Is it fast?
We’re behind the wheel of the new Seat Leon with its 2.0-litre diesel heart, so we’re not expecting any hands down trousers excitement. That said, this oil-burner is no slouch: 0-62mph flashes by in 8.4sec and flat out, you’ll hit 134mph.
Is it sexy?
It’s a very good looking car, the Leon. The front and rear lights are angular and fresh and the car’s silhouette is sporty looking. The rear of the new Leon is a particular highlight thanks to its high shoulder line and, if you squint, Alfa Brera-esque rear quarter panel. This is a car that looks ‘clean’, classy and purposeful. We would…
What’s it like to drive?
It usually takes a good few miles to nail down what a car is really like to drive, but we had the Leon sussed in minutes. It’s a truly solid-feeling car and is clearly one that’s been put together with the most German of German engineering.
The Leon’s suspension is supple, forgiving and sporty, which allows the car to glide over road acne without any fuss. Refined is the word of the day, here.
The steering is direct and beautifully weighted and six-speed gearbox pleasing to use too.
Despite its diesel engine, the Leon also feels light and agile; it grips to the road like glue, even when you do show the engine the back of your hand mid-corner.
How about the inside?
Again, we’re impressed and again we’ll use the word classy. The steering wheel is nice and thin, and the dashboard layout simple. The sporty seats in our car hold you pretty tight, which helps when you’re running late for pilates (that’s aggressive stretching to you and me). You’ll also find subtle flashes of chrome inside, which breaks up the dark dash well.
Will my mates rate it?
Until Seat gives us the hot Cupra model, the Leon isn’t a car that you young guns will get excited about. If you’re over 30 and want a car that will whisk you along your commute in style, however, then the Leon’s highly recommendable.
Can I afford it?
The new Leon’s cheaper than its VW Golf and Audi A3 brothers (these cars share the same MQB platform) and, by all accounts no worse for it. Fuel economy is ridiculously good too and its low CO2 figure will have you paying peanuts for tax. Win, win.
Show me three used alternatives
The MkIV Golf was and still is a great car to drive. Opt for the GT TDI (130) and you get a strong 1.9-litre diesel engine, a classy exterior and sporty interior. A tidy (ish) example will set you back no more that £1400.
If you can live with a higher mileage diesel motor, then look no further. The rear-drive 120d is sporty, frugal and surprisingly quick: 62mph comes up in 7.9sec and you’ll see 137mph flat out. This one’s got full service history and 6 months MOT. It’s yours for £4290.
Diesel cars don’t get much hotter than the Brera, so you’ll be pleased to know that a sexy-looking 2.4-litre oil-burner with 200bhp will set you back just £6.5k. This 2006 car comes with all the trimmings, including 18s and a panoramic roof.Seat Leon FR Review: German Genes With Spanish Sexy,