SEAT Leon (2005 – 2013) Review

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SEAT Leon (2005 – 2013) At A Glance

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.

Insurance Groups are between 8–34
On average it achieves 78% of the official MPG figure

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.

Looking for a SEAT Leon (2005 - 2013)?
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Real MPG average for a SEAT Leon (2005 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

22–63 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.


A delivery moped hit my son's car - should the company that employ the rider pay for the damage?
My son bought a used SEAT Leon FR from a friend two weeks ago for £2000. It was in excellent condition with a full service history. On Thursday, two young lads on pizza delivery mopeds came to his place of work to make deliveries and decided to race each other round the company's private car park. One of them hit a speed bump and crashed into my son's parked car, severely denting the front wing and cracking the bumper; the Leon had to be jacked up by the AA to remove the wedged bike. My son has had a quote of £1600 to repair the damage, meaning the car is likely to be called an economic write-off by Papa John's insurers. The car is still drives well and the whole incident was recorded on the company's CCTV. It's unfair that my son should have to buy his car back from the insurance company, if it is written off, and to deal with all that hassle himself (his own insurance is third party). He also has to have a car for commuting daily from Norfolk to Cambridge. So, should Papa John's pay for any damage and inconvenience, and restore my son to his original position with regard to an unblemished car? Is there any legal route my son could pursue such as the Small Claims Court, if necessary?
Firstly, do not deal with the at fault party's insurer directly. A vehicle is only ever a total loss when the repair cost is more than the market value. If this isn't the case, insist on it being repaired. Your son's entitlement is here: Do not listen to what the insurer says, your entitlement is there. Constructive total losses do not exist. If your son claims via his own insurer, and they advise we only pay up to a certain amount of the market value, ask them to highlight where in the contract of insurance they can limit their indemnity to less than the market value. No reference is also made in the new salvage code to constructive total losses. It is your son's car, he decides what happens to it. He is also entitled to another vehicle whilst the claim is ongoing, and any out of pocket expense and inconvenience incurred. Stick to your guns, do the above. You could always claim via a solicitor or regulated claims management company.
Answered by Tim Kelly
Are failed injectors common on SEAT Leon 1.6 TDI?
My 2010 SEAT Leon 1.6 TDI is being called in for its emissions fix. But before this could be done my car went into limp mode and a failed injector was diagnosed. Is this common on this car?
It's a fairly common fault and because the emissions fix involves re-sequencing the injection it needs to be fixed before the fix can be carried out. It's also quite common on Ford, Citroen and Peugeot with 1.6-litre diesel engines.
Answered by Honest John
Will SEAT contribute to an out of warranty gearbox repair on my 2012 Leon 1.6 TDI DSG?
I've owned my 2012 SEAT Leon SE Copa 1.6 TDI DSG for just over 1 year now. At the beginning of the month a light came on indicating a fault in the emissions control system, which was immediately followed by the car failing to engage gear. After being with a local garage for almost a month, I was informed the problem was caused by the gearbox failing to link with the computer/electronic gear selector but when they tried to fix the gearbox it began to fall apart. The SEAT garages, who had been contacted to fix, were quoting £3500. The car had been serviced annually and has only done approx 43,000 miles. While I understand that SEAT's warranty is only 3 years, surely a gearbox should not just stop working like this? The garage has advised that I contact Seat to see if they could pay for half the bill as a goodwill gesture. What do you think?
This 7-speed dry clutch DSG has always been a problem. It was recalled around 2012 to replace the synthetic oil in it with mineral oil because the synthetic oil was becoming conductive at high temperatures causing the Mechatronics to lose drive. It's possible that being a 2012/62 yours was filled with mineral oil right from the start. However, filling with mineral oil turned what was designed to be a maintenance-free, sealed for life transmission into one that requires fresh oil every 40,000 miles. Had your car been maintained by SEAT dealers you would have been warned of this. Obviously worth contacting SEAT, but they may take the view that because your car has been dismantled by an independent dealer they are not liable.
Answered by Honest John
SEAT Leon DPF troubles - what should I do?
I just bought a SEAT Leon diesel with 52k on the clock. Within 2 weeks the DPF yellow light came on. The car had a couple of hundred motorway miles in that time as well as some city driving. The car then went into limp mode, driven to the dealer who said the DPF was 96 per cent full and it was down to my driving style.They have somehow managed to clear it (I found the wheel nut key in the front and suspect they have razzed it). Performance is fine but there is a distinct smell of heavy exhaust outside the car and sometimes in. Another garage checked it and said there is no leak. The warranty expires in a few weeks and the DPF is not covered anyway I am told. What would you recommend and what grounds do I have if the car fails again shortly after the warranty expires?
What does "razzed it" mean? Never heard of that expression. If the dealer said the DPF is 96 per cent full he means full of ash, not just soot. All DPFs eventually fill up with ash. The standard cure is either a new DPF or having the ash cleaned out of the existing one by the Ceramex process. If you bought the car from a dealer within six months then the dealer is liable and cannot blame you. See:
Answered by Honest John

What does a SEAT Leon (2005 – 2013) cost?

Buy new from £16,192 (list price from £18,855)
Contract hire from £133.60 per month
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