The new Seat Leon has arrived here

Hugh Maguire road tests the all new Leon FR

Hugh Maguire


Hugh Maguire


The new Seat Leon has arrived here

Seat as most will know is part of the Volkswagen Group. Seat however while benefiting from VW’s undoubted engineering expertise produce a very different car to the mainstay offerings from VW.

Seat offer cars with a great flair in their style and a more sporting theme, and so it is with the new Leon. The model on test today is the all-new Leon FR. Prices start from a competitive €23,910 with three specification options, SE, Xcellence and FR. There are five engine options including two petrols, two diesels and a mild hybrid version.

So has it any street cred?

Undoubtedly the new Seat Leon FR is one of the smartest looking 5-door hatchbacks on the road today. It has that real touch of Mediterranean flair making it stand out from the crowd.

It may be based on the VW Golf platform and have Golf running gear but it looks way better! I love it and its a bit of a head turner!

So what’s it like inside?

The cabin is very well laid out and feels equally well built. The configurable digital instruments are excellent, clear and easy to read. The centre of the dash is dominated by a large 8.25” touchscreen which again functions very intuitively. It all feels very well put together with a feel of quality evident throughout.

Standard equipment on the FR model is comprehensive and highlights include, 18” machined alloy wheels, Keyless start, LED headlights, Rear Park distance control, Rear view camera, Adaptive cruise control, Headlight assist, Full link for Android Auto, Apple Car Play, leather multifunction steering wheel, lane keep assist, folding exterior mirrors, rain sensors, Bluetooth, wraparound interior ambient lighting, and much more.Too much to list here! In short it wants for nothing.

Accommodation both front and rear is good for a car in this class and the large load area is easily accessed via the big rear tailgate. Split fold rear seats give a huge load area when folded down.

What is under the bonnet?

In this case a 1.5 litre TSI 150 bhp petrol turbo mated in this case to a DSG auto gearbox. The whole combination works very well giving this new Leon plenty of get up and go just when you need it.

I found performance to be very good and its equally impressive on fuel consumption burning just 5.7 litres per 100km.

What is it like to drive?

On the road it proves lively and nimble with agile handling. The steering is light and precise, in general it proves to be an enjoyable car to drive. Noise levels are well suppressed giving the new Leon FR a refined and quiet cabin even at motorway speeds. The suspension is set up to give a nice combination of agile handling without sacrificing too much in terms of comfort. It feels more dynamic to drive than its Golf cousin. handling.


The all new Seat Leon is a striking looking car that really is a breath of fresh air in this class. It certainly outranks the Golf here. Inside its no less impressive, offering a high quality feel with plenty of standard kit and a host of option packs to choose from.

The new Seat Leon will appeal to the buyer who enjoys a bit of style and flair and a more rewarding driving experience. In all these areas the new Leon scores top marks and is my favourite 5-door hatch on the market right now.

The Leon FR is priced from €28,390, as tested here with the optional DSG gearbox and €4,784 of options it costs €35,674.