SEAT Leon (2013 – 2020) Review

SEAT Leon (2013 – 2020) At A Glance


+Big improvements in quality and refinement over previous Leon. Great to drive with sharp handling. Good value. Shares same base as latest A3 and Golf.

-Only top models have fully independent rear suspension.

Insurance Groups are between 12–26
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

This is the third generation SEAT Leon. It builds on the reputation of of the previous two generations, by being good value for money and fun to drive, but has a higher quality interior and more attention to detail. It shares up to half of its underpinnings with the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3 and as a result uses a wide range of Volkswagen's latest petrol and diesel engines.

The Leon is available with the now familiar four-cylinder TDI and TSI units all featuring direct injection and turbocharging. The version powered by a 1.6 TDI diesel with 105PS is the cleanest model in the range (for the time being) and thanks to a start/stop system and brake energy regeneration it averages a claimed 74.3mpg with CO2 emissions at 99g/km meaning zero VED.

Out on the road, it's good to drive with sporty handling and good agility with the Leon FR getting a new SEAT Drive Profile which lets you vary the characteristics of the steering, throttle response and the engine sound via a sound actuator in the exhaust. Other new system include a drowsiness detection feature, Full Beam Assistant, which switches automatically between full and dipped beam and the ‘Heading Control’ lane-keeping assistant, which makes slight corrections to the steering to prevent the driver from crossing over lane markings.

SEAT has made big improvements inside, an area which has often been the focus of complaints on previous. The fit, finish and attention to detail as good as a Volkswagen Golf and better than many other cars in this sector. It's simple and unfussy and comes with a new 'Easy Connect' operating system, which controls the entertainment and communication function via a touch-sensitive screen.

SEAT Leon 2014 Road Test 

Road Test SEAT Leon ST 2014

Long-term Test SEAT Leon ST 1.6 TDI DSG

SEAT Leon 1.4 EcoTSi 150 FR Technology 2017 Road Test

SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI 150 ST XCELLENCE Technology 2017 Road Test

Real MPG average for a SEAT Leon (2013 – 2020)


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

27–74 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.

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Ask Honest John

What's the best small SUV for older drivers?
"My wife and I are in our late eighties and we are looking for a replacement for our 2015 Seat Leon 1.4 TSI FR. We want a petrol automatic that is easy to get in and out of, easy to park, has comfortable seats, a soft ride and is reasonably high spec. We wonder if a small SUV would fit the bill but are not familiar with any of them. Can you please make some recommendations for us to consider? We are willing to pay up to £20,000 for a second-hand car up to four years old."
I rate the Ford Puma as the best small SUV on sale right now. It's affordable, good to drive and generously equipped as standard. But the ride can get a little firm on large wheels, so avoid the sporty ST-Line models or those on 18-inch alloys: You may also want to consider the latest Peugeot 2008. It's not as rewarding to drive as the Ford but it is very comfortable with a high-quality interior. and supportive seats We tested one for six months and you can read our long term review here:
Answered by Dan Powell
Do I need replace a cam belt at five years?
"Can you please let me know if cam belt replacement is mandatory on Seat Leon 1.2 petrol at 5 years, irrespective of mileage? I understand it does not give any warning sign but could just snap and cause engine damage. I just had a big bill for mechatronics replacement on the car and feel these cars are really do not give any value for money after 5 years. Thanks for your advice. "
Most cam belt problems we hear about occur after five years and/or 60,000 miles. The belt deteriorates over time and this can result in it snapping or jumping off due to the frayed belt parts becoming trapped in the mechanism. Sometimes a cam belt will make a loud rattling noise before failing. But in most cases it'll snap without warning, causing catastrophic damage as the pistons hit the valves in the engine.
Answered by Dan Powell
Is an extended warranty for £175 good value for money?
"I have a SEAT Leon nearing the end of its warranty period. SEAT is offering an ‘all components’ cover with zero excess for £175. Do you think this is good value for money? "
SEAT Leons aren't known to be particularly unreliable but, for £175, that sounds like a very tempting deal. It's probably worth that for peace of mind alone. Shop around for aftermarket warranties, too, but check the terms and conditions carefully so you can compare like for like.
Answered by Andrew Brady
My daughter wants a diesel hatchback. Can you recommend a used model?
"My daughter's leased MINI is coming up for renewal but she's leaning towards buying a 2 or 3-year-old car, with a diesel Golf in mind. Diesel due to her business travel of between 15k-20k miles per year. She likes the higher-spec cars, manual gearbox, preferably a five-door as a bit more space is best suited and for her black labrador who goes in the boot. Which model would be best suited and which models should she avoid? What insurance rating would the said model(s) be? Would servicing be similar on all models? What similar other car/model may be a good match for the Golf as mentioned? Many thanks in advance."
Sounds like a sensible choice for that kind of mileage. The 2.0 TDI would be the best bet - very efficient yet punchy enough for motorway driving. The 1.6 TDI is pretty good, too, although isn't quite as powerful as the 2.0-litre. Servicing on a diesel Golf should be relatively affordable, no matter which model your daughter chooses. This should give you an idea of insurance groups: (It's worth getting some quotes, though, as insurance groups don't always mean a great deal). We'd also recommend a SEAT Leon (it's very similar to the Golf and shares engines) as well as the Peugeot 308 and Hyundai i30 (particularly the latest model, which went on sale in 2017).
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a SEAT Leon (2013 – 2020) cost?