SEAT Leon SC (2013 – 2018) Review

SEAT Leon SC (2013 – 2018) At A Glance


+Shorter and sharper looking version of Leon. Impressive combination of ride and handling. Good value for money.

-Pitched as a coupe so not quite as spacious as the five-door Leon. High boot lip makes loading awkward.

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

This is the third generation of the Leon, although it's the first time the model has become a three door. Last time around, the Leon’s ‘hidden’ rear door handles led SEAT to believe the five-door was 'coupe-like' enough to not bother doing a three-door.

Today's five-door and three-door Leon models are quite distinct. Instead of simply removing the rear doors, SEAT has changed the styling for the SC in a subtle but real way. The roofline is lower and the so-called blisters above the rear wheel arches are more pronounced, for a wider, sharper look.

With that in mind it’s to SEAT’s credit that, unlike some other manufacturers, it has resisted the urge to add the coupe premium that makes the less practical version of a car the more expensive one. You’ll pay a few hundred pounds less for a Leon SC than you will an equivalent five-door, meaning one of the most stylish three-door hatchbacks around is also great value.

Based on the Volkswagen Golf platform, as are the Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia, the Leon SC is the most sharply styled of all the Volkswagen Group hatchbacks, while its interior quality runs the Golf very close. It’s the best to drive of all four of them too, certainly on a pound-for-pound basis.

And despite being cheaper than the Golf model-for-model (or as closely as you could compare the two) there’s a huge range stretching from the 110PS 1.2-litre petrol to the 2.0-litre turbo Cupra model with 290PS. There are many petrol and diesel engines in between, of course, although there’s no hybrid petrol-electric version of the Leon.

In a move designed to represent the upshift in quality, style and technology of the latest Leon, it was launched as the first production car available with full-LED headlights. Optional, but the company shrewdly bundled them from the start with SEAT’s very impressive touchscreen multimedia system in a reasonably priced Technology Pack to encourage their appearance in as many cars as possible. It’s a wise option to tick, or to look out for if buying used. 

Long Term Test SEAT Leon SC FR 1.4 TSI

SEAT Leon 2014 Road Test 

Real MPG average for a SEAT Leon SC (2013 – 2018)


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

29–68 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

Buying SEAT Leon FR 1.8 - problems with timing chains?

" I am interested in a one year old Seat Leon 1.8 FR petrol. Have the widely reported oil consumption and timing chain problems with VWG TSI engines, been banished from this version of the engine? Would an average, but keen driver notice the benefits of the multilink suspension, compared to the torsion beam on the 1.4 ACT? "
This should have the later EA288 engine with indirect as well as direct injection that solves the coking up problem. The timing chain and piston ring problems seem to be confined to 2009-2011 CDAA engines. Multi-link suspension definitely worth having because it improves both the handling and the ride, especially on 18-inch wheels with low profile tyres. One new problem with the EA288 has been cam lobes in the USA. No squeaks about this in the UK, though. Test by Dan and video by me of this car here:
Answered by Honest John
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