Our Cars: SEAT Leon SC FR 1.4 TSI

21 March 2014: Out of semi-retirement

The Details

Current mileage 3932
Claimed economy 54.3mpg
Actual economy 53.2mpg

London is a funny place – every street is lined with cars, but many of them spend months at a time standing still and, for a couple of weeks recently, my SEAT joined them. I had very few journeys to make and those that were necessary were undertaken in other cars, which I was road testing.

It’s never a good idea to leave a car standing for a long period of time – it’s bad for the brakes and the battery – but when I brought the Leon out of semi-retirement it fired up easily and drove perfectly. That was a nice surprised, but the fuel tank was almost empty.

Normally I fill up wherever is easiest, typically with regular petrol – but for a bit of an experiment I tried Shell V-Power, which cost a few more pence-per-litre but is supposed to clean the engine and improve economy. After that, it was off to Brighton for a weekend of wasting money in the 2p falls.

On the motorway down, the Leon managed better fuel economy than I’d ever seen before. cruising at a steady 70mph I saw an average of 52.3mpg, which is very, very close to the official figure. Admittedly the conditions were perfect, which was novel given the relentless rain we’ve had the past few months, but I can attribute at least some of those extra few miles-per-gallon to the V-Power fuel.


The Leon is a pleasure to come back to after time in other cars

Indeed, at a few points along the trip the average went up to more than 55mpg, beating the official fuel economy figure. Granted, that was only for a few miles and it quickly dropped back down when we reached any traffic. There were a few 50mph zones, too, which always help improve the average fuel economy.

At least they were painless with cruise control – the trip to Brighton was relaxed and easy, and a great way to reacquaint myself with the Leon, which is always a pleasure to come back to after time in another car.

You might now expect a fancy photograph of the car illuminated by the pier lights, but I’m from Yorkshire. So I saved myself a few bob by parking for free in the north of town and getting a bus to the seafront instead. The hotel was a bargain too...

One thing I didn’t do when getting back into the Leon was give it a wash. Its white paint has a thick layer of London grime on it, which is a real shame because it looks great when it’s polished up – so the next task is to get it back to its best, almost as if to apologise for the neglect!

« Earlier: Are you not infotained?     Later: We wave goodbye to the Leon »

It's time to say goodbye to our SEAT Leon. Its replacement has some very big boots to fill.
21 March 2014: Out of semi-retirement
After a few weeks spent driving other cars I take the SEAT on a long drive to stretch its legs.
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