*sort of. But who cares how tenuous the party is, when the cake looks this good?
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The Top Gear car review: Seat Leon
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
Over the last few years Seat has worked hard to raise the Leon’s cabin towards Golf quality, and for the most part the results have been successful. But this one is super Golf-y, largely because it is the new Golf’s simplified, minimalist interior. There are subtle textures and material changes, but nasty hard-touch plastics are a thing of the past on the dash top, and the seats and stitching are smart.
All but the base models get a 10.25-inch customisable digital binnacle display and you can spec either an 8 or 10-inch freestanding display. We have to admit, that looks a bit rogue – like the designers just plonked it there. Surrounding it aren’t many buttons, as it’s 2020 and apparently they’re banned. So you have to do with irritating swipe, slide and touch buttons and displays for even the simplest tasks such as increasing the cabin temperature or turning up the radio.
Compared to previous Leons that could feel meagerly specced even when loaded with kit, the new infotainment system, ambient lighting and introduction of connective tech makes the Leon feel properly grown-up and more premium. There’s speech recognition, gesture control, Car2X connectivity, USB-free Apple CarPlay, a pair of USB-C ports in the rear, wireless smartphone charging and the new Seat Connect app, which provides remote access to driving data, can lock and unlock the doors, sends an alert if the car has been stolen and can sound the horn. Just in case you want to annoy your neighbours while inside.
The extra length added to the wheelbase also helps the cabin feel spacious, providing plenty of legroom for lanky types in the back. If you opt for DSG models, this volume is accentuated thanks to the nubby, pebble-like shift-by-wire gear selector that frees up space on the centre console.