SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - BenM


After 10 years of loyal service, I have decided to retire my Peugeot 206 for something with a little more room.

I'm looking for a small family car that is less than 3 years old and is ideally under the £9000 mark. I do alot of city driving but I occasionally make long journeys down to Cornwall. After all the recent u-turns about diesel cars and the stories I've heard about DPF's I've thought about going for petrol.

I've had a look around and the SEAT Leon 1.2 TSI seems a decent car. Anyone got any advice on this car or any others?


SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - scot22

I would definitely go petrol.

Some people think TSI engines are marvellous : some don't. I am of a traditional way of thinking and would be concerned about their longevity ( overworked ? ) However, depends on how long you want to keep it. I'm prepared for a deluge of support from TSI engine car owners !

SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - badbusdriver

I dont think, in the grand scheme of things, the 1.2tsi (105bhp) in the leon is 'overworked'. Given that the 1.0 ford ecoboost engine is available with up to 140bhp. One of my customers has one (the leon that is!) and thinks its brilliant! (he has had it for about 18 months i think). Stick with the manual gearbox though.

SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - bazza

I would be tempted by the 1.4 tsi, which is much more powerful and gives the car good performance. The earlier chain drive tsi were fraught with problems, but the later- current belt drive appears to be much better. I don't know exactly when the Leon switched over, Skidpan will know.

They're unproven to 10 years of course, but apart from the odd Auris vvti or Civic Vtec, most of the current crop of petrol engines are not proven beyond 2 or 3 years. I had a lift in a 1.2 turbo Renault last week and it was very impressive for such a small engine. I also doubt their longevity but perhaps we are being pessimistic, time will tell!

SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - scot22

Good points and I recognise my mechanical knowledge is very limited. I am increasingly aware of the difficulty of predicting anything. I just like things simple.

SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - SLO76
The current crop of small capacity VAG TSi engines are excellent but are still unproven with regards to longevity. They are more complex and quite simply there is more to go wrong than there is on a normally asperated engine. If you do buy one, and there's no reason not to, the Leon in particular is a great option, you really do need to have it serviced every year (not biannually as some service plans suggest) and by someone who knows them, a main dealer or genuine VW/Audi specialist. I'd personally stick with the dealer but shop around for prices first then negotiate a discount on servicing costs.

If however you intend on another 10 year ownership term then I'd personally be shortlisting mostly normally asperated Japanese cars such a the Honda Civic 1.8, the Toyota Auris 1.6 and Mazda 3 2.0. The Mazda is the best all rounder with lovely balanced handling and reasonably supple ride along with a lovely riflebolt gearchange and communicative steering. It really does drive better than it looks. I've sold loads of older gen 3's over the years without a moments bother. Don't touch the diesels though.

The Civic is a little firm riding if you opt for a Sport or a Ti but the S or the SE are better. The steering is a little numb but the 1800 VTEC engine will run forever if looked after and they're very practical. Rear visibility is an issue though so try before you buy.

The Auris is a bit dull but comfortable and likely to outlast you. There's little goes wrong with them and the come with the remains of Toyota's excellent 5yr warranty if it has a full dealer history.
SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - veloceman
Not sure about the 1.2. Always felt it was a little rough in the Ibiza Fr I had.
But the 1.4 is truly amazing in the Leon. Loads of low down torque makes you drive it like a diesel. Good mpg and effortless drive.
To be honest I can't speak about its long term reliability but it's so easy to drive quickly without thrashing the knackers off it I would be suprised if it gave any long term problems.
SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - skidpan

Had a 2013 1.4 SE TSi 140 for almost 4 years, brilliant car. No trouble whatsoever, 45 mpg average. So good infact that my new Skoda Superb is a 1.4 TSi but its the 150 PS now, same torques though.

The car is comfortable and spacious for its class. The ride is excellent providing you stick with 16" wheels but even on 17" wheels its not bad. Noise levels are low. Stick to SE spec and you will get all the important bits without the stupid 1/2 plastic seats of the FR.

The dealer had the car on the forcourt for 2 weeks at £8795 but he normally only sells Skoda on site so traded it out when it did not sell iinstantly. Someone will get a brilliant car with only 27,000 miles on the clock and over a year of Seats warranty remaining.

Go for it, you will be more than happy.

SEAT Leon - Looking for a new car - advice? - BenM

Great thanks for the info people. I'll have a look around at the cars mentioned in the comments.

It's always going to be tricky finding a car under 3 years old to fit within my budget though! There is always going to be less choice down in Cornwall. I found a few in my price range but they were about 300 miles away!


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