SEAT Leon hatchback and estate get new engine options for 2021

The SEAT Leon range has been bolstered for 2021 with the addition of new petrol and diesel engine choices

SEAT has given buyers greater choice with new petrol and diesel powertrains for its most popular car, the Leon

The SEAT Leon hatch is now available with a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine developing 187bhp and the Leon Estate now has the option of a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 113bhp. The more powerful TSI unit is available exclusively with a DSG automatic, whereas the TDI can be mated to SEAT’s six-speed manual.

Pricing for the new petrol option starts at £28,810 in hatchback FR guise and the TDI Estate starts from £24,515 in SE trim. 

Elsewhere in the range, SEAT’s first ever plug-in hybrid Leon costs from £31,835 - starting in FR trim and rising to £35,060 for top-spec Xcellence Lux. Badged the SEAT Leon eHybrid, it pairs a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with a battery and electric motor for a total output of 201bhp and 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds. More importantly, official fuel economy of up to 235.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 27g/km have also been claimed. 

At the bottom end of the Leon range entry-level SE prices start from £20,405 for the hatchback and £24,530 for the estate. Standard equipment for the entry level Leon SE includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry and a pair of electrically operated and heated door mirrors. Inside, there’s an eight-inch infotainment system, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a pair of USB ports.

The mid-range Leon SE Dynamic starts from £21,505. Upgrades over the entry-level model include a set of larger 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, privacy glass, a 10.25-inch digital instrument binnacle and a 10-inch infotainment screen with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Leon FR kicks off at £23,735. There’s a host of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades over the mid-range model, including an aggressive body kit, a twin-exit exhaust system, a 15mm lower suspension setup, illuminated tread plates and a set of unique LED tail lights with scrolling indicators.

Inside, the SEAT Leon FR gets a pair of sports seats with contrasting stitching, a leather multifunction steering wheel, three-zone air conditioning, a wireless smartphone charger and a pair of extra USB ports for the rear seats. Buyers can also opt for a panoramic sunroof and either a fixed or electric tow bar on all models.

Xcellence and Xcellence Lux build cars build on the FR models with larger 18-inch alloy wheels, a wraparound interior ambient lighting system and a Winter Pack, which adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated windscreen washers. 

New 2020 SEAT Leon: engine and drivetrain

Like the recently launched Mk8 Volkswagen Golf, the latest Leon gets a refreshed engine line-up that features varying levels of electrification. From launch, five options will be available, with buyers offered three petrols, one diesel and a mild-hybrid powertrain.

The range opens with a 109bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. Above that sits a pair of turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder units, with outputs of either 128bhp or 148bhp.

A 113bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit will be available from launch. A 148bhp version of the same engine will be made available later in Leon’s life-span, alongside a 187bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. In the Leon hatchback, the 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine is claimed to average 42.2mpg with a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds and a 144mph top speed.

The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, but the petrol engines can all be ordered with an automatic gearbox. Going auto also opens up the possibility of adding 48-volt mild-hybrid technology on the 1.0-litre and 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol variants.

For business buyers, the 1.4-litre plug-in hybrid model boasts a benefit in kind rating of just 10 per cent. Fuel economy of up to 235.4mpg is claimed, and up to 36 miles of pure electric running. 

New 2020 SEAT Leon: design and platform

The Mk3 Leon sold more than a million units during its reign – and it had a reputation as one of the more striking hatchbacks in the family car class. As such, SEAT’s design team hasn’t interfered too much with the car’s looks; the styling shift between the Mk3 and Mk4 model is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

The latest Leon shares a similar side profile to its predecessor and features similar body lines down its flanks. It even shares the same platform as the previous model – the ubiquitous MQB architecture which underpins most of the bread-and-butter models in the Volkswagen Group.

However, the decision to stick with the previous model’s platform doesn’t mean there aren’t significant differences. The new car is almost 90mm longer than before, and 50mm of that increase has been inserted into the wheelbase in a bid to improve one of the Mk3’s biggest failings – rear cabin space.

The Leon’s bonnet looks longer than the old model’s, as its windscreen has been made more upright, while the car’s nose has a prouder profile. The hatchback’s rear incorporates SEAT’s now familiar full-width lighting set-up, with higher-end variants receiving “welcome” and “farewell” animations, which are displayed when the car is locked and unlocked.

New 2020 SEAT Leon: interior design

Inside, the dashboard is a lot cleaner and simpler than before, because the infotainment screen now sits on the front of the fascia instead of being accommodated within it. The car in our images has the top-spec 10-inch system, complete with the same sliding controllers for temperature and infotainment volume that you’ll find on the latest Volkswagen Golf.

SEAT’s engineers have also worked hard to make the Leon’s ambient lighting system more than a simple personalisation gimmick. The shades and hues will still be user-configurable, but the car will now also flash the interior lighting strip if there’s something which requires the driver’s urgent attention, such as a blind-spot warning or if the car’s rear cross traffic assist system sense oncoming traffic when reversing out of a parking space.

Based on our time with the Leon in the studio, SEAT looks set to deliver on one of the new car’s key targets – better cabin space. It’s noticeably easier than before to get into the rear seats, while leg- and knee-room are far more generous than in the Mk3 Leon. The boot is basically unchanged, at 380 litres, but there’s now 617 litres on offer if you choose the estate model. That bodystyle continues into the Mk4, but there’s no return for the three-door Leon SC, which was dropped from the third-generation car’s line-up almost 18 months ago.

What does the new SEAT Leon have to beat? These are the best hatchbacks on sale right now...

Recommended

SEAT Leon review
SEAT Leon front
SEAT Leon

SEAT Leon review

The SEAT Leon offers the tech and driving experience of the VW Golf, but for a lower price
5 Jan 2021
New SEAT Leon Estate 2020 review
SEAT Leon ST

New SEAT Leon Estate 2020 review

We find out if the new SEAT Leon Estate is as attractive as the hatchback
3 Dec 2020
New SEAT Leon e-Hybrid 2020 review
SEAT Leon

New SEAT Leon e-Hybrid 2020 review

The new SEAT Leon e-Hybrid brings plug-in power to the hatchback's range for the first time
6 Nov 2020
SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus
Family hatchbacks

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus

The Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon are all long established hatchbacks - we find out which is best among the latest crop
11 Jul 2020

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e
Fiat 500 vs Honda e vs MINI Electric
Car group tests

Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e

The new Fiat 500, MINI Electric and Honda e are three retro-inspired electric superminis - but which is best?
19 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition
Ford Puma

Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed

Ford unveils a special edition Puma ST, with a black and gold colour scheme chosen by Ford fans over social media
18 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now
Hyundai Tuscon N Line - front
Hyundai Tucson

New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now

Hyundai names price for new Tucson N-Line hybrid duo with plug-in offering 38 miles of electric running
18 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police
police speed gun
News

Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists
16 Jun 2021
New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage
Mercedes-AMG S 63
Mercedes S-Class

New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage

AMG will soon launch a tuned version of Mercedes’s flagship limousine, probably powered by a 603bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine
18 Jun 2021