Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Seat Leon X-perience: First report
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Our Fleet Test Drive: Seat Leon X-perience: First report

Date: 22 April 2015   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Equipment: LED headlights and taillights, automatic wipers and lights, 18in alloys, 7 airbags, 5in colour infotainment screen incorporating satnav with MP3-compatible CD player and DAB radio, rear parking sensors, directional cornering front fog lights, 18in space saver spare wheel
Options: Metallic paint (£530), adaptive cruise control with front assist (£505), rear side airbags (£300), 10-speaker Seat sound system (£255), luggage divider net (£155

Seat's third-generation Leon forms the mainstay of the Spanish brand's fleet growth, and the comprehensive C-sector lower medium model's range has been extended further by the addition of an all-wheel drive estate variant badged X-perience.

We will judge its relevance and capabilities as a niche player within a relatively small sector with the top-end 184hp 2.0-litre diesel version in highly specified SE Technology form. Add a door-flexing 135W 10-speaker sound system, rear side airbags and adaptive cruise control to the £28,870 price and the Leon wagon weighs in at a hefty £30,615.

Arguably, the cost-counting corporate clientele might seek out a less heavily loaded 150hp diesel counterpart, but in running cost and taxation terms, our more muscular Leon, using a six-speed DSG auto 'box rather than the cheaper sibling's six-speed manual, shares its 129g/km CO2 rating and 57.6mpg combined fuel figures. Theoretically, that is down to the DSG transmission and latest torque-sensing Haldex 4x4 system, which don't compromise boot space or absorb extra power.

Our initial 250-mile stint with the Leon returned 43.7mpg according to our calculations, but as it headed past the 1000-mile mark, the onboard computer indicated 48mpg.

But there is an inevitable compromise, in that the towing capacity is affected, slipping from 2000kg for the less powerful manual to 1600kg on our exclusively twin-clutch auto car.

The optional (£530) 'Technic Grey' metallic paint looks more brown than grey in the flesh, and is matched within the cabin by Alcantara suede-effect seat [2] and door panel inlays, which contrast with ergonomically efficient controls, instruments and infotainment screen.

Seat's competitive strategy of higher standard specifications and higher-output engines is reflected by the SE Technology level's P11D price including LED lights front and back, four-mode driving system, sensor-operated lights and wipers, a five-inch infotainment screen system incorporating satnav, cruise control, and an 18-inch space saver spare wheel.

Skoda's Octavia Scout is a direct rival, and according to KwikCarcost generates a 3.1p per mile advantage over its Spanish VW Group corporate cousin across three years and 60,000 miles. In mitigation, the Seat boasts better fuel consumption, lower CO2 rating, smaller annual carbon footprint, superior BIK and longer range.

Sharing the same architecture has not eliminated on-the-road individuality, and the Skoda has a more pliant, less choppy ride than the Seat, which has sharper handling.

Just under 30% of Leon fleet sales are STs, an estimated 8% of which will be taken by the X-perience. That should embrace a minority audience requiring a specific vehicle - one that benefits from all-wheel drive and elevated ride height plus ample interior space - for a specific role. Blue light sector business beckons.

Mileage     1152 miles
Official consumption   57.6mpg
Our average consumption 43.7mpg
Forecast/actual CPM 64.9p/66.3p
P11D price     £30,030
Model price range (X-perience)      £24,385 - £28,870
Residual value                                             29.1%
Depreciation     £20,440
Fuel cost     £5519
SMR cost     £2543
VED       £220
National Insurance   £2624
CO2 tax (tax)                                129g/km (23%)
BIK 20/40% per month £115/£310


  • Highly specified, well-executed forerunner to next year's 'proper' SUV
  • Choppy ride and noisy on motorways