I have been given a Seat Leon FR 2.0 diesel as a company car and overall I am very pleased.
I work in recruitment so am constantly on the road, visiting clients, attending meetings etc let alone all the miles I do away from so I clock up a fair amount of mileage. Business miles are covered but personal mileage is at my own expense.
As I didnt have a choice in the matter I was a little sceptical about having a 2 litre turbo based car, even it was a diesel. However the car is relatively economical as long as you dont drive like an lunatic (I get 500 miles from full tank, with a mixture of urban and motorway mileage).
The ride is good as well. I can quite easily 'cruise' (im not sure if I am too old to use that term) around town in comfort or on the odd occassion I am running late for a meeting and put my foot down, the car can handle itself in and out of corners at speed.
The car also plays host to my young family. I have a 2 year old daughter who needs a car seat, which takes up quite a bit of room, yet it can still accommodate her and 4 adults with ease. I was a bit wary about putting her in the front as it has sports seats that are raised on the side but if anything this makes the seat more secure.
The stereo is comes with is a little basic looking, but have a AUX point as well as USB & CD player. The sound quality is great though
All this is down to tried and tested, solid German engineering as the car is essentially a VW golf underneath the styling. However in my personal opinion the styling is better than that of a Golf.
I have had the car for 18 months now and have never had an issue with it. My missus has a Ford focus (our 4th one - as we are very fond of the brand/model due to its reliability) and both of us feel the Leon is a contender for our preferred car.
All in all I would recommend it for either boy racers or sensiblle family types alike
Becoming a mum was the best moment of my life, however this sadly meant with two little boys I needed a "more practical car" which my 3 door hatchback with its nice shiny Audi badge didn't fit, according to Mr Lools anyway. I was very specific I did not want a "mini bus type car" when the matter was discussed at great length on a number of occasions. I was very keen on a "nippy" hatchback with 5 doors but Mr Lools managed to say no to a number of cars which came under this banner. Not many hatchbacks fit this criteria and were practical enough or had a big enough boot to transport two little people and all their possessions around. That was until by chance a friend suggested ..... A Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR.
***Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR ***
The Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is described by Seat to be "a progressively designed car which is launched into exclusivity". The model has the practically of a standard Seat Leon, a medium sized hatchback car with the added benefits of being a more "sporty" model. This includes technology such as an electronic traction control system to provide a smooth drive and added features such as rear parking sensors and rain and light sensors.
The Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR has a 2.0 diesel engine with a six speed manual gearbox. Some of the technical spec is detailed below :
Maximum Speed: 133 mph
Acceleration (0-60mph): 7.9 seconds
Displacement (cc): 1968
Maximum power (PS / kW / rpm): 170/125/4200
Maximum torque (Nm / lb.ft / rpm): 350/258/1750
Fuel Consumption (Combined mpg) : 55.1
Seat state on their website that brand new the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is priced at £20,500 brand new. This is relatively expensive for a car however if you consider this alongside other manufacturers for a similar sized hatchback car pretty average priced. A basic model VW Golf and Audi A3 are also around the £20,000 mark brand new. Whereas the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is a one of the higher spec and performance models with a lot of interior and exterior extras. A comparable sport model Ford Focus is also a similar price to this.
The exterior of a Seat Leon size and shape wise is a very similar to a VW Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra; a medium sized hatchback car.
The Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is slightly more rounded than a standard Seat Leon with additional extras for a more "sporty" look. This included chrome twin exhaust, chrome grill at the front of the car, a (very) small rear spoiler, sports trim and the FR badge on the back of the car and also on the front grill. The Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR also has additional front fog lights and 18" five spoke alloy wheels. I am always slightly concerned when purchasing a "sports" model of a car that it risks looking slightly boy racer like, however I am pleased to say the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is sporty but in quite a subtle way, which is important for me as this is a "family" car.
The Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is available in eight different colours, which include four metallic colours ( Luna Grey, Dakota Red, Track Grey, black magic) and four non-metallic colours ( Speed Blue, Crono Yellow, Emocion Red and Candy White) I opted for Emocion Red. I do feel that the range of colours is quite limited in comparison to other manufacturers. However something I like about the colour palette is they are very definite colours and deep rather than looking washed out. I think that is very important for paintwork when buying colours such as red. The Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR has body coloured bumpers, wing mirrors and door handles.
Something that I really like about Seat Leons are that they are only available a 5 door car but have the appearance of a 3 door car. The back two passenger doors are concealed and the door handle is actually located by the back windows. For some passengers in my car this has been very confusing and also very amusing for me as I watch them to attempt to get into the car either via the front two doors or spending a long amount of time trying to locate the back door handles.
I was immediately impressed with the overall look of the interior of the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR. Probably the best way to describe the car is "coordinated". My car has sports seats and the upholstery is black with red stitching to match the exterior of the car. The head rests of these seats are easily adjusted as is the height position and leg room position of the seat. My only reservation of the FR model is that the front seats have the FR badge emblazoned across them, which looks sporty but in my opinion not so subtle.
The dashboard and control panel look to a high quality to a similar standard of my Audi A3 which surprised me as I was expecting a slightly "cheap" look. The dashboard is a steel grey colour and has illuminated dials with an FR badge on the control panel. The car has a trip computer and controls on the leather trim steering wheel to control the heating, air con and the radio/ CD player.
The car also has two cupholders in the centre panel. My only slight annoyance with the cup holders is the position. If the front cup holder has a drink in it catches your arm when pulling the handbrake on or changing gear, even more so if you are taller and sat with the seat positioned further back.
The car has a variety of functions which make this a very comfortable to drive and be a passenger in. The car has a heated back and front windscreen to make clearing ice and snow from the windscreens easy. The cars climate control is also very easy to use, the heating is very responsive and the temperature turns up and down and can be felt quickly. The air conditioning is also a very comfortable feature but does make a noticeable difference to fuel consumption.
The space in the back of the car for passengers is also spacious. There is ample legroom and space for 3 adults to sit in the back seat. I can fit two car seats and one adult in the back seat of my Seat Leon.
The boot space inside the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is larger than other similar sized hatchback cars such as the Audi A3, Ford Focus and VW Golf. Seat state that this is 341 litres. I was very impressed at just how much space is within the boot; width, length and especially depth. For me it was essential that I could easily fit in a Double Pushchair into the boot of my car. All three double pushchairs I own fit into the boot of the Seat Leon whereas they do not fit into the boot of a Golf, A3 or Focus which is why these cars were discounted by Mr Lools during our new car search. Not only can I fit in a double pushchair but also shopping and numerous baby "bits".
***Driving and Maintenance***
Driving the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR was my first experience of driving a Seat so I was unsure of what to expect. Immediately when driving the car I was very impressed at how easily the car accelerates and how quiet it is when it does so. I definitely would agree with the 0-60mph statistics, this is a quick car. At lower speeds and from moving from being stationary the car is very quick despite being a very sturdy heavy feeling car. At higher speeds (60-70mph) and driving in 6th gear the car very easily accelerates. Driving at higher speeds on motorway journeys is very enjoyable as the car does not have a lot of engine noise and feels very smooth.
Changing gears is very easy. I have never felt like I have had to force the gear stick into gear, and I feel the car is very smooth during gear changes, there are no jerky movements or excessive noise. The clutch on the car is very easy to operate especially for a diesel car and it is very easy to find the biting point. In the past driving other makes of diesel cars (Vauxhalls and Audi) I have found the clutch to be quite stiff. In fact I have not yet stalled my Seat Leon which in previous cars I have been known to.
Steering the car is very easy. The car is quite a sturdy feeling car yet when driving around quite tight corners you do not have to drag the steering wheel, the car turns very easily.
The driving position of the car is very comfortable. The rear window of the car is large enough to have clear viability even though the car has quite a curved rear design. I find this is not always the case i.e. a Vauxhall Astra has very limited visibility. The positions and size of the car wing mirrors are very convenient as a driver. Not only are they easily adjusted I also feel that they are large enough to give clear visibility unlike some wing mirrors on "sport" model cars which are often styled and a little too small. I also find the design of the car windows make it very easy to check blind spots when driving and overtaking.
My mum and dad both have driven my car and found it very comfortable. Height wise they are at different ends of the scale. My mum is 5ft and finds the seat can be high enough and far forward enough so she is in a comfortable driving position, whereas my dad who is over 6ft finds there is ample leg room when driving this car and he is not positioned too close to the steering wheel.
The car is very comfortable inside and both as a driver and a passenger I have found the seats to be comfortable even for long journeys. The front seats can be easy adjusted both the height and also the recline position. The seats are considered to be sports seats so are very supportive and rounded which I feel adds to the comfort of the seat.
My car came with a 3 year warranty (or 60,000 miles) however I have not yet had any issues in which I need to take my car back to the dealer. I would not expect this to be the case however as this is a relatively new car (a year old) and paying this amount of money for I would expect the car to be made to a high quality. Including in buying my car, the dealership offered a yearly service as part of the package.
Something that I find a big downside to this car is the cost to insure. The Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is within Group 14 for insurance which adds massively to its running costs. Even after shopping around I pay around £680 per year.
Road tax wise the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR is considered to be in Band G for car emissions so for 2010-2011 costing £155 per year. The road tax amount is quite high in comparison to other "small" to "medium" type cars. The fuel consumption of the car however is very reasonable. Currently fuel prices are very high so it is generally expensive to run a car but with my Seat Leon I do not feel it uses an excessively high amount of fuel which I felt was the case for my A3. I feel especially for longer journeys and driving on the motorway the Seat Leon is very economical.
After I got over my initial snobbery of trading my Audi A3 in for something less flash I was actually very surprised at what a great car the Seat Leon is. In fact I actually feel I have "traded up" not down with this car. Most importantly it is a very practical car to suit my needs as a family car, with ample rear seat room and a very impressive sized boot for a hatchback. But it also benefits from being quite a "sporty car" with lots of interior features making this a comfortable easy car to drive.
Exterior wise it is a stylish looking car and is a fun, great car to drive. I would say this comes at a price and because insurance group wise it is group 14 it does add to the running costs, even though I feel that fuel consumption is average so is not too expensive to run for a "high performance" car.
For such a wide range of features and great performance car the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 170PS FR provides excellent value for money.