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

Yesterday, 06:29
The Battle of Jutland, in which more than 8,500 men died, is being remembered as

Parishioners in Lord Nelson’s home village will be marking the centenary of the Battle of Jutland by displaying the ensign of one of the warships involved in the encounter.

Thu, 20:58
Tonight's meeting at Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: Chris Bishop

More than 100 attended a public meeting at the town’s racecourse tonight.

Thu, 15:23
Launch of the EDP / QEH Excel Appeal at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - The equipment in use which help with elderly care. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Hospital fundraisers are appealing to young people in the region to help bridge the generation gap by pledging to raise £1,000 for a healthcare appeal.

Thu, 06:00
Flowers left at the scene of the crash on the B1355. Picture: Chris Bishop

Tributes have been paid to a Wells driver who died in a car crash on Friday evening.

Most Read

Wed, 14:37

Police are appealing for help to trace the family of a man who died earlier this month.

Read more
Monday, January 9, 2012
Actor Johnny Depp, who is rumoured to have bought a house in Burnham Market.

Rumours have returned that Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has bought a stately home on the outskirts of Burnham Market.

Read more
Thu, 06:00
Flowers left at the scene of the crash on the B1355. Picture: Chris Bishop

Tributes have been paid to a Wells driver who died in a car crash on Friday evening.

Read more
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Gary Stevens

Chris Hill

A film fanatic's lifelong dream of running his own cinema has ended after he announced the sale of his struggling business to protect the venue's future.

Read more
Thu, 20:58
Tonight's meeting at Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: Chris Bishop

More than 100 attended a public meeting at the town’s racecourse tonight.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

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

Newsletter Sign Up