New SEAT Leon enters production

New SEAT Leon
25 Oct, 2012 5:01pm Luke Madden

Production of the SEAT Leon has begun in Spain, after a £650m investment

SEAT has begun production of the all-new Leon at its factory in Martorell, Spain, following an investment of around 800million Euro (£650million) in new facilities as well as vehicle research and development.

The newcomer will be built alongside the Ibiza, Altea and Exeo models, and helps to secure 1,600 jobs at Martorell and a further 6,000 in the supply chain. With the introduction of a new three-door bodystyle and an estate variant for the first time, SEAT believes it will be able to hire new staff in the future.

Dr. Andreas Tostmann, SEAT Executive Vice President for Production, said: “With the new Leon we have increased productivity by 10% and become more flexible, thus guaranteeing optimisation of production costs.”

The new Leon uses the same MQB platform as the all-new VW Golf and Audi A3, and is available with a choice of eight engines, including a flagship 181bhp 2.0 TDI and a 1.6-litre TDI with either 89bhp or 104bhp.

Turbo petrol options include a 1.2 TSI with 85bhp or 104bhp, a 120bhp 1.4 TSI and a 178bhp 1.8 TSI. A 138bhp 1.4 TSI with cylinder deactivation will also go on sale at a later date.

The five-door SEAT Leon costs from £15,670, with first UK deliveries in March 2013.

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Fookin beast :)

See comment by Mauk re Skoda Octavia!

Jealousy is a terrible thing. I am no SEAT fan, but the Skoda Octavia is an EXCELLENT car, reknowned for it's reliability. VAG haters should really troll where it's needed, like on Peugeot or Citroen pages. I have first hand experience of the french cars as I ran a specialists and the horror stories I could tell about broken cambelts at 20k miles, electrical problems, build quality issues etc etc. Yet, with my Skodas , I have had over 500,000 reliable miles in 3 Octavias, and looking forward to next year when I can buy the new model.

Why should anybody be jealous of a SEAT or most VW group products? 99% of motor vehicles are mass produced and some are bound to give trouble. It is equally idle to pretend that there are enormous differences between makes in terms of reliability although anecdotal evidence suggests this might actually be the case in the VW empire. The worst instance of unreliability I know of concerns a family who had three new Golfs which suffered identical electric window failures amongst other niggles This saga ended when another new Golf suffered terminal engine failure and induced a mass migration to Skoda. There at least the niggling build quality issues ceased.
My issues with the VW group are less to do with anecdotal reliability issues as with the general stylistic dullness unless you pay out rather large bags of gold for such as e.g. a Scirocco or a Yeti.

If you overlook the new golf due to the exterior styling then surely this fits the bill? The interior is no longer a weak point and combined with the virtues of the MQB platform, some cracking new engines and competetive pricing, this deserves to do well.