Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Seat Leon - farewell report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Seat Leon - farewell report

Date: 29 January 2015   |   Author:

Why we're running it: All the practicality and build quality of a VW estate at a lower price point
Equipment:6 airbags, DAB, USB, aux, air-con
Options: Metallic paint (£530), front and rear parking sensors (£435), winter pack (£355), dual-zone climate control (£355), family pack (£235), tinted rear windows (£180), convenience pack (£155), power-fold mirrors (£140), safety pack (£120), foldable passenger seat (£80)

Seat has certainly grown up from a past when it was synonymous with hot hatchback and saloon car racing. While those roots are still there, Seat has a much wider appeal these days thanks to a growing range of models with business car appeal.

Chief among those is the Leon ST, especially in this Ecomotive trim level that offers official figures of 85.6mpg and 87g/km, as well as a huge 587-litre boot that's much bigger than a Ford Mondeo. With two small children, that boot certainly had a work-out on everything from family holidays to birthday party-food runs, and then subsequent tip trips to dispose of mountains of present packaging.

Predictably, like every car, the Leon didn't get anywhere near its official fuel economy figure, and the trip computer was disappointingly optimistic in continually teasing me into thinking I could break the 60mpg figure as an average over the 6500 miles we covered in half a year.

Although we finished up with the computer's average of 59.9mpg, calculating the fuel we had got through left us with the 57.7mpg figure. Still not to be sniffed at, but I thought I had a shot of running the first conventional long-term test car we've had that could break a 60mpg average. We had a high of 62.0mpg and a low of 52.7mpg, and that decent overall economy means well over 500 miles per tank is realistic.

Our best was 585 miles, and there turned out to be another five litres or so still in the tank at that point, although the range indicator was doing its best to scare us into a refill.

The interior is pleasant, logically laid out and pretty well put-together, but it did develop a couple of squeaks by the time we'd finished with it, and it's a fairly sober place considering Seat is supposed to be the most flair-conscious arm of the Volkswagen Group. It feels like the brand has lost a bit of its individuality as it has improved in quality.

The infotainment system is all nice and logical, running mainly through the 5.8-inch touchscreen, although a minor irritation was that when entering a postcode, the system defaulted to numbers first [3], when all UK postcodes start with a letter.

Seat is still offering its Technology Pack for free, currently until the end of March, and it has been extended a couple of times before since launch. It provides satnav, DAB radio and the distinctive LED lights - all useful options - free of charge.

The Leon has proved to be a useful and appealing companion, in a more grown-up and slightly more sober way than might be expected from Seat. But it's efficient, big, practical, well-equipped, appealing, sensible and maybe a touch different from the norm, which ticks most of the boxes for a fleet operator and user.

Seat Leon ST 1.6 TDI SE Ecomotive

Mileage                                                                            7546
Official consumption                                                         85.6
Our average consumption                                                 57.7
Forecast/actual CPM                                             45.3p/43.8p
P11D price                                                                   £20,865
Model price range                                          £17,110-£25,165
Residual value                                                                32.1%
Depreciation                                                                £13,640
Fuel                                                                                £4106
Service, maintenance and repair                                    £1410
Vehicle Excise Duty                                                              £0
National Insurance                                                           1296
CO2 (BIK band)                                                  87g/km (14%)
BIK 20/40% per month                                                 £48/£96


  • Practical, efficient and well-equipped
  • Lacks some Spanish flair, interior squeaks