The rear exterior of a silver Seat Leon

Seat Leon review (2013-2020)

The Seat Leon is a family car that's spacious with a good sized boot and lots of up-to-date technology. Striking a wonderful balance between sportiness and comfort, it also offers excellent value for money.


  • Great value motoring
  • Sporty to drive but still comfortable
  • Lots of equipment as standard


  • Ride can be firm
  • Interior is rather understated
  • Later infotainment system is harder to use


“Offering great value for money, the Seat Leon is a five-door hatchback with eye-catching and sporty styling.”

Offering great value for money, the Seat Leon is a five-door hatchback with eye-catching and sporty styling. Underneath, it boasts Volkswagen technology and engineering and shares much with the Golf.

The Leon is good to drive with a sporty zing to it, and its economical to run, too. The design isn’t quite as practical as some of its rivals, but if you need more space there’s a load-lugging Leon Estate.

Launched in 2013, it was updated in 2017 with a revised infotainment system and more engine choices.

What's the interior like?

“With decent materials and build quality, the Seat Leon has a stylish, simple and effective interior.”

With decent materials and build quality, the Seat Leon has a stylish, simple and effective interior, although it doesn't feel quite as premium as something like a Volkswagen Golf or an Audi A3.

An update in cars made from 2017, saw the introduction of a new touchscreen infotainment system, with a crisp display. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both included. However, the older system, which used physical buttons to jump between features, is easier to use on the move.

The Leon is a five-seater, but four adults will be much more comfortable over long journeys as the back seats aren’t overly wide. The middle seat also has a bump in the floor where you want to put your feet. Otherwise, it’s roomy enough.

The boot is a decent size at ­­380 litres so you’ll be able to pack in several suitcases. The back seats fold down in a 60:40 split, so you can be flexible with passengers and luggage. The seats don’t quite fold flat and the boot has a loading lip but this is usual with compact hatchbacks.

What's it like to drive?

“The Leon is a fun car to drive with an agile, sporty feel.”

The Leon is a fun car to drive with comfortable seats and an agile, sporty feel. Ride quality is generally good, whether around town or out in the country, although it's firmer than cars like the Skoda Scala or Kia Ceed, and the bigger alloy wheels on the more sporty models can feel less smooth. The FR version with its sports suspension makes things a little more fun still.

Power options vary, but whichever engine you choose, the Leon should be a satisfying car to drive. The efficiency of the small engines is impressive. The petrol option is great unless you’re doing huge mileage (more than 12,000 miles a year). The 1.0-litre three-cylinder returns 59 mpg economy in official figures and is smoother than the diesels. The 1.5-litre TSI petrol offers more power for those who need it.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Apart from the Cupra hot hatch, the Leon’s engines are all efficient.”

The Seat Leon isn’t as popular as a Ford Focus or VW Golf, but there are still lots around. Lower overall demand when new is an advantage on the used market as depreciation can be significant, making the Leon a relative bargain.

Apart from the Cupra hot hatch, the Leon’s engines are all efficient and will give you at least mid-50s mpg according to official figures. The diesels improve this to mid-60s mpg but you really need to be driving over 12,000 miles a year and doing long motorway journeys to make diesel work for you. Servicing and insurance won’t break the bank either.

An easier way to find or sell a car

You’ll find lots of used cars for sale at Cazoo, all available to buy through our trusted dealers.

Cazoo makes selling a car just as easy – just enter a few details for an instant online valuation. If you accept the offer our partners will get in touch to arrange payment and collection of your car at a time that suits you.

Which one is best for you?

The best Seat Leon for everyday motoring is the 1.0-litre TSI petrol. It has solid performance, good economy and is smooth and quiet to drive. If you want extra pep, the 1.5-litre TSI petrol is also recommended, and comes with a couple of different power options. Diesel engines could be more attractive if you do lot of longer journeys – there are two to choose from, but we'd go for the more powerful 2.0-litre option as the fuel economy difference is negligible.

Trim-wise, the entry-level SE model is well equipped as standard, or for a bit of extra sporty zing look at the FR models. The Cupra hot hatch is great fun, but considerably more expensive and will drink through fuel much faster.

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