Is your car your pride and joy, or are you ready for a change? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

SEAT Leon SC (2013–)

Last updated 11 May 2017

Video Road Test

Kerb weight 1189–1370 kg
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Servicing 12,500–20,000 miles

Full specifications

Driving

With a fantastically low and adjustable driving position, a sharp turn-in and a real sense of what's happening beneath the wheels during cornering, the Leon SC is a joy to drive.

Some might criticise the steering for being over-light, but then again, that’s part of what makes the car feel so relaxing most of the time. That and the ride quality, which has all the nuance you'd expect of something developed from Volkswagen's multi-brand, multi-national engineering department.

Whereas the preceding Leon was a sledgehammer in its approach to sportiness – it simply had a rock hard ride – this generation’s Leon glides nicely over most surfaces, yet boasts impressive body control.

The technically minded might bemoan the more simplistic rear suspension setup of lower powered Leon SC models, which don’t get the full multi-link treatment, but honestly, you’d have to be either a) cornering unnecessarily fast, or b) The Stig's pedantic cousin to notice.

The Leon SC is available with outputs ranging from 110PS to 290PS, so there’s variation in the way the chassis is setup and, therefore, in the driving experience. The fundamentals are spot on, though. You’ll get near enough as much satisfaction in a basic 1.2-litre TSI Leon SC as you will a Cupra 290.

All the engines are lessons in smoothness and noise suppression, with the possible exception of the slightly chattering 1.6-litre diesel, but even then it’s no big deal when the engine is under light load. The same goes for the 2.0 TDI that you’re most likely to pick, which is available with either 150PS or 184PS, the latter genuinely rapid at low revs, owing to 380Nm torque at just 1750rpm. It’s a catwalk Golf GTD, basically.

Although fuel economy or company car tax implications might point you towards a diesel, the best Leon SC models are petrol powered. Even the 1.2-litre TSI base point is good, with a fizzy character that suits the Leon SC’s fundamental sense of dynamism.

But the 150PS 1.4-litre TSI is the sweet spot. It’s quick (0-62mph in 7.9 seconds), yet because of features like cylinder shutdown, which sends fuel to just two of the four-cylinders at gentle pace, its official economy rating exceeds 60mpg. You can occasionally feel a mild judder when the cylinders are reactivating, but it’s not too often or irritating.

All engines are available with a DSG automatic gearbox (six- or seven-speed depending on engine), which is as win-win here as it is when it’s called S tronic and in an Audi. Quick to shift, smooth and beneficial to fuel economy, it enhances the Leon SC rather than stifling it, regardless of engine.

Engines

Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
1.2 TSI 105 58 mpg 10.0 s 119 mph 114 g/km
1.2 TSI 105 DSG 58 mpg 10.0 s 119 mph 112 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 58 mpg 9.7–9.8 s 121 mph 114 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 DSG 58 mpg 9.8 s 121 mph 112 g/km
1.4 EcoTSI 58 mpg - - 114 g/km
1.4 EcoTSI 150 58 mpg 7.9 s 134 mph 110–117 g/km
1.4 EcoTSI 150 DSG 58 mpg 7.9 s 134 mph 109–118 g/km
1.4 EcoTSI DSG 58 mpg - - 115 g/km
1.4 TSI 125 54 mpg 8.9–9.1 s 126 mph 120 g/km
1.4 TSI 140 53 mpg 8.1 s 131 mph 119 g/km
1.6 TDI 105 74 mpg 10.6 s 119 mph 99 g/km
1.6 TDI 105 DSG 72 mpg 10.6 s 119 mph 102 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 71 mpg 10.4 s 121 mph 99 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 DSG 72 mpg 10.4 s 121 mph 99 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 Ecomotive 86 mpg 10.4 s 124 mph 87 g/km
1.8 TSI 47 mpg 7.4 s 140 mph 137–138 g/km
1.8 TSI DSG 49 mpg 7.1 s 139 mph 132–134 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 64–69 mpg 8.3 s 134 mph 106–115 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 63–64 mpg 8.3 s 131–134 mph 102–117 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 63 mpg 7.4 s 142 mph 112–118 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 DSG 60–61 mpg 7.4 s 140 mph 119–120 g/km
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car