Search

SEAT’s stylish Leon ST makes big e-statement

06:55 27 March 2014

SEAT Leon ST is a compact estate that gives more load space without losing driving pleasure.

SEAT Leon ST is a compact estate that gives more load space without losing driving pleasure.

SEAT

SEAT’s five and three-door Leons have been joined by an estate but has anything lost in translation? Matt Joy, of the Press Association, finds out.

SEAT Leon ST

Price: SEAT Leon ST FR 2.0 TDI 184PS, £23,380 (from £16,675)

Engine: 2.0-litre, 184PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel producing and 280lb.ft of torque

Transmission: Six-speed manual driving the front wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 7.8 seconds; top speed 142mph

MPG: 65.7 combined

CO2 emissions: 112g/km

One truism of the car world is that if you have a successful model, try and spin as many other models off it as you possibly can. Nothing wrong with that of course, particularly when it comes to widening the potential audience.

SEAT has done well with this approach before and is doing the same with its excellent Leon. First we had the five door, more recently there was the sportier three-door SC and now there’s the eminently practical ST.

It shouldn’t be too hard to spot. You’ll recognise the handsome nose and sharp creases that have become a key part of the SEAT look, only at the rear it now flows into a neatly designed estate tailgate. Some might see the term ‘estate’ as a byword for unglamorous practicality but those days are long gone – the Leon ST is slick, sharp and thoroughly modern.

The other important bit is in place too, namely space. With a modest length increase of 27cm over the five-door hatchback, the Leon ST hasn’t be turned into a parallel-parking nightmare, but the boot space is usefully larger. With the seats up there is 587 litres on offer – almost 200 more than the hatch – and with the seats down there’s a huge 1,470 litres.

All versions, regardless of specification, also have a moveable boot floor, giving you a useful separated storage area beneath or the one giant area, plus a 12-volt power socket and a through hatch, useful for long loads. An option is a folding front passenger seat too for serious load-carriers. SE models and above get a handy release in the boot for dropping the rear seats, the kind of detail that makes it so easy to live with.

You might expect that the transformation into an estate means compromises in the way the Leon drives, but in reality it’s easy to forget you’re in the ST once behind the wheel. The same refreshingly simple and well-specified cabin greets you, and you and your fellow passengers enjoy as much room as in other Leon models. The layout is easy to get to grips with, while the finish and the standard of materials is significantly better than the previous model. The Leon is a quality item, regardless of the bodystyle.

The engine choice is usefully broad too. Petrol engines start with a surprisingly flexible 1.2-litre TSI turbo petrol unit, with a 1.4-litre TSI and powerful 1.8-litre version at the top. Diesel engines include the 1.6-litre TDI turbo diesel including in super-frugal Ecomotive guise – capable of 85.6mpg combined – rising to the 2.0-litre TDI.

It may be the most expensive choice but that top 184PS diesel engine also gives you the most impressive overall package. It’s as quick and responsive as the figures suggest, with more torque than you could possibly need yet the possibility of more than 65mpg. It’s smooth and powerful, making life very easy for the driver.

The Leon should be on your shopping list anyway, but if you don’t think the hatch is quite big enough then the ST solves all your problems. Don’t think about buying a compact estate without taking a close look.

0 comments

Other news

Brian Sayer with his J69 engine at the exhibition. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The show, which was the first to be organised by the Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall, filled the venue with layouts of all shapes and sizes and stalls selling second hand trains and other essentials.

Yesterday, 13:53
Norman Lamb MP visited Alderman Peel High School in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

Education chiefs have agreed to fund a therapist for children suffering mental health problems at a north Norfolk high school, while money from the government’s pupil premium is increasing opportunities for those from poorer backgrounds.

Yesterday, 09:05
Starry skies pics by Steve Burbidge - Binham

A spinning starry sky swirls like a giant vinyl record behind a north Norfolk landmark.

Fri, 15:09
Police would like to speak to this man about the theft of alcohol from Morrisons in Fakenham.

They’ve released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the theft of alcohol from a supermarket in the town.

Most Read

Friday, March 28, 2014
Ricky Fuller was jailed for 3 years after an attack in Fakenham. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

A Norfolk judge has slammed prosecutors whose “manifestly flawed decisions” forced him to carry out a “serious miscarriage of justice”.

Read more
Friday, February 20, 2015
Anna Hunter needs donations to help fund a new shed to house her sick and injured hedgehogs.

A plea has gone out to animal lovers to help set up a new hedgehog hospital shed in south Norfolk.

Read more
Fri, 15:09
Police would like to speak to this man about the theft of alcohol from Morrisons in Fakenham.

They’ve released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the theft of alcohol from a supermarket in the town.

Read more
Fri, 14:52
Launch of the new CCTV system in Fakenham Town Centre. Picture: Matthew Usher.

People in three Norfolk towns are protected by CCTV cameras again.

Read more
Brian Sayer with his J69 engine at the exhibition. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The show, which was the first to be organised by the Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall, filled the venue with layouts of all shapes and sizes and stalls selling second hand trains and other essentials.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 2°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today E-edition