Thursday, 11 August 2022

Best buy winner reveals its ‘secret’ driveability

EVERY now and then you discover a car that has hidden depths. The new Seat Leon

EVERY now and then you discover a car that has hidden depths. The new Seat Leon FR is one such car.

When you get behind the wheel and start driving you realise that this car has “secret” driveability.

That is, you would not have thought this small car could perform with such panache. And yet it does.

The test car, the Seat Leon FR 1.4 EcoTSI set off modestly enough. But when I put my foot down at certain times when I required power, the car responded surprisingly well.

And when I switched into Sport mode, the Leon flew. But even if you did not require such performance from its modest-sized engine, it was the willingness of this car to perform in all modes that I liked.

It was also very good on fuel. Seat gives the average fuel economy on this test model as 60.1 mpg. I couldn’t argue with that, as despite demanding consistent speed from it at times during the test period, the car sipped fuel.

So Seat is right to celebrate the recent top award it landed for the Leon. The three-door Leon landed the What Car? best buy coupé (less than £25,000) category for the third time in a row. The winning version — the Leon SC FR — is available from £20,225 and comes with 17-inch “Dynamic” alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, and exclusive FR sport styling inside and out.

I liked the looks of the five-door Seat Leon FR I was driving. Somehow, Seat has added a touch of sophistication to this new style. It is understated, which adds a bit of class to the Leon, which augurs well for future models.

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

By Nigel Wigmore

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