 290 Cupra Lux [EZ] 5dr DSG
6.0s 149g/km 43.5 290 £32,250
The cheapest
1.0 TSI SE [EZ] 5dr
9.8s 105g/km 58.9 115 £18,645
The greenest
1.6 TDI SE [EZ] 5dr
9.8s 100g/km 67.3 115 £19,835