Seat Leon: car review | Technology | The Observer

20 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Seat Leon: car review | Technology | The Observer

Seat Leon

: car review

Red the striking new Leon with its creased panels and ‘arrowhead’ Photograph: Observer

Price £13,370

MPG up to 74.3

Top speed

Am I having a nightmare? Standing on in front of me at the Auto Express car in the lavish surroundings of London’s hotel is Rick Astley. His 80s quiff is still intact, and a suit ensures he looks as as he did back in 1987.

Bouncing the Lancashire lad is desperately trying to some oxygen into the But the massed ranks of suited and motor-industry apparatchiks sit unmoved. even. Hadn’t he died? He was … now.

Rick abandons the first and moves on to the next. Don’t he yells, my songs all sound the Then, at last, it is time for his one big

Gratefully he launches into Gonna Give You Up.

Later, as the are announced, it becomes clear this is to be Seat ‘s The Alhambra wins best MPV the Leon wins best family award. And then name is pulled from the envelope again: it is the Auto Car of the Year.

The magazine’s editor, Steve hands the award to Seat’s Jürgen Stackmann. He only in the job eight weeks ago. We Leon’s style, says The way it drives, the quality, the kit. And of all, you get all this at a bargain with ultra-low running

Jürgen grins and states the This new Leon is the best in Seat’s history. And he’s it really is the best they’ve

It’s remarkable, as not so long ago the Spanish manufacturer was languishing in the But VW, Seat’s owner, hates a so the mighty Volkswagen family has an intervention and given Seat the treatment. Just as the Czech was transformed from joke to jock, so Seat finds in VW’s turnaround lounge. In the marque had its most successful ever.

And as Rick sang: Never make you cry, never say goodbye… I couldn’t help it sounded like a mission from VW to Seat – a sharp to the doubters who believed VW might let one of its wither.

The new Leon is based on jack-of-all-trades MQB platform (Modularer since you ask), which eventually go on to underpin more 30 different models from corporate empire. It’s a of glorified parts-bin from the various VW siblings will their major components. means the Leon is, to all intents and a Hispanic version of the Golf, the A3 and the Skoda Octavia.

Sharing engineering, construction, and expertise with those big hitters is only ever to improve your game.

The Leon‘s no-nonsense Photograph: Observer

Look at all and you’ll see a family resemblance. But the new has won the looks lottery. The profile is by three horizontal creases set off by the edges of the grille and head

The company calls this its design language. These corners and edges give the car a presence. It won’t appeal to but character is a good thing in

The interior is well thought roomy and just the right of no-nonsense. One detail that my eye was the sharp-cornered wing mirrors. statement wing mirrors – a reminder every time you into them that not in some bland also-ran, but a contender.

The Leon also has front lights, a first in class – and another signal of It’s powered by a choice of petrol engines or four – the best option is the 1.6 TDI CR, which beneath the tax-beating 100g Fast and frugal – in engine that’s cake you can eat.

New, improved and visibly this Seat is an impressive Rick struggled to get the party but Leon closed the show on a

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