Review: SEAT Leon ST (2014)

Rating:

Very good looking estate version of the impressive new Leon. Rides and handles well. Boot space is bigger than Audi A6 Avant or Ford Mondeo Estate.

Not much cheaper than a Volkswagen Golf Estate in mid level specification.

Recently Added To This Review

15 July 2019

Ongoing issues with the 1.5 TSI engine with no resolution from SEAT. Read more

3 May 2019

Honest John Awards 2019: Estate Car of the Year SEAT Leon ST Read more

15 March 2019 SEAT Leon Cupra R ST announced

Limited edition model with just 150 being sold in the UK. Orders open in April, with prices starting from £37,975 for the 2.0 TSI with 300PS. For an extra £500, customers can upgrade to 370PS... Read more

SEAT Leon ST (2014): At A Glance

First things first – this might be an estate variant of the Leon but it feels identical to the regular three- and five-door models on the road, so if you want an estate car that’s great to drive then look no further. It’s agile, refined and comfortable, so there’s no compromise caused by the bigger boot.

That's good news for SEAT - it's aiming the Leon ST, the first ever estate version of a Leon, at 'youthful family buyers' - or those who want all the dynamism and enjoyment typical of a SEAT car, but with the added practicality afforded by a more capacious and practical boot. 

And that boot is very good. Capacity is 587 litres, an increase of 207 litres over the regular car, and it can be expanded to 1470 litres if you fold the seats forward – an easy task thanks to the simple handles in the boot on SE and FR trim grades. To put the load capacity into perspective, you could have a Labrador in the back without folding the seats forward - it's roomier than an Audi A6 Avant.

Regardless of the trim level chosen you’ll get a double boot floor, meaning there’s a one configuration with a flat load lip for sliding bulky items in and out, or a deeper configuration ideal for carrying lots of smaller items, like shopping bags. There’s also a storage slot for the removable tonneau cover, but it’s a fiddle to use properly without trapping fingers.

Standard equipment is as per the hatchback, meaning plenty of tech is on offer, including all-LED lights and lane keep assist. There are a few ST exclusive extras, too, like standard roof rails - should you need to fit a roof box – a 12V charging socket in the load area and a ski hatch. Another nice optional touch only available on the ST model is a panoramic glass roof.

The engine range is more or less the same as that for three- and five-door models, with the lion’s share of sales going to the versatile 1.6-litre, 105PS TDI diesel with emissions of 99g/km. There are some great petrol engines, too, including a powerful and fairly economical 1.4-litre TSI with 140PS and an even more powerful 180PS engine for those who want hot-hatch performance.

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SEAT Leon X-Perience 2014 Road and Off Road Test

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SEAT Leon X-Perience 2.0TDI DSG Long Term Test Reports

SEAT Leon 2.0TDI 150 ST XCELLENCE Technology 2017 Road Test

What does a SEAT Leon ST (2014) cost?

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SEAT Leon ST (2014): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4535–4549 mm
Width 1816 mm
Height 1436–1459 mm
Wheelbase 2634–2636 mm

Full specifications

The headline figure for the Leon ST is the rear load space, which is 200 litres greater than that of the hatchback model at 587 litres, expandable to 1470 litres with the seats folded. We don’t carry things in litre-sized cubes, though, so in real terms that means you can get a full-sized dog in the back without folding the seats, or you can easily load and unload most flat pack furniture.

You get a double boot floor as standard, which removes the load lip when at its high position. This aids in the loading and unloading of heavy items, like bits of furniture, because there’s nothing for it to get caught on – you can slide it straight out. In most situations you won’t need that flat floor, though, so you can lower it and create a bit more space.

All cars come with a removable tonneau cover, and SEAT has provided a place to stow it under the double-floor. Sadly this is one of few disappointing features, because it’s fiddly to use and feels like it could well break if someone particularly firm tried to use it in a rush. That said, it’d work in an emergency and you could just leave the load cover at home if you plan ahead.

If you’ve got larger loads to carry then the rear seats fold flat in one motion, and to make life easier there are one touch levers in the boot if you got for SE or FR trim. If you’ve got particularly large things to haul around you can get a fold-forward front seat as an option.

Besides the useful boot, the Leon ST is as good as the five-door hatch, with a comfortable and spacious cabin. Even adult rear seat passengers get enough head and leg room, while interior trim and finish is impressive. There’s loads of technology on offer too, like lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and LED-lighting. 

Up front the Leon ST is neatly laid out, comfortable, well screwed together and tremendously user-friendly. The touch-screen system is one of the best around - it's clear, responsive and intuitive, and packs in some handy features like DAB radio. Add to that an uncluttered lower fascia layout, with simple dials for the air conditioning, and you've got the recipe for a very nice cabin indeed. 

Standard equipment:

S models come with 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, front electric windows, air conditioning, colour media system with CD player, Bluetooth, six speakers, remote auto controls, ESC with tyre pressure monitoring, driver and passenger airbag, front side and curtain airbags, driver's knee airbag and an alarm and remote central locking, rear arm rest, tonneau cover, chrome load sill, double boot floor, 12v boot power supply, black roof rail,

SE trim adds ambient interior spot lighting, a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, chrome dashboard detailing, front fog lights with cornering, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, SEAT’s XDS electronic differential lock system, and hill hold control, chrome roof rails, easy seat release

FR models have 17-inch alloy wheels, redesigned front and rear bumpers, twin chrome exhaust pipes, dark tinted windows, front sports seats, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, LED tail lights, sports suspension and SEAT Drive Profile. This lets the driver alter the characteristic of the power steering, giving it more or less resistance, as well as the throttle sensitivity, and in DSG-equipped cars it alters the gear shift pattern.

Options include 18-inch alloy wheels, full leather upholstery, satellite navigation, SEAT Sound System (including a boot-mounted sub-woofer), rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and light sensing headlamps, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.

Child seats that fit a SEAT Leon ST (2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the SEAT Leon ST (2014) like to drive?

One of the best things about the Leon ST is the fact that it drives pretty much identically to its hatchback counterparts. That means enjoyable handling, direct steering and generally good ride comfort across all models. Engine options are the same as those for the hatchback models, too, meaning a good selection to suit all tastes. Estate cars aren't usually known for their cornering prowess but the Leon is great - there's very little body roll. 

As with other variants of the Leon there are differing suspension set ups depending on the engine and trim level chosen. FR models all get firmer sports suspension, while those cars with below 148PS get a less sophisticated system and those with more than 148PS get a fully independent set up.

It’s a little confusing, but the good news is that all versions ride pretty well. Obviously the more sophisticated multi-link suspension does a better job overall, but in most environments and on most roads you’re not going to suffer for choosing a ‘lesser’ car. The only time the less sophisticated set up causes a problem is over particularly rough roads, where the ride gets little agitated and busy. 

You might expect the FR model to be too firm but it’s actually really impressive, blending reasonable ride comfort with excellent body control – you can really throw it around like a hot hatch and not have to worry too much about things going wrong. In fact, if you want the full hot hatch experience you can get a very lively 180PS engine, capable of a 7.5 second 0-62mph sprint.

SEAT offers a good range of engines, from a 1.6-litre TDI diesel with 105PS to the range-topping 180PS 1.8-litre petrol. There’s not really a bad engine variant in the range, which is great news for buyers. The 1.6-litre TDI diesel is probably going to find the most buyers. That’s not surprising – it offers emissions of 99g/km, official economy of 74.3mpg and has plenty of torque.

There's also a super-frugal 110PS TDI Ecomotive, which has emisions of just 87g/km and official economy of 85.6mpg. On paper you might think it's the one to choose over the 105PS version, but there's a £1000 premium and in reality you probably won't get much better economy. 

Diesels might seem the default choice, but don’t write off the petrol models – the 1.2-litre 105PS TSI and the 1.4-litre 140PS TSI are both excellent engines, offering swift acceleration, great refinement at low speeds and an enjoyably purposeful exhaust note when pushed hard. They’re even efficient – the 105PS 1.2-litre manages official economy of 57.6mpg. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 TSI 115 58–59 mpg 10.1 s 109–112 g/km
1.0 TSI 115 DSG Ecomotive 64 mpg 9.8 s 102 g/km
1.0 TSI 115 Ecomotive 64 mpg 9.8 s 102 g/km
1.2 TSI 105 58 mpg 10.3 s 114 g/km
1.2 TSI 105 DSG 58 mpg 10.3 s 115 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 57–58 mpg 10.1 s 114–116 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 DSG 57–58 mpg 10.1 s 112–114 g/km
1.4 EcoTSI 58 mpg 8.2 s 114 g/km
1.4 EcoTSI 150 58 mpg 8.2 s 110–114 g/km
1.4 EcoTSI 150 DSG 57 mpg 8.2 s 111–117 g/km
1.4 EcoTSI DSG 57 mpg 8.2 s 117 g/km
1.4 TSI 125 54 mpg 9.4 s 120 g/km
1.4 TSI 140 53 mpg 8.4 s 122 g/km
1.5 TSI 130 55–57 mpg 9.5 s 111–116 g/km
1.5 TSI 150 53–55 mpg 8.2 s 117–120 g/km
1.5 TSI 150 DSG 53–54 mpg 8.3 s 118–120 g/km
1.6 TDI 105 74 mpg 11.1 s 99 g/km
1.6 TDI 105 DSG 72 mpg 11.0 s 102 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 67–79 mpg 10.6–10.9 s 87–106 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 DSG 69–71 mpg 10.9 s 102–105 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 Ecomotive 79 mpg 10.6 s 87 g/km
1.6 TDI 115 64–69 mpg 9.9–10.6 s 108–111 g/km
1.6 TDI 115 DSG 66–71 mpg 9.9–10.6 s 106–112 g/km
1.8 TSI 47 mpg 7.8 s 137–138 g/km
1.8 TSI DSG 49 mpg 7.7 s 132–134 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 64–67 mpg 8.6 s 106–114 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 61–64 mpg 8.6 s 115–120 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 61 mpg 7.8 s 112–121 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 DSG 59–63 mpg 7.8 s 117–125 g/km
2.0 TSI 190 DSG 46 mpg 7.3 s 141 g/km

Real MPG average for a SEAT Leon ST (2014)

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

84%

Real MPG

30–70 mpg

MPGs submitted

263

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.

What have we been asked about the SEAT Leon ST (2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Which petrol estate cars would you recommend for reliability, fuel economy and performance on a £12,000 budget?

I want to buy a petrol estate car, manual, up to 5 years old on a budget of £12,000. I'm looking for something reliable and economic, but also fun to drive. The current short list is a 2012 - 2013 Ford Focus ST Estate 2.0 petrol, a 2014 SEAT Leon ST Estate 1.4 TSI 138, a 2015 Peugeot 308 SW estate 1.2 130 and a 2014 Honda Civic Tourer 1.8. Which cars would you recommend?
Nothing wrong with the Honda Civic 1.8 i-VTEC Tourer apart from looks, and the strongest engine here. Should do more than 40mpg as well (I got 48). The 1.2 Puretech 130 in the Peugeot 308 is excellent. 230Nm makes is punchy up hills and I averaged 49mpg over 12,000 miles in one. No reports of any problems with this engine as yet. The 1.4 TSI in the SEAT Leon depends on whether it is chain or belt cam because the quality of the chains turned out to be variable and unpredictable. The Ford Focus ST has Ford's tough old chain cam 2.0 litre engine with a turbo good for 250PS (and good enough fore the Jaguar XE) but on the early ST models the behaviour of the electronic diff was so inconsistent we switched it off.
Answered by Honest John
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