Motoring

The All-New SEAT Leon

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

SEAT is in the next phase of its story, bringing new cars, efficient and electrified engines, new standards of connectivity, and greater emphasis on design, with the all-new SEAT Leon the latest model added to the line-up.

Priced from just £19,855, the new Leon is unmistakably part of the family, but takes a huge leap forward in both technology and quality.

Dads, if you purchase a new Leon you’ll also benefit from low insurance group ratings, with the SE models rated as 18E, rising to 22E for the FR (1.5 150PS eTSI (MHEV) DSG) models. And following purchase, after 36 months years and 60,000 miles, the Leon 1.5-litre TSI 130PS FR will retain 42 per cent of its value, according to CAP HPI, more than ever before.

Global Hit

The Leon has been a cornerstone of the SEAT range since 1999, accumulating more than 2.2 million sales globally (252,416 in the UK) across three generations of the model, transforming the brand into a key competitor in the UK.

The all-new SEAT Leon is the latest vehicle in this lineage, designed, developed and built at SEAT’s facilities in Martorell, Barcelona.

The hatch and Estate sector of the market is increasingly competitive, with new entrants and a move towards larger vehicles; however, the all-new SEAT Leon, with a strong design evolution, greater practicality, connectivity and efficient, electrified powertrains, meets the challenge.

In an ever more connected world, the next-generation Leon gives you greater opportunity to take your digital life with you. The all-new SEAT Leon is the brand’s first fully-connected vehicle. In the car, Full Link offers seamless Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay connections. Away from the vehicle, you can access your vehicle’s data remotely via SEAT CONNECT as well as manage the battery charging and control the electronic air conditioning (Plug-in Hybrid models only).

The all-new SEAT Leon also features Car2X connectivity – a cloud-based technology that enables you to receive advanced warning on the status of upcoming traffic lights or an incident on a motorway further up the road.

A suite of new powertrain technologies; petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI), mild-hybrid (eTSI), and plug-in hybrid (eHybrid) means that you can choose the vehicle that most closely matches your lifestyle and needs, while at the same time providing the efficiency and performance.

What’s more, safety is at the heart of the new Leon. The MQB (Modular Quer Baukasten) Evo architecture provides an inherently strong and stiff safety cell. It allows the integration of some of the most advanced driver assistance systems available, including Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control and Emergency Assist 3.0, to make it the safest car that SEAT has made to date.

Design

The all-new SEAT Leon builds on the appeal of its predecessor but with a stronger, more purposeful character, aided by its improved aesthetic, smooth flowing surfaces and the perfect mix of curves and edges.

The new exterior has been specifically developed to enhance the vehicle’s overall efficiency with improved aerodynamics – the drag coefficient has improved by around eight per cent compared to the previous generation.

At the front of the Leon, the design provides greater personality, with a stronger three-dimensional connection between the grille and headlights together. The LED headlights are set back, giving it deeper focus while making it instantly recognisable.

The bonnet is slightly longer, adding to the vehicle’s more assertive design and giving more verticality to the front-end and purposeful stance of new Leon’s design. The A-pillars have been moved rearwards, to further elongate the proportions of the front of the vehicle, and are more upright improving visibility and your connection to the outside world.

The creativity continues at the rear, emphasised by the coast-to-coast LED light. The sculpted boot is designed to maintain the dynamic personality of the vehicle. Both the lighting system and spoiler create a concept of speed, even when the car is not moving.

Interior

Inside, the all-new Leon’s design continues its evolutionary theme, but one that puts you and your passengers at its centre.

The interior is the pinnacle of functionality, minimalism and sleekness from the moment you take your seat. The smooth-surfaced, slim yet wide dashboard gives the appearance of lightness and appears to float. The effect is created with the help of the decorative mouldings that surround the dashboard and continue through into the front doors.

The cabin has been ergonomically designed to increase comfort, with everything within decluttered, reducing the number of physical buttons to a minimum, with a focus on the main infotainment screen, which includes gesture recognition, providing all key interaction and commands from you.

At the heart of the Leon’s interior is the SEAT Digital Cockpit, which brings together a high-resolution 10.25-inch configurable driver instrument cluster and 10-inch infotainment system. Its “diagonal” graphic design positioning gets its inspiration from the Diagonal avenue of Barcelona. It’s also the first time that the design interface has been created at the new SEAT Digital Lab.

The five-door Leon has a boot capacity of 380 litres (identical to the previous generation), while the Estate provides 617 litres of storage, 30 litres more than the previous generation.

So, dads, have you been tempted by this car yet? If not, why not? This is one heck of a family motor – especially in Estate form. It’s brilliant value, too – something we all need in these hard times – right?

Click here for more information on the latest SEAT Leon.

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