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The Top Gear car review: Seat Leon
Running costs and reliability
Seat’s shifted 2.2 million Leons since 1999 and over a quarter of a million of those found homes in the UK because there’s a lot to be said for a good-looking machine based on the underpinnings of a very highly-regarded different car. But despite sharing much DNA with the Golf, don’t expect the Leon to return quite the same bulletproof residuals as its German cousins.
But build quality feels stellar and the mechanicals are all tried-and-tested VW Group fare, so there’s little to fear. It’s well priced, too. The Leon undercuts the equivalent Golf by around ten per cent, with prices starting from £19,855 for an SE model with the 108bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. And a couple of grand isn’t to be sniffed at in this market.
The engines are as economical as in the Golf too, and so are very fuel-efficient indeed. But if finance is more your thing, Seat quotes a representative PCP lease price of £195 per month, based on a 4% APR rate and a £1000 deposit contribution. And people will know you’ve fostered the Golf’s new Spanish cousin courtesy of a massive “Hola!” puddle light that we couldn’t help shouting in an Alan Partridge voice each time we opened the door.
Later there’ll be a total of six individual trims to choose from: SE, SE Dynamic, FR, FR Sport, Xcellence or Xcellence Lux. The sportier-looking FR is the current range-topper and starts at £23,185 with the posher specs coming later down the line. And grafting on a bigger boot to make an estate adds £1030 to the price, but be aware that it can’t be had with the base 1.0 TSI engine. Oh, and insurance is good too, with the SE models rated as 18E, rising to 22E for the FR.