SEAT Leon MY18

 SEAT Leon range: at a glance

  • Third-generation SEAT Leon was brand new from the ground up. Introduced as a five-door hatchback at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, with three-door SC and ST estate versions following (Geneva 2013 and Frankfurt 2013 respectively)
  • Significant revisions introduced across New Leon range (UK showroom launch February 2017), including revised exterior styling, new trim levels, equipment (particularly safety and technology) and new powertrains, including new 1.0 TSI engine and increased power for the 1.4 Eco TSI and 1.6 TDI units
  • New styling introduces a lower, wider bonnet, revised front bumper and wider, more prominent trapezoidal front grille
  • Range-topping Leon CUPRA 300 versions – SC, five-door and ST – gain 10 PS power hike to 300 PS and crucial increase in torque from 350 to 380 Nm, on tap across broad rev range
  • Leon ST CUPRA gains added traction and handling prowess from 4Drive all-wheel drive system
  • Built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform in SEAT’s Martorell production facility
  • All Leon models designed in Martorell by a team led by SEAT Head of Design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos
  • A technological pioneer: Leon was the first family hatchback in the world to offer full-LED headlights
  • Shorter wheelbase than the previous generation Leon, but, more passenger space and luggage capacity – an extra 39 litres in the boot
  • Range of powerful, yet extremely efficient, petrol and diesel engines, all featuring Ecomotive Technology
  • Full engine line-up:
    • New (from 2017) 1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 PS (+ DSG auto)
    • 1.2 TSI 110 PS
    • 1.4 TSI 125 PS
    • 1.4 Eco TSI 150 PS (+ DSG auto)
    • 1.8 TSI 180 PS (+DSG auto)
    • 2.0 TSI 300 PS (+DSG auto)
    • 1.6 TDI 115 PS (+DSG auto)
    • 2.0 TDI 150 PS
    • 2.0 TDI 184 PS (+DSG auto)
  • Generous standard equipment list includes air conditioning, remote central locking, Media System Colour (five-inch touchscreen media system), electric door mirrors, ESC and Emergency Brake Assist
  • SEAT Drive Profile (standard on FR Technology models) allowing adjustment of steering and accelerator pedal feel three ways between Normal, Sport, Eco, plus an Individual option; Leon CUPRA adds DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) – the first adaptable suspension set-up in a SEAT
  • Wide range of new tech including Connectivity Hub (wireless charger), Traffic Jam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Available safety technology includes Multi-Collision Brake, Lane Assist and Tiredness Recognition. Front Assist, electric parking brake and Hill Hold Control all introduced (from SE Dynamic Technology upwards).
  • SEAT XDS electronic differential standard on SE Technology versions and above (with 150 PS or more); CUPRA has a mechanical front differential
  • Suspension set-up varies with power and trim:
    • All cars feature MacPherson-type front suspension
    • Versions with 150 PS or less have rear torsion beam, saving weight and keeping costs down without impacting on ride comfort
    • FR Technology 1.8 TSI 180 PS, FR Technology 2.0 TDI 184 PS and all CUPRA 300 models have independent rear suspension
    • All FR Technology cars are lowered by 15 mm from standard and have stiffer springs and dampers; CUPRA 300 lowered further (additional 10 mm front, 5 mm rear)

SEAT Leon SC: at a glance

  • Leon SC (Sports Coupé) was the second member of the new Leon family, following the launch of the five-door at the 2012 Paris Motor Show
  • SC is exclusively a sports model, comprising FR Technology, FR Titanium and CUPRA versions
  • Exterior redesigned from the A-pillars back, compared to five-door Leon:
    • Different tailgate design incorporates a more sharply raked rear screen
    • Sharp creases (blisters) over the rear wheel arches are more pronounced
    • Rear three-quarter windows redesigned to make the car appear more squat in side profile
    • 35 mm shorter than the five-door Leon, generating a compact, coupé-like appearance
    • Rear screen alters the slope of the roofline, making it 13 mm lower at the front, and 18.5 mm lower at the rear
  • Wheelbase reduction also lowers weight and benefits handling; the SC is up to 20 kg lighter than the Leon five-door, dependent on model
  • Leon SC loses very little practicality compared to the five-door:
    • Boot space is the same: 380 litres
    • Fractional loss of rear leg room and overall head room; Leon SC is a full five-seat car

SEAT Leon ST: at a glance

  • Leon ST (Sports Tourer) is a versatile and stylish estate built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform and launched at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show
  • Exterior redesigned from the A-pillars back, compared to the Leon SC and five-door:
    • Tailgate design incorporates a horizontal crease below the tail lights
    • Rear overhang 264 mm longer than that of the five-door Leon
    • Thin C-pillar follows the angle of the tailgate like the Leon SC’s, but unlike the five-door’s
    • Wheelbase the same as the five-door’s
  • 587-litre boot stretches to 1,470 litres with rear seats folded down
  • Despite rakish looks, Leon ST is designed for maximum load-carrying flexibility
    • Standard double boot floor
    • Optional front-folding front passenger seat increases available load space and length
    • Rear seat through-hatch for loading long, thin items
    • Retractable rear shelf, storable under the boot floor
    • Rear seat back release handles in boot
    • 13 cubby holes around the cabin; 12V socket in boot
    • Standard roof rails
  • Specification is as per the five-door, plus standard practicality flourishes mentioned above

SEAT Leon CUPRA 300: at a glance

  • Leon range flagship gains upgraded performance powertrain for 2018 model year: 10 PS increase in power to 300 PS and 30 Nm extra maximum torque
  • Raises the bar further as SEAT’s most powerful series production car
  • Available in all three Leon body styles – SC, five-door and ST. Latter gains 4Drive for first time for ultimate all-weather and versatile performance estate
  • 0-litre engine combines razor-sharp responsiveness with surprising efficiency
  • Choice of six-speed manual and six or seven-speed DSG auto transmissions
  • CUPRA 300 DSG (SC) completes 0-62 mph sprint in just 5.6 seconds, yet returns 42.2 mpg; ST with 4Drive and DSG makes it in only 4.9 seconds
  • CUPRA Drive Profile includes active suspension management – a first for a SEAT – controlled using the new DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control)
  • Electrically controlled mechanical front differential improves high speed cornering response

Leon CUPRA R (five-door only) was launched in 2017. 799 examples were confirmed, of which 24 (front-wheel-drive manual gearboxes 310PS) were allocated to the UK and sold out in just a few weeks.

Range overview

The new SEAT Leon: stunning design meets cutting-edge technology 

  • Third-generation Leon matches stunning design, outstanding quality and cutting-edge technology 
  • Longer wheelbase for improved passenger and luggage space
  • Exceptionally low running costs across the range
  • Three-strong model family comprises SC, five-door and ST

Towards the end of a record-breaking 2012, SEAT set itself up for an even better 2013 with the introduction of the all-new Leon hatchback at the Paris Motor Show. A ground-breaking model, both for the company and the motor industry itself, the Leon which emerged became arguably SEAT’s most significant car yet and virtually transformed the brand overnight.

The third-generation model followed in the tracks of its extremely successful predecessors by combining the most striking looks in the segment with outstanding driving dynamics, great value and exceptional quality. In 2017, the range underwent a series of improvements for the 2018 model year to keep it at the top of its game, further enhancing its styling, equipment specifications and performance, including new and more powerful engines.

Leon also remains a model family, comprising three distinct body styles: five-door hatchback, three-door SC, and ST estate.

Whereas the previous two generations of the car aimed to bring together sporty, coupé-like looks with the flexibility of a single, traditional five-door hatchback layout (particularly the second-generation Leon, with its ‘hidden’ rear door handles), this third-generation Leon has a significantly broader appeal and reaches a much wider customer base, strengthening its sales potential.

Development of the Leon focused on making it a class leader in every respect, from the more subjective elements of design and dynamic ‘feel’, to objective qualities such as passenger and luggage space, interior quality, fuel economy, safety and equipment levels.

For a start, it’s a genuine pioneer in the hatchback class, being the first to offer the sophisticated illumination of full-LED headlights. This cutting-edge technology was, until the Leon came along, only available as a significant cost option on luxury saloons and high-end sports cars.

Built on the Volkswagen Group’s widely vaunted MQB platform, the Leon is underpinned by a highly flexible, technologically advanced modular chassis. SEAT engineers played a significant role in the development of MQB, which is shared with the newest hatchbacks from Volkswagen Group manufacturers including the latest Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia.

On the dynamic front, the new Leon benefits from SEAT Drive Profile, which brought active chassis technology to a SEAT model for the first time. It allows drivers to select between three distinct driving modes, plus a customisable individual setting. In FR Technology versions, it’s linked to the steering, throttle, gearshift pattern (in DSG-equipped models) and engine sound (in higher powered versions), while in the CUPRA 300 models it also controls the suspension and front differential settings. 

The Leon range offers an impressive breadth of petrol and diesel powertrain options. Improvements to the line-up introduced to the 2018 model year include a new 1.0-litre Ecomotive TSI 115 PS, a highly efficient turbocharged three-cylinder unit that delivers official combined cycle benchmark figures of 102 g/km of CO2 and 64.2 mpg. It can be specified with either 6-speed manual or the sophisticated DSG automatic transmission. The 1.6 TDI unit – proven as a fleet-friendly performer – gains extra power, up from 105 to 115 PS, while still capable of up to 68.9 mpg and 108 g/km CO2 (combined cycle).

The 1.4 Eco TSI 150 PS remains a highlight of the range, its efficiency heightened by the use of Active Cylinder Shutdown technology. It gives authentic “warm hatch” performance with 0-62 mph in eight seconds, yet posts official fuel economy figures of 57.6 mpg with 114g/km CO2.

Aside from the full-LED headlights and SEAT Drive Profile, other useful technology featured in the Leon includes Multi-Collision Brake, which prevents further collisions in the aftermath of an accident by automatically applying the brakes; Tiredness Recognition, which analyses a driver's input and uses that data to detect when they are becoming tired, sounding a warning if so; Lane Assist, which applies a small amount of torque to the steering wheel to encourage the driver to take corrective steering action when drifting out of lane; and the XDS electronic limited slip differential, which applies correctional braking force to the inside front wheel during higher speed cornering, to sharpen turn-in. At the more leisurely end of the driving spectrum, an Optical Park System helps prevent low-speed bumps.

It's all wrapped in a package that's extremely practical. A full five-seater with a 380-litre boot, the Leon five-door offers significantly more space than its predecessor – including an extra 39 litres in the luggage compartment and 14 mm more head and rear knee room. It is among the most spacious cars in the family hatchback class, while the three-door Leon SC is only fractionally smaller, losing a little rear leg and head room but maintain the same boot space.

The Leon ST is, of course, the apotheosis of practicality in the Leon range, with its 587-litre boot stretching to 1,470 litres when the rear seat backs are folded flat. More than that, the standard double boot floor increases flexibility, and the cargo net offers protection when the boot is full. A through-hatch aids the loading of long, thin items, while optional seat back release handles make it even easier to drop the rear seats. 

At the launch of the third generation Leon the then SEAT President summed the car up perfectly, "an icon in our range, [that] represents the very best of SEAT: beautiful design, peerless quality, useful technology and driving fun.”

SEAT Leon CUPRA
“With the new Leon CUPRA, the SEAT brand is once more taking a major leap forward. The CUPRA is a refined, high-performance car that combines its expressive dynamics with relaxed long-distance comfort and a compelling, high-quality feel. Driving fun and great design comes with every Leon, but the new CUPRA displays SEAT expertise in a whole new dimension. We are proud of this new brand icon and certain of its success.”

That’s what former SEAT President Jürgen Stackmann said with the announcement of the new Leon CUPRA, which was unveiled officially at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. And it was not only the car itself that SEAT unveiled at the show, but the fact that a Leon CUPRA 280 had smashed the record for a front-wheel drive production car around the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, posting a 7:57.44 time. It was the first time that a front-drive unfettled production hatch had dipped below the elusive eight-minute mark.

The Leon CUPRA is a car whose development was led by the pursuit of dynamic excellence. To that end, each one comes as standard with a mechanical front axle differential lock, a progressive steering system that sharpens the turn-in for improved agility, Dynamic Chassis Control to alter the suspension settings between sportier or more comfort-oriented, and two-stage deactivation of the electronic stability control (ESC) – including the ability to turn it off entirely.

“The new Leon CUPRA is pure SEAT: emotion and performance, design and dynamics combine to deliver driving fun mile after mile. State-of-the-art technology is evident in its enormous precision, but also in its compelling efficiency,” said Dr Matthias Rabe, Vice President of SEAT S.A. for Research and Development. “The new CUPRA is a sports car for every day; it feels just as much at home on the race track as it does on the long haul.”

The CUPRA line-up has been refocused with a single, more powerful iteration of its proven 2.0 TSI engine, with output up by 10 PS to maximum 300 PS, available with six-speed manual or six-speed DSG auto transmission. CUPRA versions of all three Leon body style are available – SC, five-door and ST, the latter with added traction from 4Drive all-wheel drive.

The CUPRA 300 SC, with optional DSG transmission, catapults from zero to 62 mph in just 5.6 seconds, or 5.7 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox; every CUPRA model has a 155 mph limited top speed. With the added traction of 4Drive, the ST blasts to 60 mph from rest in a sports car-chasing 4.9 seconds. There is more torque available, too, the new maximum of 380 Nm (+ 30 Nm) spreads from just 1,800 rpm all the way up to 5,500 rpm, guaranteeing impressive pulling power and overtaking flexibility.

Against this, the new Leon CUPRA 300 is astonishingly efficient with the SC CUPRA 300 DSG returning 42.2 mpg combined and 153 g/km CO2.

Design

The ultimate embodiment of the SEAT design language

  • SEAT 'arrow head' design shown in its most complete form
  • Team led by SEAT Head of Design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos
  • Five-door Leon replaces 'hidden' rear door handles of Mk II Leon with conventional ones 
  • Sharp blisters over rear wheel arches give aggressive stance; distinctive front and rear LED lights enhance looks
  • Leon SC and ST redesigned from the A-pillars back, for a unique (yet family-familiar) look
  • Exceptional quality interior designed for functional simplicity

The third generation Leon is a radical departure from the car it supersedes in the styling department. It started with the unveiling of the five-door hatchback at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, which used the conventional to become unconventional: it had regular rear door handles. This was unusual because, in order to look more like a coupé, its predecessor had ‘hidden’ rear handles.

Leon family exterior
Designed from the ground up under the guidance of SEAT Design Director Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, with SEAT Head of Exterior Design Jorge Diez responsible for the bodywork, the new Leon was the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the company.

With a look first previewed on the IBE, IBX and IBL concept cars, the new Leon is the ultimate embodiment of SEAT itself, achieving its beautiful aesthetic with a combination of sharp creases, strong proportions and cutting-edge technology.

“Thanks to its dynamic and assured character, the new SEAT Leon inspires a self-confident stance. It has a decisive look,” said Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos. "It has extremely well-proportioned volumes, with a slight shift of the visual weight of the cabin over the rear wheels, while keeping a very fluid transition between the front wing and the cabin.”

With an overall length 33 mm shorter than its predecessor, but a wheelbase longer by 58 mm, the Leon five-door has notably short overhangs, resulting in a desirable 'wheels pushed out to the corners' look, with the added benefit of an improvement in interior space for both passengers and luggage.

The angular lines of the headlamps are a signature feature of the current SEAT design language. The full-LED headlights and daytime running lights give an unmistakable look to the front end of the Leon, although even without these (they're standard on FR Technology, XCELLENCE Technology and CUPRA trim levels and a cost option on all other models), the distinctive design of the headlamp clusters give the car real head-on presence. LED technology is now also available for the turn indicators and fog lights, while further progress in lighting technology has given the headlights and tail lights much greater light intensity.

Further emphasis was added to the impact of the frontal design by styling revisions introduced with the new 2018 model year Leon. Changes shared right across the range generate a sportier feel, with a lower, wider bonnet, revised front bumper and wider, more prominent trapezoidal front grille.

The appearance of the tailgate is also enhanced with the inclusion of LED rear lights – standard where LED headlights are specified. As with the Leon Mk II and other SEAT models, the rear badge also serves as a handle for the tailgate.

From the side, the new SEAT Leon is a precisely executed sculpture on wheels. The characteristic Línea Dinámica sharp crease line runs rearwards over the wheel arches, and is inspired by the tension of a well-trained muscle. The trapezoidal C-pillars are a characteristic of the Leon five-door, as are the short, upwards-pointing third windows.

"The surfaces have been severely sculpted all around in order to increase its three-dimensional appeal, thanks to the effects of light and shadow. Its character lines show pure assertiveness, like for instance the outer shape of the headlamps and tail lamps. All-in-all, I strongly believe that the new Leon is full of character,” Mesonero-Romanos explained.

Leon SC
The styling of the Leon SC simultaneously ensures that it’s blessed with the looks of a proper coupé, but with only a minor loss of practicality compared to the five-door version: the boot has the same capacity, and the reduction in rear head and legroom is minor.

Unveiling the car at the Geneva Motor Show 2013, the then SEAT President James Muir said: “The Leon SC is the most emotional and athletic member of this family; it is as emotional as a coupé, while offering a high degree of usability. This irresistible combination of design, technology, athletic performance and premium quality will impress our loyal customers and draw a whole new generation of fans to our brand.”

The SC’s rear three-quarter windows slope downwards parallel to the line of the C-pillar, differentiating it from the five-door and creating a distinct, hunkered down profile, “like an athlete at the start of a race,” according to Head of Exterior Design Jorge Diez. 

In addition, the rear blisters that run over the wheel arches are more pronounced on the SC than they are on the five-door, with a 21 mm greater distance between their edge and the rear windows.

The wheelbase is shorter by 35 mm compared to the five-door, but remains 23 mm longer than that of previous, Mk II five-door Leon, which means a more spacious interior.

Leon ST
If the SC is the peacock of the Leon family, the ST is…a peacock carrying a massive rucksack. The Leon ST does a tremendous job of looking pretty, while being very good at swallowing all manner of loads.

With a thin C-pillar that follows the same line as the SC coupé’s (and thus different to the five-door’s), and the Línea Dinámica running along the entire profile of the car, the ST is as rakish as a family estate could possibly be. It incorporates, for example, an additional horizontal tailgate crease that runs below the SEAT badge, giving the impression of extra width.

“In the development of the new Leon ST, we have fully retained the dynamic essence of SEAT design,” said Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos. “The roofline follows almost exactly the same line as the five-door, just stretched a little further back. While the wheelbase remains the same, an extra 27 centimetres on the body shell allows the car to offer the luggage volume of a fully-fledged estate car.”

“Nobody has to choose between sporty and practical anymore – the new Leon ST offers both,” added former SEAT President Jürgen Stackmann at the car’s Frankfurt 2013 launch. “With its sporty look, its surprisingly high utility and its state-of-the-art technology, the Leon ST defines a new standard in the compact estate car class – at a very fair price. Like the already highly successful Leon and Leon SC, the new ST is the perfect representative of SEAT’s brand values.”

Leon CUPRA
It was important that the Leon CUPRA should adequately display its sporty characteristics, but do so without being overbearing; SEAT has moved away from an overt, racier image from previous generations of conspicuous CUPRA models. For this reason, there’s discretion about the new Leon CUPRA: it is evidently a high-performance car, but, not a hot hatch caricature. 

The new front end of the Leon CUPRA, with its large air intakes and full-LED headlamps, ensures a powerful look, as does the rear skirt with its diffuser effect and the brace of oval tailpipes. The 19-inch machined alloy wheels are exclusive to the CUPRA, and the gloss black front grille frame and door mirror housings and the CUPRA-emblazoned red brake callipers underscore its individuality.

Leon family interior
Describing the Leon family’s interior, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos said: “We set ourselves the objective of developing an interior which would give an expressive, elegant and welcoming ambience. The quality of the material, the fit and finish and the attention to details is at least as good as you can find in the segment above.”

The elegant exterior design of the new Leon continues into the cabin, which has a clear, light and uncluttered look. The dashboard is unconventional and elegant, with a two-tone design that makes it appear to float in mid-air.

Compared to the Mk II Leon, the infotainment screen has been moved upwards in the dashboard, negating the need to look downwards and making it more comfortable and safer to use while driving. Its functions are also integrated into the smaller colour screen between the speedometer and the rev counter in the instrument binnacle.

The thin A-pillars, aside from adding to the overall elegance of the car, aid safety by improving visibility and reducing blind spots.

Every dial and button has been engineered with fastidious focus on tactility and durability, and soft-touch materials are used on the upper dashboard and door linings.

Fine details underscore the Leon’s high standard of craftsmanship – such as the large air vents, the controls for the air conditioning and the three-dimensional form of the trim elements. The interior lighting lifts the cabin atmosphere, particularly the ambient spot lighting and light strips integrated into the door trims (depending on trim level), which in FR Technology versions turn from white to red when SEAT Drive Profile is switched to Sport mode.

“The design of the dashboard respects our new interior philosophy, with a strong driver orientation. This enhances the ergonomics while giving the design an attractive, sporty feeling. The whole has been designed so the new Leon and its driver feel as one," says Mesonero-Romanos.

The Leon has a driving position that suits all shapes and sizes of person. The driver's seat is set slightly lower than that of the previous Leon, but has a wide range of movement up and down, and fore and aft, as does the steering wheel.

With 1,042 mm between the front seat bases and the roof lining, and 970 mm at the rear, there's plenty of headroom for five adult occupants; the new Leon is 4 mm taller than the outgoing car (S and SE Technology models - FR Technology models sit on lower suspension) yet there's 14 mm more headroom front and rear.

There's also 14 mm more rear legroom, at 817 mm compared to 803 mm in the Leon Mk II, and the 380-litre boot is a full 39 litres bigger than before. Total luggage capacity with the rear seats folded down is 1,210 litres – this all packaged into a car that, as mentioned earlier, is shorter than its predecessor by 52 mm.

Leon SC
The SC is a full five-seater, with only reductions of only 10 mm in front headroom and 18 mm in rear headroom, compared to the five-door. A 35 mm wheelbase reduction is taken from rear leg space, but still leaving plenty. Furthermore, the SC has the same 380-litre boot capacity as the five-door  – which is to say it’s 39-litres bigger than in the Leon Mk II. It extends to 1,150 litres, and the load floor is more than 1.5 metres long, so it’s IKEA-friendly. Other furniture stores are available.

To emphasise its sportier credentials, every Leon SC comes with sports-style front seats as standard. 

Leon ST
The Leon ST provides excellent luggage space that is versatile and full of useful touches for ideal day-to-day convenience. The boot has a load capacity of 587 litres, rising to 1,470 litres with the rear seat backrests folded, and its twin-level floor makes loading bulky items much easier; the rear seats can be folded flat using easy-to-reach handles on the sidewalls of the boot. 

The ST has been designed with functionality flourishes such as a 12V socket in the boot, roof rails, a through hatch for loading long thin items such as skis, an optional front-folding passenger seat to increase the load capacity (and length) even further, and no fewer than 13 interior cubby holes. There’s even a place to store the removable, retractable parcel shelf, so you don’t have to leave it in the shed.

Leon CUPRA 
The focus of the CUPRA’s interior is on the CUPRA sports steering wheel, designed with a thicker, more tactile rim, a perforated leather finish and shift paddles for the optional DSG transmission. The sports seats, in black Alcantara finished with white stitching, are another interior highlight. Black full-leather upholstery, likewise with white stitching, is also available as an option. The pedals and entry sills are made from aluminium, the latter stamped with the CUPRA logo.

Technology

Lighting the way in the family hatchback segment

  • First family hatchback in the world to offer full-LED headlights
  • Innovative safety and driver assistance systems
  • SEAT Drive Profile alters driving characteristics in FR Technology and CUPRA versions
  • Intuitive touchscreen infotainment platform

SEAT developed the Leon to lead the technological field in the family hatchback segment, and from the wheels up it's full of cutting-edge innovations. For a start, it is underpinned by the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform, which innovates by cutting weight, complexity and cost in every area of car design, development and production.

On that platform the Leon's ream of useful technology rests, starting with the full-LED headlights, and continuing with all manner of engine, drivetrain, safety, driver assistance and infotainment systems.

Full-LED headlights
At the very forefront of the Leon’s technology highlights, quite literally, are its full-LED headlights; the Leon was the first family hatchback in the world to have them. The Audi R8 was the first car ever to offer series production full-LED headlights as an option, but the Leon was the first to put them in an affordable class of car.

The Leon’s full-LED light unit comprises six LED modules for the main low beam headlight and a further three for the high beam function. The SEAT signature daytime running light (DRL) uses two LEDs plus a light guide to achieve its distinctive strip effect, while the turn indicators use nine. Each of the nine LEDs in the headlamp cluster is housed inside an individual unit with reflective surfaces.

LEDs provide their quality of light while consuming less power than traditional headlamps: 50% less than a xenon bulb, while functioning on low beam, while the indicators use half the power of a conventional bulb, and the daytime running lights (DRL) around two-thirds. SEAT has improved the performance of its LED front and rear lights, the revised versions introduced for the 2018 new Leon operating at three times the light intensity of the original units.

Another advantage is that LEDs are virtually maintenance-free and extremely durable, with a life of at least 10,000 hours – it would take an eight-hour drive every single evening for around three-and-a-half years to give the lights that much use. 

It’s not just the headlamps whose operation is improved markedly by using LED technology – LED taillights are more than just a pretty light signature, they are quantifiably more effective than standard bulbs: LED brake lights are 0.02 seconds quicker to react than conventional bulb-based units from the moment the brake pedal is pressed. This may not seem a great amount of time, but at speed, this fractional improvement in the application of the brake lights may be the difference between being shunted from behind or not.

All FR Technology, FR Titanium, XCELLENCE Technology and CUPRA versions of the Leon are fitted as standard with full LED headlights, daytime running lights, front fog lamps, tail lamps and number plate illumination. These can also be specified as a single option package for SE Technology and SE Dynamic Technology models.

MQB platform
The MQB (in English translation: Modular Transverse Matrix) platform is a way of maximising innovation while reducing cost across every brand in the Volkswagen Group. It is a standardised vehicle architecture that allows combinations of different parts.

MQB is not just a chassis, in the traditional sense that cars share chassis parts, but an extremely advanced yet highly flexible set of building blocks with which a unique new car can be created. It covers every element of car making, including platform, powertrain, electrics, infotainment and engines, and was developed with input from each of the brands within the Volkswagen Group, SEAT included. 

As a result of MQB, as well as efforts from SEAT's engineering wizards at every stage of designing and developing the car, the new Leon is up to 93 kg lighter than its predecessor, model-for-model. Weight has been taken out of the chassis floor structure, engine block, running gear, interior components, and even the electrical wiring system – up to 3 kg from the wires alone. The benefits of this weight loss permeate every area of the car, from handling and performance to fuel economy and environmental impact.

SEAT Media Systems
The SEAT Leon is not only a hugely entertaining drive – it’s a place in which to be hugely entertained.

A new infotainment platform, MIB (Modular Infotainment Matrix) is a further benefit of the MQBs all-encompassing architecture. This underpins the information and entertainment units used in all MQB models, developed with significant input from SEAT engineers.

The new Leon uses MIB to great effect, with SEAT’s design team having created an intuitive and attractive carousel interface for the touchscreen, which serves as the top menu for all the car's media and driver preference settings. Grouping all the car's major functions into the touchscreen benefits not only functionality, but also style and ergonomics, because it allowed the designers to minimise the number of buttons and dials on the dashboard.

The new Leon’s entry point infotainment interface is called Media System Colour, and features a five-inch colour touchscreen, MP3/WMA playback, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth for audio streaming and hands-free phone use and auxiliary controls on the steering wheel. Multiple connectivity bases are covered with a USB port, an SD card slot and Aux-in socket.

Things move to another level from SE Technology grade, courtesy of Media System Plus. This retains all the fine intuitive quality of Media System Colour, but provides a larger, eight-inch smart touch display with a proximity sensor that detects hand movement and reveals additional on-screen functions. When a hand moves towards the screen, touch-sensitive buttons at appear at each corner, giving the driver quick access to a number of different options without the screen becoming cluttered with distracting icons. There are two extra audio speakers, a CD player, DAB reception, voice recognitions and four USB ports (two up front, two in the rear cabin). The system also seamless accommodates a navigation system (also standard from SE Technology grade), with a high-resolution colour driver’s display, two SD slots and 3D mapping.

The SEAT Sound System featured as standard on CUPRA models beefs up the audio with 10 speakers – one of which is a sub-woofer, cleverly mounted in the spare wheel well so that it doesn’t encroach into boot space. It is available as an option on other model.

SEAT Sound System isn’t just a speaker upgrade – it’s a full overhaul of the stereo system, transforming the Leon into a top-end sound system on wheels. It packs 135 Watts and has a six-channel amplifier, which is acoustically engineered to provide a rich, punchy sound that doesn’t distort even on the cusp of its (very loud) volume limit.

SEAT’s sound engineers benchmarked the system against the best car stereos on the market to achieve its incredibly clear, crisp tonal quality. Poor sound comes when there are gaps in the spectrum of frequencies that the human ear can pick up – if there’s an overload of sounds in the high frequency spectrum, the stereo sounds ‘tinny’, while too many low frequencies make for a flat, muffled sound. SEAT Sound System covers a wide frequency spectrum, but it also has a five-channel customisable equaliser, allowing the user to alter the tonal quality of the stereo to their exact preference. 

Optical Park System
Optical Park System, available a part of the optional Parking Assistance Packs, links the parking sensors to the SEAT Media System Plus colour touchscreen, making parking even easier. It uses the parking sensors to give a visual representation of objects nearby, as well as showing the predicted path of the car based on the position of the steering. 

Safety and security

A five-star car packed with safety technology

  • Rated five stars by Euro NCAP in its industry-standard crash tests
  • Extremely high ratings for adult occupant and child occupant safety
  • Advanced preventive and active safety technologies to help prevent and mitigate collisions
  • Standard alarm with perimeter and interior monitoring, remote central locking and engine immobiliser

The Leon was awarded the maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP in its industry benchmark safety tests (5 door tested in 2012), scoring especially impressive 94% and 92% scores for the adult occupant and child occupant elements respectively.

This is all credit to the all-encompassing, no-compromise approach to safety that SEAT adopted during the development and testing of the car.

Again, the MQB platform provides the basis for this exceptional performance, equipping Leon with a chassis that uses the right strength steels in the right places; a combination of press hardened steel, advanced high-strength steel and lower strength steels in the crumple zones make the Leon extremely strong yet very light, and capable of absorbing impact energy in the safest possible way.

This comes in combination with the application of technologies designed to prevent a collision, or at least mitigate its effects. Sophisticated systems to keep to maintain safe vehicle speeds, lane position and distances in traffic and to recognise imminent collision risks with other road users and pedestrians are available in optional Driving Assistance and Comfort and Driving packs.

In the cabin, seven airbags are standard – two front, two front side, two head and driver’s knee – and there are seatbelt warnings for the front occupants. The front passenger airbag can be disconnected for child seat fitment. An optional Safety Pack Plus adds seatbelt reminders for rear occupants and a tiredness recognition system.

ISOFIX child seat locators with top tether anchorage points are standard for the outer rear seats.

All Leon models are fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC).  ABS and TCS (switchable traction control) are also standard, with Hill Hold Control is featured on all models excepting the entry-level S grade five-door and ST.

SEAT’s XDS limited-slip differential is another standard feature (S grade apart), which serves as a safety feature as well as a performance-enhancing innovation. XDS is a relatively inexpensive way of replicating the outcome of a mechanical limited slip differential. It works to prevent understeer and thereby improve cornering performance by applying braking pressure to the inside front wheel when taking a bend at speed. CUPRA models replace this unit with a mechanical limited slip differential.

Front Assist
Using sensors at the front of the car, this latest system warns the driver if the distance between the Leon and the car in front is reducing, and, if no driver input is detected, it will automatically slow the car down to avoid collision. It is allied to City Emergency Braking which includes Pedestrian Protection which detects passers-by and automatically applies the brakes.

Multi-Collision Brake
Multi-Collision Brake was recognised and commended by Euro NCAP Advanced, an independent body set up to reward technology that demonstrates a scientifically proven safety benefit for consumers and society. A brake-based system, it detects when the car has been involved in an accident – if the airbag has been fired, for example – and applies the brakes to prevent or mitigate a subsequent impact in the case that the driver has lost consciousness or become incapacitated in some way. It triggers both the hazard warning lights and the brake lights.

Traffic Jam Assist
Available on models equipped with DSG transmission, this assistance function makes progress in heavy, stop-start traffic more bearable. At “traffic jam speeds,” the new Leon steers, accelerates and brakes automatically within the system’s limits. At higher speeds, up to around 37 mph, the system provides support with speed control and lane-keeping, but the driver’s hands have to stay on the wheel.

Lane Assist
Another innovation that was credited by Euro NCAP Advanced, SEAT Lane Assist operates at speed above 40 mph to help the driver keep the car in its correct lane. A camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror detects the lane markings on the road ahead of the car and, using the power steering system, applies a small amount of steering correction intended to prompt the driver into taking corrective action should they begin to drift out of lane.  This function is available in the optional Driver Assistance packs.

Emergency Assist
Emergency Assist is a new function that operates if the driver remains inactive beyond a certain period of time. The vehicle first issues a visual warning, then an audible alert, and finally a brief pulse of the brakes. If there is still no response from the driver, the Leon is automatically slowed to a standstill while remaining in lane and the hazard lights and electronic parking brake are activated.

High Beam Assist
High Beam Assist, another feature of the optional Driver Assistance packs, automatically operates the high beam headlights function in appropriate conditions, and reverts to a dipped beam when it senses either oncoming traffic or vehicles in the same lane on the road ahead. It does so using a camera mounted on the rear view mirror, and can be manually overridden at any time.

Tiredness Recognition
A first for the Leon, Tiredness Recognition does exactly that – recognises when the driver is tired and sounds an alert, instructing them to take a break for safety’s sake. It does so using an algorithm that ‘learns’ the driver’s style over the course of a journey through the steering movements, then detects when there’s a particular deviation from that style, conducive to tiredness. At that stage it sounds an audible warning, and an alert on the colour display in the instrument binnacle.

Traffic Sign Recognition
Once more, debuting in Leon from 2017 onwards. The risk of the driver not noticing important warning and commands signs on major routes is reduced by the Traffic sign Recognition system. An on-board camera picks up on key signs and replicates them on the colour driver’s display to reinforce the message.

Security
The Leon has a full complement of security equipment as standard, including remote central locking (operated by the folding key, which also features a remote window opening/closing function), a volumetric alarm system with perimeter- and interior monitoring, back-up horn and tow away protection, an electronic engine immobiliser, rear door child locks, and locking wheel nuts.

Dynamics

A truly engaging experience, with no compromise on comfort

  • Engineered to strike the perfect balance between comfort and dynamism
  • Class-leading driver assistance systems, including SEAT Drive Profile
  • Lighter than Leon Mk II and a wider track for improved handling and stability 
  • Weight reduction of up to 93 kg compared to Leon Mk II
  • Varying suspension setups for optimum comfort and performance

The MQB architecture underpinning the Leon allowed SEAT’s engineers to move the front axle further forward (by 40 mm compared to the previous generation model), as well as widening the track (by 14 mm). In the former case this better balances the distribution of the axle load and in the latter improves stability – both qualities that significantly benefit the car’s handling.

In addition, the advanced construction techniques, use of lightweight materials and efforts to strip weight at every stage of the car’s manufacture means that the overall weight was reduced significantly compared with the previous version (up to 93 kg).

Suspension
Key to the way the new Leon handles is the suspension, with a different set-up deployed depending on each model’s power and trim. McPherson-type suspension is standard at the front, with a semi-rigid axle (torsion beam) at the rear for all cars with engines up to and including 150 PS. This solution saves weight and cost – which can be passed on to the buyer – without diminishing ride comfort or overall refinement.

However, for the most powerful cars, where the last nuances of handling characteristics are more significant, the rear suspension is a multi-link setup. Currently this applies to models equipped with the 1.8 TSI 180 PS and 2.0 TDI 184 PS engines, and all CUPRA models

A multi-link suspension setup is more suitable to higher performance driving, with five links per side allowing greater lateral movement for improved contact with the road, particularly during high-speed cornering when the tyres are at the limit of grip; while the rear torsion beam allows some degree of twist and flex, the multi-link setup does even more so.

The lower-powered FR Technology and FR Titanium models come with the torsion beam rear set-up, but both the front and rear suspension are lowered by 15 mm from standard, and the springs and shock absorbers are stiffened for a sportier feel. In the CUPRA this is even more the case, with a further 10 mm drop at the front and 5 mm at the rear.

Steering
The Leon employs an electro-mechanical steering rack, tuned for the most ‘natural’ feel possible through the wheel, while having enough power assistance to give the light, comfortable characteristics that the majority of drivers are looking for day-to-day. An electrical setup is advantageous not only because it is energy-efficient, but because it can be linked to an electrical control unit (ECU) so that its characteristics can be adjusted. This means that, when linked to SEAT Drive Profile, it can be made to feel heavier or lighter according to the driver’s preference. 

SEAT Drive Profile
The introduction of SEAT Drive Profile on the third generation Leon marked the first time that SEAT offered adaptive chassis technology on any of its cars. Standard fit with FR Technology and CUPRA models, and accessed through the SEAT Media System Plus touchscreen interface, it allows the driver to select between Normal, Eco and Sport modes, as well as combining preferred elements of the three into a fourth Individual setting.

By allowing alteration of the steering feel, accelerator response and, in DSG automatic versions, the gearbox settings, a driver can give their car distinct character at the touch of a button. SEAT Drive Profile also alters the air conditioning, Start/Stop engine system, interior light settings, and in the highest powered versions (TSI 180 PS, TDI 184 PS and CUPRA) it includes a sound actuator. 

From a driver experience point of view, SEAT Drive Profile distinguishes Sport and Comfort modes most obviously. In Sport mode, for example, the resistance of the electro-mechanical power steering is altered so that it feels heavier – it becomes 7% stiffer. In addition, the response of the accelerator pedal is changed, requiring less movement to open up the throttle fully, giving it a ‘sharper’ feel. 

With a DSG-equipped car, the gearbox is programmed to hold onto each of its seven gears longer in Sport mode – right up to the rev limiter when the car is being driven enthusiastically – resulting in a more aggressive, sporty feel.

The reverse is true in comfort mode, with the steering given more assistance for a lighter feel, and the throttle sharpness eased off, conducive to smoother driving and lower fuel use. Similarly, the DSG automatic transmission will shift to a higher gear at the earliest opportunity, lowering engine speed on the move and making for an altogether more relaxed driving experience.

Other perhaps less noticeable, but equally important, functions of SEAT Drive Profile is its links to fuel consumption. In Eco mode the Start/Stop engine function is activated automatically, and the climate control settings are altered so that they only function when absolutely necessary, reducing energy consumption. In cars with manual transmissions, the optimum gearshift points are advised via a read-out on the information screen in the instrument binnacle, while DSG’s coasting mode is activated.

And for an extra bit of in-cabin drama, Sport mode turns the interior ambient lighting from white to red, and in the highest powered versions it activates the sound actuator. Placed beneath the air filter, the actuator amplifies the engine sound into the cabin for added sportiness.    

SEAT Leon CUPRA: the embodiment of SEAT dynamics
As the embodiment of SEAT dynamics, the Leon CUPRA is equipped with some key, cutting-edge mechanical, electrical and engineering innovations that serve to make it a truly great drivers’ car. Here are the highlights:

CUPRA engine
As a true sports engine, the 2.0 TSI turbo petrol unit of the new Leon CUPRA reacts spontaneously to every movement of the accelerator pedal and is wonderfully high revving. This is paired with a rich and refined sound that is aided and modulated by a standard sound actuator.  Development has continued since launch, with the unit engineered to deliver more, usable power and torque (+10 PS and +30 Nm respectively) in the new CUPRA 300, introduced for the 2018 model year.

The power unit, which was all-new for the third-generation Leon CUPRA, has an exceptionally responsive turbocharger and is packed with hi-tech, ground-breaking features. The dual-injection system, for example, combines direct injection with manifold injection under partial load, which optimises fuel economy and reduces particulate emissions. Cylinder fill is always in the optimum range: the camshafts are adjustable, with the valve lift system regulating opening on the exhaust side. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head and is part of the intelligent thermal management system. In addition, a new kind of coating on the aluminium pistons and the bearings keeps friction to a minimum.

And like every other Leon in the range, the CUPRA efficiency package also includes start/stop and energy recovery systems.

CUPRA chassis
The fundamentals of the CUPRA’s dynamics are low weight and a stiff structure. The systematic lightweight design of the new Leon family is evident in the CUPRA: despite considerably improved equipment, the new generation weighs 55kg less than its comparable predecessor.

The CUPRA name has always been synonymous with outstanding dynamics, precise agility and amazing sporting character. In every way, the new Leon CUPRA manages to set the bar a good deal higher than any of its predecessors. With Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), a front-axle differential lock and progressive steering all fitted as standard, the new Leon CUPRA achieves considerably faster laps on the track than its already impressive predecessor.

At the same time, it is significantly more comfortable, with surprising refinement on long motorway journeys. Safe, strong and consistent stopping power comes courtesy of the CUPRA-specific, high-performance brake system, recognisable by its red callipers.

CUPRA Drive Profile
The CUPRA Drive Profile adds even more customisation, including – for the first time in any SEAT – adaptive suspension technology in the form of Dynamic Chassis Control (see below), which has three distinct settings.

Alongside the Comfort and Sport modes, the CUPRA mode was a focal point for the engineers in Martorell. Throttle response is particularly sensitive in this setting, while the DSG operates in its sportiest shifting mode and the sound actuator accentuates the full tone of the turbocharged engine. Progressive steering and the front-axle differential lock also operate at their sportiest settings in CUPRA mode.

Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC)
The new generation of the DCC developed specifically for the CUPRA is even more sensitive than that available with the Leon FR, adapting the chassis characteristics to the prevailing conditions in a matter of milliseconds.

Front-axle differential lock 
The front-axle differential lock significantly improves the traction and handling of this front-wheel drive car. The system uses a multi-plate package that is hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled. The maximum locking force is 1,600 Nm and, in extreme cases, 100% of the drive can be sent to one wheel. The differential lock is integrated into all the handling systems, like ESC and EDS. It improves not only the traction, but also eliminates torque steer. Furthermore, its sensitive control has no negative impact on steering feel.

Progressive steering 
Also included as standard equipment, the progressive steering system improves the agile handling of the Leon CUPRA 300. The driver experiences a precise and relaxed steering feel because less steering movement is required, which reduces the number of grip changes, especially in cornering or parking manoeuvres. The system works using a progressive ratio through variable toothing on the rack.

Electronic Stability Control
The ESC handling system has been further developed specifically for the CUPRA and enables a very sporty driving style with full retention of safety functionality. For extremely dynamic use, such as on a race track, it can also be deactivated in two stages – the first stage deactivates the traction control and puts the ESC into sport mode, permitting greater yaw angles. The second stage deactivates the ESC completely.

Ownership

Outstanding efficiency and performance across the range

  • Leon range truly offers the best of both worlds: efficiency with performance
  • Fuel economy of up to 68.9 mpg combined (1.6 TDI); ultra-quick CUPRA 300 delivers up to 41.5 mpg
  • Excellent standard equipment levels
  • High residual values; very low pence-per-mile costs
  • Spacious interior with large boot

In every area the new Leon makes a phenomenal ownership proposition, and that’s without even considering the warm inner glow that comes from having something so pretty sitting outside home or work.

It’s a car that’s exceptionally well-equipped from the bottom to the top of the range, and, thanks to a set of the very latest TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines, has running costs more akin to a supermini than a car of such space, refinement and technological innovation.

This equates to very strong residual values, as calculated by industry experts CAP, which in turn means very low overall running costs in pence-per-mile terms.

Engine range
The Leon’s engine line-up is covers a broad power spectrum in order to satisfy the needs of a wide variety of buyers. Regardless of power and performance, though, each is optimised for outstanding efficiency and all benefit from fuel and emissions-saving stop/start, part of SEAT’s Ecomotive technology portfolio.

TSI petrol engines
The revised petrol engine for the 2018 model year takes the number of petrol engines available up to five, all of them using turbocharging technology. They are a new-to-the-range 1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 PS, a 1.2 TSI with power increased to 110 PS, a 1.4 TSI with 125 or (in Eco form) 150 PS, a 1.8 TSI 180 PS, and a 2.0 TSI unit exclusively for the CUPRA with 300 PS.

For the first time in the UK the new Leon will be available with a fuel-sipping 1.0-litre TSI Ecomotive 115 PS engine, delivering CO2 emissions of just 102 g/km and combined cycle fuel economy of 64.2 mpg, yet also dispatching 0-62 mph in less than 10 seconds. Its performance reaps the benefits of Ecomotive technologies, including a stop/start system, energy recovery, which stores brake energy usually lost as heat and uses it to help power the car’s electrical systems, and an aero pack that improves the car’s wind-cheating aerodynamics. The new unit is available in the five-door and ST models, with either six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission.

Turbocharging not only means that the Leon’s engines generate outstanding peak power figures for their size, but that they develop a good surge of peak torque very low down in the rev range. The 1.2-litre engine develops its 175 Nm at just 1,400 rpm and maintains it up to 4,000 rpm, making it feel exceptionally urgent for such a small capacity engine.

The 1.4-litre 150 PS and 1.8-litre TSI engines both hit their identical 250 Nm torque figures at 1,500 rpm, and they too plateau, maintaining that peak all the way to 3,900 rpm. The 1.4 hits 62 mph from rest in 7.9 seconds (SC manual), while, with 30 PS more, the latter takes just 7.4 seconds. Despite that performance, they’re not much less economical than the 1.2 TSI, returning average consumption figures of 57.6 mpg and 47.1 mpg respectively.

The 1.4 TSI engine makes good use of Active Cylinder Technology (ACT). This remarkable innovation reduces fuel consumption significantly by temporarily shutting off two of the four cylinders (cylinders two and three) during low to mid-load, which in practice means engine speeds between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm with torque loads between 25 and 75 Nm. It’s calculated that at its most efficient – while the car is driving at around 30 mph in third or fourth gear – around one litre of fuel is saved in every 60 miles driven.

The spearhead of the petrol range – and indeed the entire Leon range – is the 2.0-litre turbo unit which powers the Leon CUPRA. This 2.0-litre TSI unit has been further developed to produce even more power and torque – not simply to show off higher figures, but to deliver genuinely better performance, raising the bar yet again. There’s now just a single version of the engine, with maximum output of 300 PS, up 10 PS on the previous unit. This is reflected in the new CUPRA 300 designation across all three Leon models. Perhaps of more interest to drivers seeking maximum engagement with their car is a corresponding increase in peak torque, from 250 to 380 Nm and accessible across an impressively broad range of engine speeds, from 1,800 to 5,500rpm.

Thanks to the fact it’s fettled with the 4Drive all-wheel drive system, the ST CUPRA 300 with six-speed DSG auto ‘box leads the timesheet for the 0-62 charge, posting 4.9 seconds, ahead of the SC with DSG at 5.6. In official testing, the CUPRA engine remains a fuel-efficient performer, too, with combined cycle figures from 39.2 (ST with DSG) to 42.2 mpg (SC with DSG).

TDI diesel engines
The most efficient engines in the Leon line-up are the TDI diesels, which like the petrol engines feature Ecomotive Technology in each case, and all are common rail and direct injection, utilising fast-working piezoelectric injectors and diesel particulate filters and fully complying with Euro 6 emissions standards.

Available in 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre guises, with the latter in two power outputs, the diesel engines serve up a huge amount of torque for outstanding in-gear flexibility and response, even at very low engine speeds.

The 1.6 TDI was made more potent for the 2018 model year, its maximum power increased by 10 PS to 115 PS.  CO2 emissions from just 108 g/km (five-door, manual), help keep  ownership costs capped, together with 68.9 mpg average fuel consumption that means fewer fill-ups and theoretical driving range of more than 770 miles from the 50-litre fuel tank. And with 250 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm (the same figure as the 1.4 TSI and 1.8 TSI engines), the 1.6 TDI feels responsive.

With 320 and 380 Nm of torque respectively, it’s the 2.0 TDI 150 PS and 184 PS engines that offer the most grunt. They hit 62 mph from rest in 8.4 and 7.5 seconds respectively, and carry on to 134 mph and 142 mph top speeds, but are barely any less economical than the 1.6 TDI. The 150 PS version tops 67 mpg, while the 184 PS diesel averages more than 61 mpg.

Either a five or six-speed manual gearbox is standard, depending on engine, or there are two DSG twin-clutch automatics (six and seven-speed, according to engine), which provide the benefits of an automatic transmission but with minimal loss of fuel economy – unlike a traditional torque converter automatic.

Performance and fuel efficiency: petrol

Engine

1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 PS

1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 PS

1.2 TSI 110 PS

1.4 TSI 125 PS

Body style

5dr/ST

5dr/ST

5dr/ST

5dr/ST

Gearbox

6-speed manual

7-speed DSG

6-speed manual

6-speed manual

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

 

 

Urban

52.3 / 52.3

53.3 / 53.3

45.6 / 45.6

42.2 / 42.2

Extra urban

74.3 / 74.3

72.4 / 72.4

65.7 / 65.7

65.7 / 65.7

Combined

64.2 / 64.2

64.2 / 64.2

56.5 / 56.5

54.3 / 54.3

Emissions

 

 

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

102 / 102

102 / 102

116 / 116

120 /120

Performance

 

 

 

 

0-62 mph

9.6 / 9.8

9.6 / 9.8

9.9 / 10.1

9.1 / 9.4

Top speed (mph)

123 / 126

126 / 126

121 / 121

126 / 126

 

Engine

1.4 Eco TSI 150 PS 

1.4 Eco TSI 150 PS 

1.8 TSI 180 PS

1.8 TSI 180 PS

Body style

SC/5dr/ST

SC/5dr/ST

SC/5dr/ST

SC/5dr/ST

Gearbox

6-speed manual

7-speed DSG

6-speed manual

7-speed DSG

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

 

 

Urban

47.1 / 47.1 / 47.1

48.7 / 48.7 / 47.9

37.7 / 37.7 / 37.7

39.8 / 39.8 / 3.8

Extra urban

64.2 / 64.2 / 64.2

64.2 / 64.2 / 62.8

55.4 / 55.4 / 55.4

55.4 / 55.4 / 55.4

Combined

57.6 / 57.6 / 57.6

57.6 / 57.6 / 56.5

47.1 / 47.1 / 47.1

48.7 / 48.7 /48.7

Emissions

 

 

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

114 / 114 / 114

115 / 115 / 117

138 / 138 / 138

134 / 134 / 134

Performance

 

 

 

 

0-62 mph

7.9 / 8.0 / 8.2

7.9 / 8.0 / 8.2

7.4 / 7.5 / 7.8

7.1 / 7.2 / 7.7

Top speed (mph)

134 / 134 / 134

134 / 134 / 134

140 / 140 / 140

139 / 139 / 139

 

Engine

2.0 TSI 300 PS 

2.0 TSI 300 PS 

Body style

SC/5dr/ST

SC/5dr/ST (4Drive)

Gearbox

6-speed manual

6-speed DSG

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

Urban

31.4 / 31.4 / 31.0

33.6 / 33.2 / 31.0

Extra urban

49.6 / 49.6 / 48.7

49.6 / 48.7 / 46.3

Combined

40.9 / 40.9 / 40.4

42.2 / 41.5 / 39.2

Emissions

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

158 / 158 / 161

153 / 156 / 164

Performance

 

 

0-62 mph

5.7 / 5.8 / 6.0

5.6 / 5.7 / 4.9

Top speed (mph)

155 / 155 / 155

155 / 155 / 155


Performance and fuel efficiency: diesel

Engine

1.6 TDI 115 PS

1.6 TDI 115 PS

2.0 TDI 150 PS

Body style

5dr / ST

5dr / ST

SC / 5dr / ST

Gearbox

5-speed manual

7-speed DSG

6-speed manual

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

 

Urban

61.4 / 61.4

65.7 / 62.8

53.3 / 53.3 / 53.3

Extra urban

74.3 / 74.3

70.6 / 68.9

72.4 / 72.4 / 72.4

Combined

70.6 / 68.9

68.9 / 67.3

64.2 / 64.2 / 67.3

Emissions

 

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

105 / 108

109 / 111

112 / 112 / 112

Performance

 

 

 

0-62 mph

9.8 / 9.9

9.8 / 9.9

8.3 / 8.4 / 8.6

Top speed (mph)

122 / 122

122 / 122

134 / 134 / 134

 

Engine

2.0 TDI 184 PS

2.0 TDI 184 PS

 

SC / 5dr / ST

SC / 5dr / ST

Gearbox

6-speed manual

6-speed DSG

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

Urban

53.3 / 53.3 / 52.3

52.3 / 52.3 / 49.6

Extra urban

68.9 / 68.9 / 67.3

67.3 /67.3 / 65.7

Combined

62.8 /  62.8 / 61.4

61.4 / 61.4 / 58.9

Emissions

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

118 / 118 / 121

120 / 120 / 122

Performance

 

 

0-62 mph

7.4 / 7.5 / 7.8

7.4 / 7.5 / 7.8

Top speed (mph)

142 / 142 / 142

140 / 140 / 140


Equipment highlights and options
The Leon range adopted a new grade structure for the 2018 model year, emphasising the brand’s dedication to making the best possible use of innovative, useful technologies for safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable motoring.  The new line-up for the five-door and ST models features S, SE Technology, SE Dynamic Technology, FR Technology, XCELLENCE Technology and CUPRA 300. The SC is now a fully sports-focused model, available in FR Technology, FR Titanium and CUPRA 300 trims.

S models feature air conditioning, electrically adjustable door mirrors, split-folding rear seats, front electric windows, Media System Colour with five-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, USB/Aux-in/SD connectivity, trip computer, electronic stability control (ESC), tyre pressure warning system, seven airbags, ISOFIX child seat points, remote central locking and an alarm.

SE Technology is richly specified, adding 16-inch “Design” alloy wheels, front fog lights, cruise control, rear electric windows, leather steering wheel and gear knob, a front arm rest with integrated storage box, front reading lights with ambient spots and footwell illumination, XDS electronic limited-slip differential, electronic parking brake, Front Assist and Hill Hold control.  It also provides the Media System Plus, with eight-inch smart touch display, voice recognition, DAB, navigation with 3D mapping, CD player and eight audio speakers. Connectivity options are increased as well with four USB ports (two in the front cabin, two in the rear) and two SC card slots.

SE Dynamic Technology raises the Leon’s game in style terms with the addition of 17-inch “Dynamic” alloys and dark-tinted rear windows, plus rear parking sensors.

FR Technology grade includes 17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels, full LED array of headlights, daytime running lights and tail lights, multi-coloured interior ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, electric folding door mirrors, front sports seats, flat-bottom steering wheel with perforated leather trim, dedicated FR bumpers, aluminium front scuff plates with illuminated FR logo, dark-tinted rear windows, lowered sports suspension, twin exhaust tailpipes and SEAT Drive Profile with four selectable driving modes. Full Link provides easy integration of multiple smartphones via Apple Car Play, Mirror Link and Google Android Auto. DSG-equipped cars come with steering wheel paddles.

FR Titanium Technology, exclusive to the Leon SC, provides a white non-metallic paint finish, side skirts, an extended roof spoiler and 18-inch “Performance Machined” alloy wheels.

XCELLENCE Technology trim introduces chrome exterior detailing, a full LED interior illumination system,  aluminium front scuff plates with illuminated XCELLENCE logo, keyless-entry-and-go, a Connectivity Hub with a wireless phone charger, front parking sensors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlight and wiper operation, heated washer nozzles and washer fluid and heated front seats.

Key equipment features for the Leon CUPRA 300 models include dedicated 19-inch wheels and bumpers, aluminium front scuff plates with illuminated CUPRA logo, red brake callipers, gloss black exterior detailing, aluminium pedals, black interior roof lining, black Alcantara upholstery, SEAT Drive Profile CUPRA with Dynamic Chassis Control and sound actuator, a mechanical limited-slip differential and 10-speaker SEAT Sound audio system.

There is also a comprehensive options list that gives owners a wealth of ways to upgrade their car, whether choosing single items such as wheels, sunroofs or a panoramic roof, upholsteries (including leather and Alcantara) or upgraded audio functions. Specific items include 18-inch alloy wheels, full leather upholstery, Alcantara sports seats, electric driver’s seat adjustment, satellite navigation, SEAT Sound System (ten speakers including a boot-mounted sub-woofer), DAB digital radio, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and light sensing headlamps. Full LED headlights can be specified for SE and FR versions (they’re standard with CUPRA 300).

There are also option packs that conveniently bundle features to enhance safety, convenience, winter performance and driving assistance. The Driving Assistance pack, offered for FR Technology and FR Titanium Technology models provides High Beam Assist, Lane Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, plus auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights with coming/leaving home function and rain-sensing wipers. For XCELLENCE Technology and CUPRA 300, the pack provides the assistance features only (the other items are standard), at an adjusted, lower price.

The Advanced Comfort and Driving Pack (available for the same model grades) provides the same combination of features together with Adaptive Cruise Control with Pedestrian Protection and Stop & Go, Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist. It also brings in even more convenience items: rain-sensing wipers, LED interior illumination and lighting in the footwells, glovebox and sun visor mirrors. Again, the pack price is adjusted to take into account where any of these are already provided in the car’s standard specification.

SEAT Leon standard equipment features

Exterior
Electrically adjustable door mirrors
LED indicators integrated in door mirrors
Body-colour door handles
High-gloss black B and C-pillars
Halogen headlamps and daytime running lights
Front fog lamps1
Tinted windows
SEAT logo tailgate release
Concealed exhaust pipe
Chrome roof rails (ST models)

Interior equipment
Front reading lights
Boot light
Driver and passenger sun visors with covered mirrors
Loadspace cargo retaining rings
Loadspace cover (ST models)
Loadspace side nets (ST models)
Double boot floor (ST models)
Rear seat through-hatch (ST models)

Seats and trim
Front comfort seats
Black interior finish
Gloss black interior trim detailing
Driver’s seat height adjustment
Active front headrests
Three rear headrests

Functional and mechanical
Air conditioning with dust and pollen filter
Electric front windows
12V power outlet in centre console
12V power outlet in loadspace (ST models)
Manual parking brake
Electro-mechanical power steering
Comfort suspension
Folding remote keys with window open/close and boot opening functions

Instrumentation
3.5-inch driver’s display
Tachometer
Trip computer
Outside temperature gauge
Lights-on warning buzzer
Low fuel warning lights
Gearshift indicator

Infotainment
Media System Colour, comprising:
5.0-inch colour touchscreen
MP3/WMA playback
USB port
Aux-in
SD card slot
6-speaker audio
FM radio
Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free phone operation
Steering wheel-mounted audio and phone controls

Wheels and tyres
15-inch steel wheels with “Urban” covers
195/65R15 91H tyres
Emergency tyre repair kit

Safety and security
Seven airbags (2x front, 2x front side, 2x curtain, driver’s knee)
Front seat belt reminder
ISOFIX child seat anchors on outer rear seats with top tethers
Multi-collision braking system
ABS and TCS (TCS with deactivation)
ESC
Tyre pressure warning light
Remote central locking with deadlocks
Fuel flap linked to central locking

SE Technology grade adds:

Exterior
Front fog lamps
Halogen headlamps with small LED daytime running lights
Heated door mirrors

Interior equipment
Front and rear electric windows
Front and rear reading lights
Illuminated glove box
Driver and passenger illuminated/covered vanity mirrors
High centre console with cupholder
Rear centre armrest
Rear ventilation outlet
Front seatback pockets
Storage drawer beneath driver’s seat

Seats and trim
Black, Dark Grey or Ice Metal interior
Interior chrome trim detailing
60/40 split-folding rear seats
Leather steering wheel and gear knob trim
Driver’s seat lumbar adjustment
Chrome loading edge (ST models)

Functional and mechanical
Electric parking brake with auto-hold function
Electronic differential lock (XDS)
Cruise control
Seatback release in loadspace (ST models)

Infotainment
Medium System Plus, comprising Media System Colour functions and:
8.0-inch smart touch display
4x USB ports (Apple Chip)
CD player
Eight-speaker audio
Voice recognition
DAB reception
Navigation system featuring:
3D map display
High-resolution colour driver’s display
2x SD card slots
16-inch “Design” alloy wheels

Safety and security
Hill hold control
Front assist with pedestrian protection

SE Dynamic Technology grade adds:

Exterior
Dark-tinted rear windows

Functional and mechanical
Rear parking sensors

Wheels and tyres
17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels
225/45R17 91W tyres

FR Technology grade adds:

Exterior
Full LED headlights
LED front fog lamps and daytime running lights
Full LED rear lights
FR front and rear bumpers
Electric, heated door mirrors with folding and (passenger side) automatic tilting functions
Twin exhaust pipes (visible)
Black roof rails (ST models)

Interior equipment
Front and rear reading lights with ambient spot illumination
Multi-coloured ambient lighting
Footwell lights
Flat-bottom steering wheel with perforated leather trim, FR logo and red stitching
Rear window blinds (ST models)

Seats and trim
Front sports seats with cloth upholstery
Black/Gloss Black interior
Height-adjustable front headrests
Front passenger seat lumbar adjustment
Aluminium door sills with FR logo

Functional and mechanical
Dual-zone climate control
SEAT Drive Profile, including Normal/Sport/Eco/Individual driving modes, steering and throttle response and gear shift mode (DSG only)
Gearshift paddles on steering wheel (with DSG transmission)
Lowered sports-tuned suspension (-15 mm)
Folding remote keys with window open/close, door mirror folding and boot opening functions

Infotainment
Full Link (including Mirror Link, Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto

Wheels and tyres
17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels
225/45R17 91W tyres

FR Titanium grade (SC only) adds:

Exterior
Emoción red paint
Body side skirts
Extended roof spoiler

Wheels and tyres
18-inch “Titanium” machined alloy wheels

XCELLENCE Technology grade adds:

Exterior
Chrome radiator grille
Chrome window surrounds

Interior equipment
LED interior illumination pack, including LED reading lights with ambient spots, vanity mirror lights, footwell, boot and centre console lights and glove box light
Drawer beneath front passenger seat
Leather trimmed steering wheel with XCELLENCE logo

Seats and trim
Front sports seats with leather upholstery
Black/Ice Metal interior
Aluminium door sills with XCELLENCE logo

Functional and mechanical
Front parking sensors
KESSY keyless entry and go
Winter Pack, including:
Heated front seats
Headlight washers
Heater washer nozzle
Heated washer fluid
Convenience Pack, including:
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Automatic headlights with coming/leaving home function
Rain-sensing wipers

Infotainment
Connectivity hub with wireless phone charger

Wheels and tyres
17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels

CUPRA 300 grade adds:

Exterior
Gloss black door mirror casings
Visible dual exhaust pipes
Gloss Black front grille frame
CUPRA front and rear bumpers
Red brake callipers with CUPRA logo (front and rear)

Interior equipment
Pedals with aluminium covers
Black interior roof lining
Flat-bottom steering wheel with perforated leather trim, CUPRA logo and white stitching

Seats and trim
Front sports seats with black Alcantara upholstery
Black interior
Gloss black trim detailing
60/40 split-folding rear seats with centre armrest
Aluminium door sills with CUPRA logo

Functional and mechanical
SEAT Drive Profile CUPRA, including Normal/Sport/CUPRA/Individual driving modes, Dynamic Chassis Control and Sound Actuator
Mechanical limited slip differential
4Drive (ST model)
ESC off key
Gear shift paddles on steering wheel (DSG only)
CUPRA performance interface
Electro-mechanical progressive power steering

Infotainment
10-Speaker SEAT sound system

Wheels and tyres
19-inch CUPRA machined alloy wheels
235/35R19 91Y tyres
Emergency spare wheel

SEAT Leon: history 
The SEAT Leon has a hugely significant place in the history of the brand. A car that is loved throughout the world, with well over 1,000,000 sold worldwide across two previous generations, it is responsible for some landmark moments for SEAT.

The first C-segment model designed by SEAT under Volkswagen Group ownership, the Mk I Leon was introduced in 1998, but the first cars didn’t go on sale in the UK until 2000. It became an instant success, going on to sell 50,740 between 2000 and 2007, although production officially ended in 2005. The Mk I Leon was the first SEAT to wear the CUPRA (Cup Racing) and FR (Formula Racing) badges.

The Leon Mk II, introduced in 2005, was an even bigger success, in more ways than one. More than 82,000 (82,375) were sold in the UK before production closed at the end of 2012, with 2007 ranking as the best year yet for Leon UK sales, with 13,481 sold. It was the only year in which the Leon exceeded Ibiza sales numbers in the UK too, until 2016.

The Leon Mk II found success on the track, too, claiming successive World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) titles in 2008 and 2009 using TDI diesel technology.

The Leon MkIII five-door debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 2012, joined by the SC in Geneva in March 2013. The Leon ST, the first ever estate in the range, broke cover in July of the same year, ahead of its debut at Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The CUPRA 265 and 280 versions, the latter being the brand’s fastest-ever production series road car, appeared in January 2014 ahead of another Geneva Motor Show unveiling. Due to customer demand for the flagship, the 265 was discontinued in the UK a couple of years later. CUPRA derivatives were subsequently shown with upgraded 290PS engines in September 2015.

The Leon Cup Racer also saw the light of day in 2013, and spawned a one-make series – the Leon Eurocup. Created by SEAT Sport, the stripped-out motorsport special weighed less than 1100kg and featured a mighty 330PS, slick tyres, DSG or sequential gearboxes, costing £75,000 to £95,000 respectively. The ultimate embodiment of SEAT’s performance division know-how is still going strong, particularly in TCR endurance racing across Europe, offering an unrivalled performance and handling package for the money.

New Leon was unveiled in October 2016 with a subtly upgraded exterior design and a much improved interior. Among the other improvements were a raft of new additions including new engines (1.0 TSI 115 (first time in UK) and upgraded 1.6 TDI 115, state-of-the-art technology such as Connectivity Box and an array of assistance systems, including Blind Spot Detection. Luxury XCELLENCE trim level also joined the fold.

About SEAT
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 80% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. In 2017, SEAT achieved worldwide sales of nearly 470,000 vehicles.

The SEAT Group employs close to 14,700 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Leon and Arona. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia. 

The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focused on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company’s global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.

SEAT Leon MY18

 SEAT Leon range: at a glance

  • Third-generation SEAT Leon was brand new from the ground up. Introduced as a five-door hatchback at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, with three-door SC and ST estate versions following (Geneva 2013 and Frankfurt 2013 respectively)
  • Significant revisions introduced across New Leon range (UK showroom launch February 2017), including revised exterior styling, new trim levels, equipment (particularly safety and technology) and new powertrains, including new 1.0 TSI engine and increased power for the 1.4 Eco TSI and 1.6 TDI units
  • New styling introduces a lower, wider bonnet, revised front bumper and wider, more prominent trapezoidal front grille
  • Range-topping Leon CUPRA 300 versions – SC, five-door and ST – gain 10 PS power hike to 300 PS and crucial increase in torque from 350 to 380 Nm, on tap across broad rev range
  • Leon ST CUPRA gains added traction and handling prowess from 4Drive all-wheel drive system
  • Built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform in SEAT’s Martorell production facility
  • All Leon models designed in Martorell by a team led by SEAT Head of Design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos
  • A technological pioneer: Leon was the first family hatchback in the world to offer full-LED headlights
  • Shorter wheelbase than the previous generation Leon, but, more passenger space and luggage capacity – an extra 39 litres in the boot
  • Range of powerful, yet extremely efficient, petrol and diesel engines, all featuring Ecomotive Technology
  • Full engine line-up:
    • New (from 2017) 1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 PS (+ DSG auto)
    • 1.2 TSI 110 PS
    • 1.4 TSI 125 PS
    • 1.4 Eco TSI 150 PS (+ DSG auto)
    • 1.8 TSI 180 PS (+DSG auto)
    • 2.0 TSI 300 PS (+DSG auto)
    • 1.6 TDI 115 PS (+DSG auto)
    • 2.0 TDI 150 PS
    • 2.0 TDI 184 PS (+DSG auto)
  • Generous standard equipment list includes air conditioning, remote central locking, Media System Colour (five-inch touchscreen media system), electric door mirrors, ESC and Emergency Brake Assist
  • SEAT Drive Profile (standard on FR Technology models) allowing adjustment of steering and accelerator pedal feel three ways between Normal, Sport, Eco, plus an Individual option; Leon CUPRA adds DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) – the first adaptable suspension set-up in a SEAT
  • Wide range of new tech including Connectivity Hub (wireless charger), Traffic Jam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Available safety technology includes Multi-Collision Brake, Lane Assist and Tiredness Recognition. Front Assist, electric parking brake and Hill Hold Control all introduced (from SE Dynamic Technology upwards).
  • SEAT XDS electronic differential standard on SE Technology versions and above (with 150 PS or more); CUPRA has a mechanical front differential
  • Suspension set-up varies with power and trim:
    • All cars feature MacPherson-type front suspension
    • Versions with 150 PS or less have rear torsion beam, saving weight and keeping costs down without impacting on ride comfort
    • FR Technology 1.8 TSI 180 PS, FR Technology 2.0 TDI 184 PS and all CUPRA 300 models have independent rear suspension
    • All FR Technology cars are lowered by 15 mm from standard and have stiffer springs and dampers; CUPRA 300 lowered further (additional 10 mm front, 5 mm rear)

SEAT Leon SC: at a glance

  • Leon SC (Sports Coupé) was the second member of the new Leon family, following the launch of the five-door at the 2012 Paris Motor Show
  • SC is exclusively a sports model, comprising FR Technology, FR Titanium and CUPRA versions
  • Exterior redesigned from the A-pillars back, compared to five-door Leon:
    • Different tailgate design incorporates a more sharply raked rear screen
    • Sharp creases (blisters) over the rear wheel arches are more pronounced
    • Rear three-quarter windows redesigned to make the car appear more squat in side profile
    • 35 mm shorter than the five-door Leon, generating a compact, coupé-like appearance
    • Rear screen alters the slope of the roofline, making it 13 mm lower at the front, and 18.5 mm lower at the rear
  • Wheelbase reduction also lowers weight and benefits handling; the SC is up to 20 kg lighter than the Leon five-door, dependent on model
  • Leon SC loses very little practicality compared to the five-door:
    • Boot space is the same: 380 litres
    • Fractional loss of rear leg room and overall head room; Leon SC is a full five-seat car

SEAT Leon ST: at a glance

  • Leon ST (Sports Tourer) is a versatile and stylish estate built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform and launched at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show
  • Exterior redesigned from the A-pillars back, compared to the Leon SC and five-door:
    • Tailgate design incorporates a horizontal crease below the tail lights
    • Rear overhang 264 mm longer than that of the five-door Leon
    • Thin C-pillar follows the angle of the tailgate like the Leon SC’s, but unlike the five-door’s
    • Wheelbase the same as the five-door’s
  • 587-litre boot stretches to 1,470 litres with rear seats folded down
  • Despite rakish looks, Leon ST is designed for maximum load-carrying flexibility
    • Standard double boot floor
    • Optional front-folding front passenger seat increases available load space and length
    • Rear seat through-hatch for loading long, thin items
    • Retractable rear shelf, storable under the boot floor
    • Rear seat back release handles in boot
    • 13 cubby holes around the cabin; 12V socket in boot
    • Standard roof rails
  • Specification is as per the five-door, plus standard practicality flourishes mentioned above

SEAT Leon CUPRA 300: at a glance

  • Leon range flagship gains upgraded performance powertrain for 2018 model year: 10 PS increase in power to 300 PS and 30 Nm extra maximum torque
  • Raises the bar further as SEAT’s most powerful series production car
  • Available in all three Leon body styles – SC, five-door and ST. Latter gains 4Drive for first time for ultimate all-weather and versatile performance estate
  • 0-litre engine combines razor-sharp responsiveness with surprising efficiency
  • Choice of six-speed manual and six or seven-speed DSG auto transmissions
  • CUPRA 300 DSG (SC) completes 0-62 mph sprint in just 5.6 seconds, yet returns 42.2 mpg; ST with 4Drive and DSG makes it in only 4.9 seconds
  • CUPRA Drive Profile includes active suspension management – a first for a SEAT – controlled using the new DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control)
  • Electrically controlled mechanical front differential improves high speed cornering response

Leon CUPRA R (five-door only) was launched in 2017. 799 examples were confirmed, of which 24 (front-wheel-drive manual gearboxes 310PS) were allocated to the UK and sold out in just a few weeks.

Range overview

The new SEAT Leon: stunning design meets cutting-edge technology 

  • Third-generation Leon matches stunning design, outstanding quality and cutting-edge technology 
  • Longer wheelbase for improved passenger and luggage space
  • Exceptionally low running costs across the range
  • Three-strong model family comprises SC, five-door and ST

Towards the end of a record-breaking 2012, SEAT set itself up for an even better 2013 with the introduction of the all-new Leon hatchback at the Paris Motor Show. A ground-breaking model, both for the company and the motor industry itself, the Leon which emerged became arguably SEAT’s most significant car yet and virtually transformed the brand overnight.

The third-generation model followed in the tracks of its extremely successful predecessors by combining the most striking looks in the segment with outstanding driving dynamics, great value and exceptional quality. In 2017, the range underwent a series of improvements for the 2018 model year to keep it at the top of its game, further enhancing its styling, equipment specifications and performance, including new and more powerful engines.

Leon also remains a model family, comprising three distinct body styles: five-door hatchback, three-door SC, and ST estate.

Whereas the previous two generations of the car aimed to bring together sporty, coupé-like looks with the flexibility of a single, traditional five-door hatchback layout (particularly the second-generation Leon, with its ‘hidden’ rear door handles), this third-generation Leon has a significantly broader appeal and reaches a much wider customer base, strengthening its sales potential.

Development of the Leon focused on making it a class leader in every respect, from the more subjective elements of design and dynamic ‘feel’, to objective qualities such as passenger and luggage space, interior quality, fuel economy, safety and equipment levels.

For a start, it’s a genuine pioneer in the hatchback class, being the first to offer the sophisticated illumination of full-LED headlights. This cutting-edge technology was, until the Leon came along, only available as a significant cost option on luxury saloons and high-end sports cars.

Built on the Volkswagen Group’s widely vaunted MQB platform, the Leon is underpinned by a highly flexible, technologically advanced modular chassis. SEAT engineers played a significant role in the development of MQB, which is shared with the newest hatchbacks from Volkswagen Group manufacturers including the latest Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia.

On the dynamic front, the new Leon benefits from SEAT Drive Profile, which brought active chassis technology to a SEAT model for the first time. It allows drivers to select between three distinct driving modes, plus a customisable individual setting. In FR Technology versions, it’s linked to the steering, throttle, gearshift pattern (in DSG-equipped models) and engine sound (in higher powered versions), while in the CUPRA 300 models it also controls the suspension and front differential settings. 

The Leon range offers an impressive breadth of petrol and diesel powertrain options. Improvements to the line-up introduced to the 2018 model year include a new 1.0-litre Ecomotive TSI 115 PS, a highly efficient turbocharged three-cylinder unit that delivers official combined cycle benchmark figures of 102 g/km of CO2 and 64.2 mpg. It can be specified with either 6-speed manual or the sophisticated DSG automatic transmission. The 1.6 TDI unit – proven as a fleet-friendly performer – gains extra power, up from 105 to 115 PS, while still capable of up to 68.9 mpg and 108 g/km CO2 (combined cycle).

The 1.4 Eco TSI 150 PS remains a highlight of the range, its efficiency heightened by the use of Active Cylinder Shutdown technology. It gives authentic “warm hatch” performance with 0-62 mph in eight seconds, yet posts official fuel economy figures of 57.6 mpg with 114g/km CO2.

Aside from the full-LED headlights and SEAT Drive Profile, other useful technology featured in the Leon includes Multi-Collision Brake, which prevents further collisions in the aftermath of an accident by automatically applying the brakes; Tiredness Recognition, which analyses a driver's input and uses that data to detect when they are becoming tired, sounding a warning if so; Lane Assist, which applies a small amount of torque to the steering wheel to encourage the driver to take corrective steering action when drifting out of lane; and the XDS electronic limited slip differential, which applies correctional braking force to the inside front wheel during higher speed cornering, to sharpen turn-in. At the more leisurely end of the driving spectrum, an Optical Park System helps prevent low-speed bumps.

It's all wrapped in a package that's extremely practical. A full five-seater with a 380-litre boot, the Leon five-door offers significantly more space than its predecessor – including an extra 39 litres in the luggage compartment and 14 mm more head and rear knee room. It is among the most spacious cars in the family hatchback class, while the three-door Leon SC is only fractionally smaller, losing a little rear leg and head room but maintain the same boot space.

The Leon ST is, of course, the apotheosis of practicality in the Leon range, with its 587-litre boot stretching to 1,470 litres when the rear seat backs are folded flat. More than that, the standard double boot floor increases flexibility, and the cargo net offers protection when the boot is full. A through-hatch aids the loading of long, thin items, while optional seat back release handles make it even easier to drop the rear seats. 

At the launch of the third generation Leon the then SEAT President summed the car up perfectly, "an icon in our range, [that] represents the very best of SEAT: beautiful design, peerless quality, useful technology and driving fun.”

SEAT Leon CUPRA
“With the new Leon CUPRA, the SEAT brand is once more taking a major leap forward. The CUPRA is a refined, high-performance car that combines its expressive dynamics with relaxed long-distance comfort and a compelling, high-quality feel. Driving fun and great design comes with every Leon, but the new CUPRA displays SEAT expertise in a whole new dimension. We are proud of this new brand icon and certain of its success.”

That’s what former SEAT President Jürgen Stackmann said with the announcement of the new Leon CUPRA, which was unveiled officially at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. And it was not only the car itself that SEAT unveiled at the show, but the fact that a Leon CUPRA 280 had smashed the record for a front-wheel drive production car around the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, posting a 7:57.44 time. It was the first time that a front-drive unfettled production hatch had dipped below the elusive eight-minute mark.

The Leon CUPRA is a car whose development was led by the pursuit of dynamic excellence. To that end, each one comes as standard with a mechanical front axle differential lock, a progressive steering system that sharpens the turn-in for improved agility, Dynamic Chassis Control to alter the suspension settings between sportier or more comfort-oriented, and two-stage deactivation of the electronic stability control (ESC) – including the ability to turn it off entirely.

“The new Leon CUPRA is pure SEAT: emotion and performance, design and dynamics combine to deliver driving fun mile after mile. State-of-the-art technology is evident in its enormous precision, but also in its compelling efficiency,” said Dr Matthias Rabe, Vice President of SEAT S.A. for Research and Development. “The new CUPRA is a sports car for every day; it feels just as much at home on the race track as it does on the long haul.”

The CUPRA line-up has been refocused with a single, more powerful iteration of its proven 2.0 TSI engine, with output up by 10 PS to maximum 300 PS, available with six-speed manual or six-speed DSG auto transmission. CUPRA versions of all three Leon body style are available – SC, five-door and ST, the latter with added traction from 4Drive all-wheel drive.

The CUPRA 300 SC, with optional DSG transmission, catapults from zero to 62 mph in just 5.6 seconds, or 5.7 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox; every CUPRA model has a 155 mph limited top speed. With the added traction of 4Drive, the ST blasts to 60 mph from rest in a sports car-chasing 4.9 seconds. There is more torque available, too, the new maximum of 380 Nm (+ 30 Nm) spreads from just 1,800 rpm all the way up to 5,500 rpm, guaranteeing impressive pulling power and overtaking flexibility.

Against this, the new Leon CUPRA 300 is astonishingly efficient with the SC CUPRA 300 DSG returning 42.2 mpg combined and 153 g/km CO2.

Design

The ultimate embodiment of the SEAT design language

  • SEAT 'arrow head' design shown in its most complete form
  • Team led by SEAT Head of Design Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos
  • Five-door Leon replaces 'hidden' rear door handles of Mk II Leon with conventional ones 
  • Sharp blisters over rear wheel arches give aggressive stance; distinctive front and rear LED lights enhance looks
  • Leon SC and ST redesigned from the A-pillars back, for a unique (yet family-familiar) look
  • Exceptional quality interior designed for functional simplicity

The third generation Leon is a radical departure from the car it supersedes in the styling department. It started with the unveiling of the five-door hatchback at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, which used the conventional to become unconventional: it had regular rear door handles. This was unusual because, in order to look more like a coupé, its predecessor had ‘hidden’ rear handles.

Leon family exterior
Designed from the ground up under the guidance of SEAT Design Director Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, with SEAT Head of Exterior Design Jorge Diez responsible for the bodywork, the new Leon was the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the company.

With a look first previewed on the IBE, IBX and IBL concept cars, the new Leon is the ultimate embodiment of SEAT itself, achieving its beautiful aesthetic with a combination of sharp creases, strong proportions and cutting-edge technology.

“Thanks to its dynamic and assured character, the new SEAT Leon inspires a self-confident stance. It has a decisive look,” said Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos. "It has extremely well-proportioned volumes, with a slight shift of the visual weight of the cabin over the rear wheels, while keeping a very fluid transition between the front wing and the cabin.”

With an overall length 33 mm shorter than its predecessor, but a wheelbase longer by 58 mm, the Leon five-door has notably short overhangs, resulting in a desirable 'wheels pushed out to the corners' look, with the added benefit of an improvement in interior space for both passengers and luggage.

The angular lines of the headlamps are a signature feature of the current SEAT design language. The full-LED headlights and daytime running lights give an unmistakable look to the front end of the Leon, although even without these (they're standard on FR Technology, XCELLENCE Technology and CUPRA trim levels and a cost option on all other models), the distinctive design of the headlamp clusters give the car real head-on presence. LED technology is now also available for the turn indicators and fog lights, while further progress in lighting technology has given the headlights and tail lights much greater light intensity.

Further emphasis was added to the impact of the frontal design by styling revisions introduced with the new 2018 model year Leon. Changes shared right across the range generate a sportier feel, with a lower, wider bonnet, revised front bumper and wider, more prominent trapezoidal front grille.

The appearance of the tailgate is also enhanced with the inclusion of LED rear lights – standard where LED headlights are specified. As with the Leon Mk II and other SEAT models, the rear badge also serves as a handle for the tailgate.

From the side, the new SEAT Leon is a precisely executed sculpture on wheels. The characteristic Línea Dinámica sharp crease line runs rearwards over the wheel arches, and is inspired by the tension of a well-trained muscle. The trapezoidal C-pillars are a characteristic of the Leon five-door, as are the short, upwards-pointing third windows.

"The surfaces have been severely sculpted all around in order to increase its three-dimensional appeal, thanks to the effects of light and shadow. Its character lines show pure assertiveness, like for instance the outer shape of the headlamps and tail lamps. All-in-all, I strongly believe that the new Leon is full of character,” Mesonero-Romanos explained.

Leon SC
The styling of the Leon SC simultaneously ensures that it’s blessed with the looks of a proper coupé, but with only a minor loss of practicality compared to the five-door version: the boot has the same capacity, and the reduction in rear head and legroom is minor.

Unveiling the car at the Geneva Motor Show 2013, the then SEAT President James Muir said: “The Leon SC is the most emotional and athletic member of this family; it is as emotional as a coupé, while offering a high degree of usability. This irresistible combination of design, technology, athletic performance and premium quality will impress our loyal customers and draw a whole new generation of fans to our brand.”

The SC’s rear three-quarter windows slope downwards parallel to the line of the C-pillar, differentiating it from the five-door and creating a distinct, hunkered down profile, “like an athlete at the start of a race,” according to Head of Exterior Design Jorge Diez. 

In addition, the rear blisters that run over the wheel arches are more pronounced on the SC than they are on the five-door, with a 21 mm greater distance between their edge and the rear windows.

The wheelbase is shorter by 35 mm compared to the five-door, but remains 23 mm longer than that of previous, Mk II five-door Leon, which means a more spacious interior.

Leon ST
If the SC is the peacock of the Leon family, the ST is…a peacock carrying a massive rucksack. The Leon ST does a tremendous job of looking pretty, while being very good at swallowing all manner of loads.

With a thin C-pillar that follows the same line as the SC coupé’s (and thus different to the five-door’s), and the Línea Dinámica running along the entire profile of the car, the ST is as rakish as a family estate could possibly be. It incorporates, for example, an additional horizontal tailgate crease that runs below the SEAT badge, giving the impression of extra width.

“In the development of the new Leon ST, we have fully retained the dynamic essence of SEAT design,” said Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos. “The roofline follows almost exactly the same line as the five-door, just stretched a little further back. While the wheelbase remains the same, an extra 27 centimetres on the body shell allows the car to offer the luggage volume of a fully-fledged estate car.”

“Nobody has to choose between sporty and practical anymore – the new Leon ST offers both,” added former SEAT President Jürgen Stackmann at the car’s Frankfurt 2013 launch. “With its sporty look, its surprisingly high utility and its state-of-the-art technology, the Leon ST defines a new standard in the compact estate car class – at a very fair price. Like the already highly successful Leon and Leon SC, the new ST is the perfect representative of SEAT’s brand values.”

Leon CUPRA
It was important that the Leon CUPRA should adequately display its sporty characteristics, but do so without being overbearing; SEAT has moved away from an overt, racier image from previous generations of conspicuous CUPRA models. For this reason, there’s discretion about the new Leon CUPRA: it is evidently a high-performance car, but, not a hot hatch caricature. 

The new front end of the Leon CUPRA, with its large air intakes and full-LED headlamps, ensures a powerful look, as does the rear skirt with its diffuser effect and the brace of oval tailpipes. The 19-inch machined alloy wheels are exclusive to the CUPRA, and the gloss black front grille frame and door mirror housings and the CUPRA-emblazoned red brake callipers underscore its individuality.

Leon family interior
Describing the Leon family’s interior, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos said: “We set ourselves the objective of developing an interior which would give an expressive, elegant and welcoming ambience. The quality of the material, the fit and finish and the attention to details is at least as good as you can find in the segment above.”

The elegant exterior design of the new Leon continues into the cabin, which has a clear, light and uncluttered look. The dashboard is unconventional and elegant, with a two-tone design that makes it appear to float in mid-air.

Compared to the Mk II Leon, the infotainment screen has been moved upwards in the dashboard, negating the need to look downwards and making it more comfortable and safer to use while driving. Its functions are also integrated into the smaller colour screen between the speedometer and the rev counter in the instrument binnacle.

The thin A-pillars, aside from adding to the overall elegance of the car, aid safety by improving visibility and reducing blind spots.

Every dial and button has been engineered with fastidious focus on tactility and durability, and soft-touch materials are used on the upper dashboard and door linings.

Fine details underscore the Leon’s high standard of craftsmanship – such as the large air vents, the controls for the air conditioning and the three-dimensional form of the trim elements. The interior lighting lifts the cabin atmosphere, particularly the ambient spot lighting and light strips integrated into the door trims (depending on trim level), which in FR Technology versions turn from white to red when SEAT Drive Profile is switched to Sport mode.

“The design of the dashboard respects our new interior philosophy, with a strong driver orientation. This enhances the ergonomics while giving the design an attractive, sporty feeling. The whole has been designed so the new Leon and its driver feel as one," says Mesonero-Romanos.

The Leon has a driving position that suits all shapes and sizes of person. The driver's seat is set slightly lower than that of the previous Leon, but has a wide range of movement up and down, and fore and aft, as does the steering wheel.

With 1,042 mm between the front seat bases and the roof lining, and 970 mm at the rear, there's plenty of headroom for five adult occupants; the new Leon is 4 mm taller than the outgoing car (S and SE Technology models - FR Technology models sit on lower suspension) yet there's 14 mm more headroom front and rear.

There's also 14 mm more rear legroom, at 817 mm compared to 803 mm in the Leon Mk II, and the 380-litre boot is a full 39 litres bigger than before. Total luggage capacity with the rear seats folded down is 1,210 litres – this all packaged into a car that, as mentioned earlier, is shorter than its predecessor by 52 mm.

Leon SC
The SC is a full five-seater, with only reductions of only 10 mm in front headroom and 18 mm in rear headroom, compared to the five-door. A 35 mm wheelbase reduction is taken from rear leg space, but still leaving plenty. Furthermore, the SC has the same 380-litre boot capacity as the five-door  – which is to say it’s 39-litres bigger than in the Leon Mk II. It extends to 1,150 litres, and the load floor is more than 1.5 metres long, so it’s IKEA-friendly. Other furniture stores are available.

To emphasise its sportier credentials, every Leon SC comes with sports-style front seats as standard. 

Leon ST
The Leon ST provides excellent luggage space that is versatile and full of useful touches for ideal day-to-day convenience. The boot has a load capacity of 587 litres, rising to 1,470 litres with the rear seat backrests folded, and its twin-level floor makes loading bulky items much easier; the rear seats can be folded flat using easy-to-reach handles on the sidewalls of the boot. 

The ST has been designed with functionality flourishes such as a 12V socket in the boot, roof rails, a through hatch for loading long thin items such as skis, an optional front-folding passenger seat to increase the load capacity (and length) even further, and no fewer than 13 interior cubby holes. There’s even a place to store the removable, retractable parcel shelf, so you don’t have to leave it in the shed.

Leon CUPRA 
The focus of the CUPRA’s interior is on the CUPRA sports steering wheel, designed with a thicker, more tactile rim, a perforated leather finish and shift paddles for the optional DSG transmission. The sports seats, in black Alcantara finished with white stitching, are another interior highlight. Black full-leather upholstery, likewise with white stitching, is also available as an option. The pedals and entry sills are made from aluminium, the latter stamped with the CUPRA logo.

Technology

Lighting the way in the family hatchback segment

  • First family hatchback in the world to offer full-LED headlights
  • Innovative safety and driver assistance systems
  • SEAT Drive Profile alters driving characteristics in FR Technology and CUPRA versions
  • Intuitive touchscreen infotainment platform

SEAT developed the Leon to lead the technological field in the family hatchback segment, and from the wheels up it's full of cutting-edge innovations. For a start, it is underpinned by the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform, which innovates by cutting weight, complexity and cost in every area of car design, development and production.

On that platform the Leon's ream of useful technology rests, starting with the full-LED headlights, and continuing with all manner of engine, drivetrain, safety, driver assistance and infotainment systems.

Full-LED headlights
At the very forefront of the Leon’s technology highlights, quite literally, are its full-LED headlights; the Leon was the first family hatchback in the world to have them. The Audi R8 was the first car ever to offer series production full-LED headlights as an option, but the Leon was the first to put them in an affordable class of car.

The Leon’s full-LED light unit comprises six LED modules for the main low beam headlight and a further three for the high beam function. The SEAT signature daytime running light (DRL) uses two LEDs plus a light guide to achieve its distinctive strip effect, while the turn indicators use nine. Each of the nine LEDs in the headlamp cluster is housed inside an individual unit with reflective surfaces.

LEDs provide their quality of light while consuming less power than traditional headlamps: 50% less than a xenon bulb, while functioning on low beam, while the indicators use half the power of a conventional bulb, and the daytime running lights (DRL) around two-thirds. SEAT has improved the performance of its LED front and rear lights, the revised versions introduced for the 2018 new Leon operating at three times the light intensity of the original units.

Another advantage is that LEDs are virtually maintenance-free and extremely durable, with a life of at least 10,000 hours – it would take an eight-hour drive every single evening for around three-and-a-half years to give the lights that much use. 

It’s not just the headlamps whose operation is improved markedly by using LED technology – LED taillights are more than just a pretty light signature, they are quantifiably more effective than standard bulbs: LED brake lights are 0.02 seconds quicker to react than conventional bulb-based units from the moment the brake pedal is pressed. This may not seem a great amount of time, but at speed, this fractional improvement in the application of the brake lights may be the difference between being shunted from behind or not.

All FR Technology, FR Titanium, XCELLENCE Technology and CUPRA versions of the Leon are fitted as standard with full LED headlights, daytime running lights, front fog lamps, tail lamps and number plate illumination. These can also be specified as a single option package for SE Technology and SE Dynamic Technology models.

MQB platform
The MQB (in English translation: Modular Transverse Matrix) platform is a way of maximising innovation while reducing cost across every brand in the Volkswagen Group. It is a standardised vehicle architecture that allows combinations of different parts.

MQB is not just a chassis, in the traditional sense that cars share chassis parts, but an extremely advanced yet highly flexible set of building blocks with which a unique new car can be created. It covers every element of car making, including platform, powertrain, electrics, infotainment and engines, and was developed with input from each of the brands within the Volkswagen Group, SEAT included. 

As a result of MQB, as well as efforts from SEAT's engineering wizards at every stage of designing and developing the car, the new Leon is up to 93 kg lighter than its predecessor, model-for-model. Weight has been taken out of the chassis floor structure, engine block, running gear, interior components, and even the electrical wiring system – up to 3 kg from the wires alone. The benefits of this weight loss permeate every area of the car, from handling and performance to fuel economy and environmental impact.

SEAT Media Systems
The SEAT Leon is not only a hugely entertaining drive – it’s a place in which to be hugely entertained.

A new infotainment platform, MIB (Modular Infotainment Matrix) is a further benefit of the MQBs all-encompassing architecture. This underpins the information and entertainment units used in all MQB models, developed with significant input from SEAT engineers.

The new Leon uses MIB to great effect, with SEAT’s design team having created an intuitive and attractive carousel interface for the touchscreen, which serves as the top menu for all the car's media and driver preference settings. Grouping all the car's major functions into the touchscreen benefits not only functionality, but also style and ergonomics, because it allowed the designers to minimise the number of buttons and dials on the dashboard.

The new Leon’s entry point infotainment interface is called Media System Colour, and features a five-inch colour touchscreen, MP3/WMA playback, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth for audio streaming and hands-free phone use and auxiliary controls on the steering wheel. Multiple connectivity bases are covered with a USB port, an SD card slot and Aux-in socket.

Things move to another level from SE Technology grade, courtesy of Media System Plus. This retains all the fine intuitive quality of Media System Colour, but provides a larger, eight-inch smart touch display with a proximity sensor that detects hand movement and reveals additional on-screen functions. When a hand moves towards the screen, touch-sensitive buttons at appear at each corner, giving the driver quick access to a number of different options without the screen becoming cluttered with distracting icons. There are two extra audio speakers, a CD player, DAB reception, voice recognitions and four USB ports (two up front, two in the rear cabin). The system also seamless accommodates a navigation system (also standard from SE Technology grade), with a high-resolution colour driver’s display, two SD slots and 3D mapping.

The SEAT Sound System featured as standard on CUPRA models beefs up the audio with 10 speakers – one of which is a sub-woofer, cleverly mounted in the spare wheel well so that it doesn’t encroach into boot space. It is available as an option on other model.

SEAT Sound System isn’t just a speaker upgrade – it’s a full overhaul of the stereo system, transforming the Leon into a top-end sound system on wheels. It packs 135 Watts and has a six-channel amplifier, which is acoustically engineered to provide a rich, punchy sound that doesn’t distort even on the cusp of its (very loud) volume limit.

SEAT’s sound engineers benchmarked the system against the best car stereos on the market to achieve its incredibly clear, crisp tonal quality. Poor sound comes when there are gaps in the spectrum of frequencies that the human ear can pick up – if there’s an overload of sounds in the high frequency spectrum, the stereo sounds ‘tinny’, while too many low frequencies make for a flat, muffled sound. SEAT Sound System covers a wide frequency spectrum, but it also has a five-channel customisable equaliser, allowing the user to alter the tonal quality of the stereo to their exact preference. 

Optical Park System
Optical Park System, available a part of the optional Parking Assistance Packs, links the parking sensors to the SEAT Media System Plus colour touchscreen, making parking even easier. It uses the parking sensors to give a visual representation of objects nearby, as well as showing the predicted path of the car based on the position of the steering. 

Safety and security

A five-star car packed with safety technology

  • Rated five stars by Euro NCAP in its industry-standard crash tests
  • Extremely high ratings for adult occupant and child occupant safety
  • Advanced preventive and active safety technologies to help prevent and mitigate collisions
  • Standard alarm with perimeter and interior monitoring, remote central locking and engine immobiliser

The Leon was awarded the maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP in its industry benchmark safety tests (5 door tested in 2012), scoring especially impressive 94% and 92% scores for the adult occupant and child occupant elements respectively.

This is all credit to the all-encompassing, no-compromise approach to safety that SEAT adopted during the development and testing of the car.

Again, the MQB platform provides the basis for this exceptional performance, equipping Leon with a chassis that uses the right strength steels in the right places; a combination of press hardened steel, advanced high-strength steel and lower strength steels in the crumple zones make the Leon extremely strong yet very light, and capable of absorbing impact energy in the safest possible way.

This comes in combination with the application of technologies designed to prevent a collision, or at least mitigate its effects. Sophisticated systems to keep to maintain safe vehicle speeds, lane position and distances in traffic and to recognise imminent collision risks with other road users and pedestrians are available in optional Driving Assistance and Comfort and Driving packs.

In the cabin, seven airbags are standard – two front, two front side, two head and driver’s knee – and there are seatbelt warnings for the front occupants. The front passenger airbag can be disconnected for child seat fitment. An optional Safety Pack Plus adds seatbelt reminders for rear occupants and a tiredness recognition system.

ISOFIX child seat locators with top tether anchorage points are standard for the outer rear seats.

All Leon models are fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC).  ABS and TCS (switchable traction control) are also standard, with Hill Hold Control is featured on all models excepting the entry-level S grade five-door and ST.

SEAT’s XDS limited-slip differential is another standard feature (S grade apart), which serves as a safety feature as well as a performance-enhancing innovation. XDS is a relatively inexpensive way of replicating the outcome of a mechanical limited slip differential. It works to prevent understeer and thereby improve cornering performance by applying braking pressure to the inside front wheel when taking a bend at speed. CUPRA models replace this unit with a mechanical limited slip differential.

Front Assist
Using sensors at the front of the car, this latest system warns the driver if the distance between the Leon and the car in front is reducing, and, if no driver input is detected, it will automatically slow the car down to avoid collision. It is allied to City Emergency Braking which includes Pedestrian Protection which detects passers-by and automatically applies the brakes.

Multi-Collision Brake
Multi-Collision Brake was recognised and commended by Euro NCAP Advanced, an independent body set up to reward technology that demonstrates a scientifically proven safety benefit for consumers and society. A brake-based system, it detects when the car has been involved in an accident – if the airbag has been fired, for example – and applies the brakes to prevent or mitigate a subsequent impact in the case that the driver has lost consciousness or become incapacitated in some way. It triggers both the hazard warning lights and the brake lights.

Traffic Jam Assist
Available on models equipped with DSG transmission, this assistance function makes progress in heavy, stop-start traffic more bearable. At “traffic jam speeds,” the new Leon steers, accelerates and brakes automatically within the system’s limits. At higher speeds, up to around 37 mph, the system provides support with speed control and lane-keeping, but the driver’s hands have to stay on the wheel.

Lane Assist
Another innovation that was credited by Euro NCAP Advanced, SEAT Lane Assist operates at speed above 40 mph to help the driver keep the car in its correct lane. A camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror detects the lane markings on the road ahead of the car and, using the power steering system, applies a small amount of steering correction intended to prompt the driver into taking corrective action should they begin to drift out of lane.  This function is available in the optional Driver Assistance packs.

Emergency Assist
Emergency Assist is a new function that operates if the driver remains inactive beyond a certain period of time. The vehicle first issues a visual warning, then an audible alert, and finally a brief pulse of the brakes. If there is still no response from the driver, the Leon is automatically slowed to a standstill while remaining in lane and the hazard lights and electronic parking brake are activated.

High Beam Assist
High Beam Assist, another feature of the optional Driver Assistance packs, automatically operates the high beam headlights function in appropriate conditions, and reverts to a dipped beam when it senses either oncoming traffic or vehicles in the same lane on the road ahead. It does so using a camera mounted on the rear view mirror, and can be manually overridden at any time.

Tiredness Recognition
A first for the Leon, Tiredness Recognition does exactly that – recognises when the driver is tired and sounds an alert, instructing them to take a break for safety’s sake. It does so using an algorithm that ‘learns’ the driver’s style over the course of a journey through the steering movements, then detects when there’s a particular deviation from that style, conducive to tiredness. At that stage it sounds an audible warning, and an alert on the colour display in the instrument binnacle.

Traffic Sign Recognition
Once more, debuting in Leon from 2017 onwards. The risk of the driver not noticing important warning and commands signs on major routes is reduced by the Traffic sign Recognition system. An on-board camera picks up on key signs and replicates them on the colour driver’s display to reinforce the message.

Security
The Leon has a full complement of security equipment as standard, including remote central locking (operated by the folding key, which also features a remote window opening/closing function), a volumetric alarm system with perimeter- and interior monitoring, back-up horn and tow away protection, an electronic engine immobiliser, rear door child locks, and locking wheel nuts.

Dynamics

A truly engaging experience, with no compromise on comfort

  • Engineered to strike the perfect balance between comfort and dynamism
  • Class-leading driver assistance systems, including SEAT Drive Profile
  • Lighter than Leon Mk II and a wider track for improved handling and stability 
  • Weight reduction of up to 93 kg compared to Leon Mk II
  • Varying suspension setups for optimum comfort and performance

The MQB architecture underpinning the Leon allowed SEAT’s engineers to move the front axle further forward (by 40 mm compared to the previous generation model), as well as widening the track (by 14 mm). In the former case this better balances the distribution of the axle load and in the latter improves stability – both qualities that significantly benefit the car’s handling.

In addition, the advanced construction techniques, use of lightweight materials and efforts to strip weight at every stage of the car’s manufacture means that the overall weight was reduced significantly compared with the previous version (up to 93 kg).

Suspension
Key to the way the new Leon handles is the suspension, with a different set-up deployed depending on each model’s power and trim. McPherson-type suspension is standard at the front, with a semi-rigid axle (torsion beam) at the rear for all cars with engines up to and including 150 PS. This solution saves weight and cost – which can be passed on to the buyer – without diminishing ride comfort or overall refinement.

However, for the most powerful cars, where the last nuances of handling characteristics are more significant, the rear suspension is a multi-link setup. Currently this applies to models equipped with the 1.8 TSI 180 PS and 2.0 TDI 184 PS engines, and all CUPRA models

A multi-link suspension setup is more suitable to higher performance driving, with five links per side allowing greater lateral movement for improved contact with the road, particularly during high-speed cornering when the tyres are at the limit of grip; while the rear torsion beam allows some degree of twist and flex, the multi-link setup does even more so.

The lower-powered FR Technology and FR Titanium models come with the torsion beam rear set-up, but both the front and rear suspension are lowered by 15 mm from standard, and the springs and shock absorbers are stiffened for a sportier feel. In the CUPRA this is even more the case, with a further 10 mm drop at the front and 5 mm at the rear.

Steering
The Leon employs an electro-mechanical steering rack, tuned for the most ‘natural’ feel possible through the wheel, while having enough power assistance to give the light, comfortable characteristics that the majority of drivers are looking for day-to-day. An electrical setup is advantageous not only because it is energy-efficient, but because it can be linked to an electrical control unit (ECU) so that its characteristics can be adjusted. This means that, when linked to SEAT Drive Profile, it can be made to feel heavier or lighter according to the driver’s preference. 

SEAT Drive Profile
The introduction of SEAT Drive Profile on the third generation Leon marked the first time that SEAT offered adaptive chassis technology on any of its cars. Standard fit with FR Technology and CUPRA models, and accessed through the SEAT Media System Plus touchscreen interface, it allows the driver to select between Normal, Eco and Sport modes, as well as combining preferred elements of the three into a fourth Individual setting.

By allowing alteration of the steering feel, accelerator response and, in DSG automatic versions, the gearbox settings, a driver can give their car distinct character at the touch of a button. SEAT Drive Profile also alters the air conditioning, Start/Stop engine system, interior light settings, and in the highest powered versions (TSI 180 PS, TDI 184 PS and CUPRA) it includes a sound actuator. 

From a driver experience point of view, SEAT Drive Profile distinguishes Sport and Comfort modes most obviously. In Sport mode, for example, the resistance of the electro-mechanical power steering is altered so that it feels heavier – it becomes 7% stiffer. In addition, the response of the accelerator pedal is changed, requiring less movement to open up the throttle fully, giving it a ‘sharper’ feel. 

With a DSG-equipped car, the gearbox is programmed to hold onto each of its seven gears longer in Sport mode – right up to the rev limiter when the car is being driven enthusiastically – resulting in a more aggressive, sporty feel.

The reverse is true in comfort mode, with the steering given more assistance for a lighter feel, and the throttle sharpness eased off, conducive to smoother driving and lower fuel use. Similarly, the DSG automatic transmission will shift to a higher gear at the earliest opportunity, lowering engine speed on the move and making for an altogether more relaxed driving experience.

Other perhaps less noticeable, but equally important, functions of SEAT Drive Profile is its links to fuel consumption. In Eco mode the Start/Stop engine function is activated automatically, and the climate control settings are altered so that they only function when absolutely necessary, reducing energy consumption. In cars with manual transmissions, the optimum gearshift points are advised via a read-out on the information screen in the instrument binnacle, while DSG’s coasting mode is activated.

And for an extra bit of in-cabin drama, Sport mode turns the interior ambient lighting from white to red, and in the highest powered versions it activates the sound actuator. Placed beneath the air filter, the actuator amplifies the engine sound into the cabin for added sportiness.    

SEAT Leon CUPRA: the embodiment of SEAT dynamics
As the embodiment of SEAT dynamics, the Leon CUPRA is equipped with some key, cutting-edge mechanical, electrical and engineering innovations that serve to make it a truly great drivers’ car. Here are the highlights:

CUPRA engine
As a true sports engine, the 2.0 TSI turbo petrol unit of the new Leon CUPRA reacts spontaneously to every movement of the accelerator pedal and is wonderfully high revving. This is paired with a rich and refined sound that is aided and modulated by a standard sound actuator.  Development has continued since launch, with the unit engineered to deliver more, usable power and torque (+10 PS and +30 Nm respectively) in the new CUPRA 300, introduced for the 2018 model year.

The power unit, which was all-new for the third-generation Leon CUPRA, has an exceptionally responsive turbocharger and is packed with hi-tech, ground-breaking features. The dual-injection system, for example, combines direct injection with manifold injection under partial load, which optimises fuel economy and reduces particulate emissions. Cylinder fill is always in the optimum range: the camshafts are adjustable, with the valve lift system regulating opening on the exhaust side. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head and is part of the intelligent thermal management system. In addition, a new kind of coating on the aluminium pistons and the bearings keeps friction to a minimum.

And like every other Leon in the range, the CUPRA efficiency package also includes start/stop and energy recovery systems.

CUPRA chassis
The fundamentals of the CUPRA’s dynamics are low weight and a stiff structure. The systematic lightweight design of the new Leon family is evident in the CUPRA: despite considerably improved equipment, the new generation weighs 55kg less than its comparable predecessor.

The CUPRA name has always been synonymous with outstanding dynamics, precise agility and amazing sporting character. In every way, the new Leon CUPRA manages to set the bar a good deal higher than any of its predecessors. With Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), a front-axle differential lock and progressive steering all fitted as standard, the new Leon CUPRA achieves considerably faster laps on the track than its already impressive predecessor.

At the same time, it is significantly more comfortable, with surprising refinement on long motorway journeys. Safe, strong and consistent stopping power comes courtesy of the CUPRA-specific, high-performance brake system, recognisable by its red callipers.

CUPRA Drive Profile
The CUPRA Drive Profile adds even more customisation, including – for the first time in any SEAT – adaptive suspension technology in the form of Dynamic Chassis Control (see below), which has three distinct settings.

Alongside the Comfort and Sport modes, the CUPRA mode was a focal point for the engineers in Martorell. Throttle response is particularly sensitive in this setting, while the DSG operates in its sportiest shifting mode and the sound actuator accentuates the full tone of the turbocharged engine. Progressive steering and the front-axle differential lock also operate at their sportiest settings in CUPRA mode.

Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC)
The new generation of the DCC developed specifically for the CUPRA is even more sensitive than that available with the Leon FR, adapting the chassis characteristics to the prevailing conditions in a matter of milliseconds.

Front-axle differential lock 
The front-axle differential lock significantly improves the traction and handling of this front-wheel drive car. The system uses a multi-plate package that is hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled. The maximum locking force is 1,600 Nm and, in extreme cases, 100% of the drive can be sent to one wheel. The differential lock is integrated into all the handling systems, like ESC and EDS. It improves not only the traction, but also eliminates torque steer. Furthermore, its sensitive control has no negative impact on steering feel.

Progressive steering 
Also included as standard equipment, the progressive steering system improves the agile handling of the Leon CUPRA 300. The driver experiences a precise and relaxed steering feel because less steering movement is required, which reduces the number of grip changes, especially in cornering or parking manoeuvres. The system works using a progressive ratio through variable toothing on the rack.

Electronic Stability Control
The ESC handling system has been further developed specifically for the CUPRA and enables a very sporty driving style with full retention of safety functionality. For extremely dynamic use, such as on a race track, it can also be deactivated in two stages – the first stage deactivates the traction control and puts the ESC into sport mode, permitting greater yaw angles. The second stage deactivates the ESC completely.

Ownership

Outstanding efficiency and performance across the range

  • Leon range truly offers the best of both worlds: efficiency with performance
  • Fuel economy of up to 68.9 mpg combined (1.6 TDI); ultra-quick CUPRA 300 delivers up to 41.5 mpg
  • Excellent standard equipment levels
  • High residual values; very low pence-per-mile costs
  • Spacious interior with large boot

In every area the new Leon makes a phenomenal ownership proposition, and that’s without even considering the warm inner glow that comes from having something so pretty sitting outside home or work.

It’s a car that’s exceptionally well-equipped from the bottom to the top of the range, and, thanks to a set of the very latest TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines, has running costs more akin to a supermini than a car of such space, refinement and technological innovation.

This equates to very strong residual values, as calculated by industry experts CAP, which in turn means very low overall running costs in pence-per-mile terms.

Engine range
The Leon’s engine line-up is covers a broad power spectrum in order to satisfy the needs of a wide variety of buyers. Regardless of power and performance, though, each is optimised for outstanding efficiency and all benefit from fuel and emissions-saving stop/start, part of SEAT’s Ecomotive technology portfolio.

TSI petrol engines
The revised petrol engine for the 2018 model year takes the number of petrol engines available up to five, all of them using turbocharging technology. They are a new-to-the-range 1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 PS, a 1.2 TSI with power increased to 110 PS, a 1.4 TSI with 125 or (in Eco form) 150 PS, a 1.8 TSI 180 PS, and a 2.0 TSI unit exclusively for the CUPRA with 300 PS.

For the first time in the UK the new Leon will be available with a fuel-sipping 1.0-litre TSI Ecomotive 115 PS engine, delivering CO2 emissions of just 102 g/km and combined cycle fuel economy of 64.2 mpg, yet also dispatching 0-62 mph in less than 10 seconds. Its performance reaps the benefits of Ecomotive technologies, including a stop/start system, energy recovery, which stores brake energy usually lost as heat and uses it to help power the car’s electrical systems, and an aero pack that improves the car’s wind-cheating aerodynamics. The new unit is available in the five-door and ST models, with either six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission.

Turbocharging not only means that the Leon’s engines generate outstanding peak power figures for their size, but that they develop a good surge of peak torque very low down in the rev range. The 1.2-litre engine develops its 175 Nm at just 1,400 rpm and maintains it up to 4,000 rpm, making it feel exceptionally urgent for such a small capacity engine.

The 1.4-litre 150 PS and 1.8-litre TSI engines both hit their identical 250 Nm torque figures at 1,500 rpm, and they too plateau, maintaining that peak all the way to 3,900 rpm. The 1.4 hits 62 mph from rest in 7.9 seconds (SC manual), while, with 30 PS more, the latter takes just 7.4 seconds. Despite that performance, they’re not much less economical than the 1.2 TSI, returning average consumption figures of 57.6 mpg and 47.1 mpg respectively.

The 1.4 TSI engine makes good use of Active Cylinder Technology (ACT). This remarkable innovation reduces fuel consumption significantly by temporarily shutting off two of the four cylinders (cylinders two and three) during low to mid-load, which in practice means engine speeds between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm with torque loads between 25 and 75 Nm. It’s calculated that at its most efficient – while the car is driving at around 30 mph in third or fourth gear – around one litre of fuel is saved in every 60 miles driven.

The spearhead of the petrol range – and indeed the entire Leon range – is the 2.0-litre turbo unit which powers the Leon CUPRA. This 2.0-litre TSI unit has been further developed to produce even more power and torque – not simply to show off higher figures, but to deliver genuinely better performance, raising the bar yet again. There’s now just a single version of the engine, with maximum output of 300 PS, up 10 PS on the previous unit. This is reflected in the new CUPRA 300 designation across all three Leon models. Perhaps of more interest to drivers seeking maximum engagement with their car is a corresponding increase in peak torque, from 250 to 380 Nm and accessible across an impressively broad range of engine speeds, from 1,800 to 5,500rpm.

Thanks to the fact it’s fettled with the 4Drive all-wheel drive system, the ST CUPRA 300 with six-speed DSG auto ‘box leads the timesheet for the 0-62 charge, posting 4.9 seconds, ahead of the SC with DSG at 5.6. In official testing, the CUPRA engine remains a fuel-efficient performer, too, with combined cycle figures from 39.2 (ST with DSG) to 42.2 mpg (SC with DSG).

TDI diesel engines
The most efficient engines in the Leon line-up are the TDI diesels, which like the petrol engines feature Ecomotive Technology in each case, and all are common rail and direct injection, utilising fast-working piezoelectric injectors and diesel particulate filters and fully complying with Euro 6 emissions standards.

Available in 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre guises, with the latter in two power outputs, the diesel engines serve up a huge amount of torque for outstanding in-gear flexibility and response, even at very low engine speeds.

The 1.6 TDI was made more potent for the 2018 model year, its maximum power increased by 10 PS to 115 PS.  CO2 emissions from just 108 g/km (five-door, manual), help keep  ownership costs capped, together with 68.9 mpg average fuel consumption that means fewer fill-ups and theoretical driving range of more than 770 miles from the 50-litre fuel tank. And with 250 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm (the same figure as the 1.4 TSI and 1.8 TSI engines), the 1.6 TDI feels responsive.

With 320 and 380 Nm of torque respectively, it’s the 2.0 TDI 150 PS and 184 PS engines that offer the most grunt. They hit 62 mph from rest in 8.4 and 7.5 seconds respectively, and carry on to 134 mph and 142 mph top speeds, but are barely any less economical than the 1.6 TDI. The 150 PS version tops 67 mpg, while the 184 PS diesel averages more than 61 mpg.

Either a five or six-speed manual gearbox is standard, depending on engine, or there are two DSG twin-clutch automatics (six and seven-speed, according to engine), which provide the benefits of an automatic transmission but with minimal loss of fuel economy – unlike a traditional torque converter automatic.

Performance and fuel efficiency: petrol

Engine

1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 PS

1.0 TSI Ecomotive 115 PS

1.2 TSI 110 PS

1.4 TSI 125 PS

Body style

5dr/ST

5dr/ST

5dr/ST

5dr/ST

Gearbox

6-speed manual

7-speed DSG

6-speed manual

6-speed manual

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

 

 

Urban

52.3 / 52.3

53.3 / 53.3

45.6 / 45.6

42.2 / 42.2

Extra urban

74.3 / 74.3

72.4 / 72.4

65.7 / 65.7

65.7 / 65.7

Combined

64.2 / 64.2

64.2 / 64.2

56.5 / 56.5

54.3 / 54.3

Emissions

 

 

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

102 / 102

102 / 102

116 / 116

120 /120

Performance

 

 

 

 

0-62 mph

9.6 / 9.8

9.6 / 9.8

9.9 / 10.1

9.1 / 9.4

Top speed (mph)

123 / 126

126 / 126

121 / 121

126 / 126

 

Engine

1.4 Eco TSI 150 PS 

1.4 Eco TSI 150 PS 

1.8 TSI 180 PS

1.8 TSI 180 PS

Body style

SC/5dr/ST

SC/5dr/ST

SC/5dr/ST

SC/5dr/ST

Gearbox

6-speed manual

7-speed DSG

6-speed manual

7-speed DSG

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

 

 

Urban

47.1 / 47.1 / 47.1

48.7 / 48.7 / 47.9

37.7 / 37.7 / 37.7

39.8 / 39.8 / 3.8

Extra urban

64.2 / 64.2 / 64.2

64.2 / 64.2 / 62.8

55.4 / 55.4 / 55.4

55.4 / 55.4 / 55.4

Combined

57.6 / 57.6 / 57.6

57.6 / 57.6 / 56.5

47.1 / 47.1 / 47.1

48.7 / 48.7 /48.7

Emissions

 

 

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

114 / 114 / 114

115 / 115 / 117

138 / 138 / 138

134 / 134 / 134

Performance

 

 

 

 

0-62 mph

7.9 / 8.0 / 8.2

7.9 / 8.0 / 8.2

7.4 / 7.5 / 7.8

7.1 / 7.2 / 7.7

Top speed (mph)

134 / 134 / 134

134 / 134 / 134

140 / 140 / 140

139 / 139 / 139

 

Engine

2.0 TSI 300 PS 

2.0 TSI 300 PS 

Body style

SC/5dr/ST

SC/5dr/ST (4Drive)

Gearbox

6-speed manual

6-speed DSG

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

Urban

31.4 / 31.4 / 31.0

33.6 / 33.2 / 31.0

Extra urban

49.6 / 49.6 / 48.7

49.6 / 48.7 / 46.3

Combined

40.9 / 40.9 / 40.4

42.2 / 41.5 / 39.2

Emissions

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

158 / 158 / 161

153 / 156 / 164

Performance

 

 

0-62 mph

5.7 / 5.8 / 6.0

5.6 / 5.7 / 4.9

Top speed (mph)

155 / 155 / 155

155 / 155 / 155


Performance and fuel efficiency: diesel

Engine

1.6 TDI 115 PS

1.6 TDI 115 PS

2.0 TDI 150 PS

Body style

5dr / ST

5dr / ST

SC / 5dr / ST

Gearbox

5-speed manual

7-speed DSG

6-speed manual

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

 

Urban

61.4 / 61.4

65.7 / 62.8

53.3 / 53.3 / 53.3

Extra urban

74.3 / 74.3

70.6 / 68.9

72.4 / 72.4 / 72.4

Combined

70.6 / 68.9

68.9 / 67.3

64.2 / 64.2 / 67.3

Emissions

 

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

105 / 108

109 / 111

112 / 112 / 112

Performance

 

 

 

0-62 mph

9.8 / 9.9

9.8 / 9.9

8.3 / 8.4 / 8.6

Top speed (mph)

122 / 122

122 / 122

134 / 134 / 134

 

Engine

2.0 TDI 184 PS

2.0 TDI 184 PS

 

SC / 5dr / ST

SC / 5dr / ST

Gearbox

6-speed manual

6-speed DSG

Fuel economy (mpg) 

 

 

Urban

53.3 / 53.3 / 52.3

52.3 / 52.3 / 49.6

Extra urban

68.9 / 68.9 / 67.3

67.3 /67.3 / 65.7

Combined

62.8 /  62.8 / 61.4

61.4 / 61.4 / 58.9

Emissions

 

 

CO2 (g/km)

118 / 118 / 121

120 / 120 / 122

Performance

 

 

0-62 mph

7.4 / 7.5 / 7.8

7.4 / 7.5 / 7.8

Top speed (mph)

142 / 142 / 142

140 / 140 / 140


Equipment highlights and options
The Leon range adopted a new grade structure for the 2018 model year, emphasising the brand’s dedication to making the best possible use of innovative, useful technologies for safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable motoring.  The new line-up for the five-door and ST models features S, SE Technology, SE Dynamic Technology, FR Technology, XCELLENCE Technology and CUPRA 300. The SC is now a fully sports-focused model, available in FR Technology, FR Titanium and CUPRA 300 trims.

S models feature air conditioning, electrically adjustable door mirrors, split-folding rear seats, front electric windows, Media System Colour with five-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, USB/Aux-in/SD connectivity, trip computer, electronic stability control (ESC), tyre pressure warning system, seven airbags, ISOFIX child seat points, remote central locking and an alarm.

SE Technology is richly specified, adding 16-inch “Design” alloy wheels, front fog lights, cruise control, rear electric windows, leather steering wheel and gear knob, a front arm rest with integrated storage box, front reading lights with ambient spots and footwell illumination, XDS electronic limited-slip differential, electronic parking brake, Front Assist and Hill Hold control.  It also provides the Media System Plus, with eight-inch smart touch display, voice recognition, DAB, navigation with 3D mapping, CD player and eight audio speakers. Connectivity options are increased as well with four USB ports (two in the front cabin, two in the rear) and two SC card slots.

SE Dynamic Technology raises the Leon’s game in style terms with the addition of 17-inch “Dynamic” alloys and dark-tinted rear windows, plus rear parking sensors.

FR Technology grade includes 17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels, full LED array of headlights, daytime running lights and tail lights, multi-coloured interior ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, electric folding door mirrors, front sports seats, flat-bottom steering wheel with perforated leather trim, dedicated FR bumpers, aluminium front scuff plates with illuminated FR logo, dark-tinted rear windows, lowered sports suspension, twin exhaust tailpipes and SEAT Drive Profile with four selectable driving modes. Full Link provides easy integration of multiple smartphones via Apple Car Play, Mirror Link and Google Android Auto. DSG-equipped cars come with steering wheel paddles.

FR Titanium Technology, exclusive to the Leon SC, provides a white non-metallic paint finish, side skirts, an extended roof spoiler and 18-inch “Performance Machined” alloy wheels.

XCELLENCE Technology trim introduces chrome exterior detailing, a full LED interior illumination system,  aluminium front scuff plates with illuminated XCELLENCE logo, keyless-entry-and-go, a Connectivity Hub with a wireless phone charger, front parking sensors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlight and wiper operation, heated washer nozzles and washer fluid and heated front seats.

Key equipment features for the Leon CUPRA 300 models include dedicated 19-inch wheels and bumpers, aluminium front scuff plates with illuminated CUPRA logo, red brake callipers, gloss black exterior detailing, aluminium pedals, black interior roof lining, black Alcantara upholstery, SEAT Drive Profile CUPRA with Dynamic Chassis Control and sound actuator, a mechanical limited-slip differential and 10-speaker SEAT Sound audio system.

There is also a comprehensive options list that gives owners a wealth of ways to upgrade their car, whether choosing single items such as wheels, sunroofs or a panoramic roof, upholsteries (including leather and Alcantara) or upgraded audio functions. Specific items include 18-inch alloy wheels, full leather upholstery, Alcantara sports seats, electric driver’s seat adjustment, satellite navigation, SEAT Sound System (ten speakers including a boot-mounted sub-woofer), DAB digital radio, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and light sensing headlamps. Full LED headlights can be specified for SE and FR versions (they’re standard with CUPRA 300).

There are also option packs that conveniently bundle features to enhance safety, convenience, winter performance and driving assistance. The Driving Assistance pack, offered for FR Technology and FR Titanium Technology models provides High Beam Assist, Lane Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, plus auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights with coming/leaving home function and rain-sensing wipers. For XCELLENCE Technology and CUPRA 300, the pack provides the assistance features only (the other items are standard), at an adjusted, lower price.

The Advanced Comfort and Driving Pack (available for the same model grades) provides the same combination of features together with Adaptive Cruise Control with Pedestrian Protection and Stop & Go, Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist. It also brings in even more convenience items: rain-sensing wipers, LED interior illumination and lighting in the footwells, glovebox and sun visor mirrors. Again, the pack price is adjusted to take into account where any of these are already provided in the car’s standard specification.

SEAT Leon standard equipment features

Exterior
Electrically adjustable door mirrors
LED indicators integrated in door mirrors
Body-colour door handles
High-gloss black B and C-pillars
Halogen headlamps and daytime running lights
Front fog lamps1
Tinted windows
SEAT logo tailgate release
Concealed exhaust pipe
Chrome roof rails (ST models)

Interior equipment
Front reading lights
Boot light
Driver and passenger sun visors with covered mirrors
Loadspace cargo retaining rings
Loadspace cover (ST models)
Loadspace side nets (ST models)
Double boot floor (ST models)
Rear seat through-hatch (ST models)

Seats and trim
Front comfort seats
Black interior finish
Gloss black interior trim detailing
Driver’s seat height adjustment
Active front headrests
Three rear headrests

Functional and mechanical
Air conditioning with dust and pollen filter
Electric front windows
12V power outlet in centre console
12V power outlet in loadspace (ST models)
Manual parking brake
Electro-mechanical power steering
Comfort suspension
Folding remote keys with window open/close and boot opening functions

Instrumentation
3.5-inch driver’s display
Tachometer
Trip computer
Outside temperature gauge
Lights-on warning buzzer
Low fuel warning lights
Gearshift indicator

Infotainment
Media System Colour, comprising:
5.0-inch colour touchscreen
MP3/WMA playback
USB port
Aux-in
SD card slot
6-speaker audio
FM radio
Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free phone operation
Steering wheel-mounted audio and phone controls

Wheels and tyres
15-inch steel wheels with “Urban” covers
195/65R15 91H tyres
Emergency tyre repair kit

Safety and security
Seven airbags (2x front, 2x front side, 2x curtain, driver’s knee)
Front seat belt reminder
ISOFIX child seat anchors on outer rear seats with top tethers
Multi-collision braking system
ABS and TCS (TCS with deactivation)
ESC
Tyre pressure warning light
Remote central locking with deadlocks
Fuel flap linked to central locking

SE Technology grade adds:

Exterior
Front fog lamps
Halogen headlamps with small LED daytime running lights
Heated door mirrors

Interior equipment
Front and rear electric windows
Front and rear reading lights
Illuminated glove box
Driver and passenger illuminated/covered vanity mirrors
High centre console with cupholder
Rear centre armrest
Rear ventilation outlet
Front seatback pockets
Storage drawer beneath driver’s seat

Seats and trim
Black, Dark Grey or Ice Metal interior
Interior chrome trim detailing
60/40 split-folding rear seats
Leather steering wheel and gear knob trim
Driver’s seat lumbar adjustment
Chrome loading edge (ST models)

Functional and mechanical
Electric parking brake with auto-hold function
Electronic differential lock (XDS)
Cruise control
Seatback release in loadspace (ST models)

Infotainment
Medium System Plus, comprising Media System Colour functions and:
8.0-inch smart touch display
4x USB ports (Apple Chip)
CD player
Eight-speaker audio
Voice recognition
DAB reception
Navigation system featuring:
3D map display
High-resolution colour driver’s display
2x SD card slots
16-inch “Design” alloy wheels

Safety and security
Hill hold control
Front assist with pedestrian protection

SE Dynamic Technology grade adds:

Exterior
Dark-tinted rear windows

Functional and mechanical
Rear parking sensors

Wheels and tyres
17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels
225/45R17 91W tyres

FR Technology grade adds:

Exterior
Full LED headlights
LED front fog lamps and daytime running lights
Full LED rear lights
FR front and rear bumpers
Electric, heated door mirrors with folding and (passenger side) automatic tilting functions
Twin exhaust pipes (visible)
Black roof rails (ST models)

Interior equipment
Front and rear reading lights with ambient spot illumination
Multi-coloured ambient lighting
Footwell lights
Flat-bottom steering wheel with perforated leather trim, FR logo and red stitching
Rear window blinds (ST models)

Seats and trim
Front sports seats with cloth upholstery
Black/Gloss Black interior
Height-adjustable front headrests
Front passenger seat lumbar adjustment
Aluminium door sills with FR logo

Functional and mechanical
Dual-zone climate control
SEAT Drive Profile, including Normal/Sport/Eco/Individual driving modes, steering and throttle response and gear shift mode (DSG only)
Gearshift paddles on steering wheel (with DSG transmission)
Lowered sports-tuned suspension (-15 mm)
Folding remote keys with window open/close, door mirror folding and boot opening functions

Infotainment
Full Link (including Mirror Link, Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto

Wheels and tyres
17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels
225/45R17 91W tyres

FR Titanium grade (SC only) adds:

Exterior
Emoción red paint
Body side skirts
Extended roof spoiler

Wheels and tyres
18-inch “Titanium” machined alloy wheels

XCELLENCE Technology grade adds:

Exterior
Chrome radiator grille
Chrome window surrounds

Interior equipment
LED interior illumination pack, including LED reading lights with ambient spots, vanity mirror lights, footwell, boot and centre console lights and glove box light
Drawer beneath front passenger seat
Leather trimmed steering wheel with XCELLENCE logo

Seats and trim
Front sports seats with leather upholstery
Black/Ice Metal interior
Aluminium door sills with XCELLENCE logo

Functional and mechanical
Front parking sensors
KESSY keyless entry and go
Winter Pack, including:
Heated front seats
Headlight washers
Heater washer nozzle
Heated washer fluid
Convenience Pack, including:
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Automatic headlights with coming/leaving home function
Rain-sensing wipers

Infotainment
Connectivity hub with wireless phone charger

Wheels and tyres
17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels

CUPRA 300 grade adds:

Exterior
Gloss black door mirror casings
Visible dual exhaust pipes
Gloss Black front grille frame
CUPRA front and rear bumpers
Red brake callipers with CUPRA logo (front and rear)

Interior equipment
Pedals with aluminium covers
Black interior roof lining
Flat-bottom steering wheel with perforated leather trim, CUPRA logo and white stitching

Seats and trim
Front sports seats with black Alcantara upholstery
Black interior
Gloss black trim detailing
60/40 split-folding rear seats with centre armrest
Aluminium door sills with CUPRA logo

Functional and mechanical
SEAT Drive Profile CUPRA, including Normal/Sport/CUPRA/Individual driving modes, Dynamic Chassis Control and Sound Actuator
Mechanical limited slip differential
4Drive (ST model)
ESC off key
Gear shift paddles on steering wheel (DSG only)
CUPRA performance interface
Electro-mechanical progressive power steering

Infotainment
10-Speaker SEAT sound system

Wheels and tyres
19-inch CUPRA machined alloy wheels
235/35R19 91Y tyres
Emergency spare wheel

SEAT Leon: history 
The SEAT Leon has a hugely significant place in the history of the brand. A car that is loved throughout the world, with well over 1,000,000 sold worldwide across two previous generations, it is responsible for some landmark moments for SEAT.

The first C-segment model designed by SEAT under Volkswagen Group ownership, the Mk I Leon was introduced in 1998, but the first cars didn’t go on sale in the UK until 2000. It became an instant success, going on to sell 50,740 between 2000 and 2007, although production officially ended in 2005. The Mk I Leon was the first SEAT to wear the CUPRA (Cup Racing) and FR (Formula Racing) badges.

The Leon Mk II, introduced in 2005, was an even bigger success, in more ways than one. More than 82,000 (82,375) were sold in the UK before production closed at the end of 2012, with 2007 ranking as the best year yet for Leon UK sales, with 13,481 sold. It was the only year in which the Leon exceeded Ibiza sales numbers in the UK too, until 2016.

The Leon Mk II found success on the track, too, claiming successive World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) titles in 2008 and 2009 using TDI diesel technology.

The Leon MkIII five-door debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 2012, joined by the SC in Geneva in March 2013. The Leon ST, the first ever estate in the range, broke cover in July of the same year, ahead of its debut at Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The CUPRA 265 and 280 versions, the latter being the brand’s fastest-ever production series road car, appeared in January 2014 ahead of another Geneva Motor Show unveiling. Due to customer demand for the flagship, the 265 was discontinued in the UK a couple of years later. CUPRA derivatives were subsequently shown with upgraded 290PS engines in September 2015.

The Leon Cup Racer also saw the light of day in 2013, and spawned a one-make series – the Leon Eurocup. Created by SEAT Sport, the stripped-out motorsport special weighed less than 1100kg and featured a mighty 330PS, slick tyres, DSG or sequential gearboxes, costing £75,000 to £95,000 respectively. The ultimate embodiment of SEAT’s performance division know-how is still going strong, particularly in TCR endurance racing across Europe, offering an unrivalled performance and handling package for the money.

New Leon was unveiled in October 2016 with a subtly upgraded exterior design and a much improved interior. Among the other improvements were a raft of new additions including new engines (1.0 TSI 115 (first time in UK) and upgraded 1.6 TDI 115, state-of-the-art technology such as Connectivity Box and an array of assistance systems, including Blind Spot Detection. Luxury XCELLENCE trim level also joined the fold.

About SEAT
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 80% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. In 2017, SEAT achieved worldwide sales of nearly 470,000 vehicles.

The SEAT Group employs close to 14,700 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Leon and Arona. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia. 

The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focused on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company’s global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.

Documents

SEAT Leon Press Pack
SEAT Leon Press Pack
471 KB Word Doc
Leon Brochure
Leon Brochure
7,169 KB PDF
Seat Leon Price List
Seat Leon Price List
1,291 KB PDF