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SEAT Leon (2005–2013)

Last updated 5 April 2018

Stylish design. Excellent road manners. Roomy and well-equipped cabin. An easy car to live with and enjoy. Superb value. FR models are the best.
Acres of dull plastic across the dashboard. Poor treatment of owners over ABS/ESP issue.
Updated 5 April 2018

No official word from VAG, but ECU testing believes that the DQ200 7-speed dry cutch Mechatronics control box was finally re-engineered in 2016. This DSG 7 control unit is a common failure with engines...

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Introduction

Walter d'Silva designed the Alfa 156 and 147.

Opening the garage doors to one of those is a bit like waking next to the face of a woman so beautiful you forgive her almost anything. Which can be the case with these Alfas.

Walter was tempted away to SEAT, a few months before the launch of the original Leon, but too late to influence its styling. That car's beetleback, Alfasud shape, like the hunched, racy look of the 2nd generation Toledo, had nothing to do with d'Silva.

The first SEAT to bear his touch was the Ibiza launched in 2002. Then we started to get tantalising glimpses of a new generation of d'Silva SEATs, showcased by the Salsa concept car in 2002.

That first morphed into the Altea MPV and I wondered what had happened to it. Then the disappointing, lardy-arsed 5-door Toledo that looked like the taxi it has become all over Iberia. We had to wait until last year for the car the Salsa was the true precursor of. And I forced myself to hang on until the 2.0TFSI before driving it, because I didn't want to be disappointed.

SEAT Leon Cupra 2010 Road Test

Owners' reviews

4
Dependable & Economical company car
5
A very reliable car that's a real pleasure to drive!
LPC
4
Great driver's car - performance with economy
2
terrible build quality of interior and high consumption
dmad
4
Needs a 6th Gear to be perfect.
 

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