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SEAT Leon

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Our favourite engine is the 1.4-litre petrol; it’s smooth, punchy and eager to rev. However, even the entry-level 1.2 provides adequate pace. Of the diesels, we’d go for the non-Ecomotive 1.6 because its flexibility means you’ll rarely have to work it hard. If you want more performance, the 276bhp 2.0 petrol in te Cupra is worth a look, while the 181bhp 2.0 diesel in the FR is effortlessly fast. The Leon sits on the same chassis as the Audi A3 and VW Golf, and its handling feels much the same. That means good body control and well-weighted (if not exactly communicative) steering. Lower-powered models have a simpler suspension set-up, while FR and Cupra models have stiffer, lower settings for sharper handling. On all models the ride is on the firm side, but the damping keeps things composed enough.

The Leon is a little less refined than its Audi and VW stable mates if you rev its engines hard, but you’ll rarely have to do that. There's not much noise from the petrol once you’re up to speed, but you can still hear the diesels when cruising. Still, you’re more likely to be troubled by wind noise from the Leon’s sharply styled door mirrors, while there's also too much road noise on models with large wheels.

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SEAT Leon
SEAT Leon
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