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SEAT Leon (2012 - 2020) review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

Fuel-efficient engines are offered across the range. TDI diesels are the best but the TSI petrol line also impresses

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs Rating

4.6 out of 5

Price
£23,875 to £37,880
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All Leon engines are impressively fuel efficient considering their performance, although the official figures changed in 2019 to reflect the new WLTP test regime. While the figures in this test are poorer than before, they're far more achievable in the real world, so it doesn't really mean the Leon is any less efficient.

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The 1.0 TSI opens the range with economy of 53.3mpg, closely followed by the 1.5 TSI 130 at 51.4mpg. The 150PS version manages a best of 49.6mpg, while adding the DSG auto knocks this back to 45.6mpg. The 2.0 TSI Cupra has a claimed economy of 38.7mpg.

The 1.6 TDI 115 averages up to 58.9mpg, which means there's a narrower gap between it and the smallest TSI petrol engine, so it's worth doing the sums to see if you'll be doing enough miles to justify the extra cost of the diesel over the petrol (around £1,200 between the 115PS models). Emissions for the 1.6 TDI are 125g/km, while the 1.0 TSI emits 120g/km of CO2.  

It's worth noting that changes in spec and wheel size will have an effect on these figures, so it's worth checking the specs closely if you want the most fuel efficient Leon possible.

SEAT Leon - dash

Insurance groups

The Leon has reasonable insurance groups; they’re not the lowest in this sector but do fairly reflect the extra turbo verve of the engine line-up. The 1.6 TDI diesel is in group 12, while the 1.0 TSI petrol has a group 13 rating. This rises to group 14 for the 1.5 TSI Evo 130, and group 19 for the 150 version. 

Predictably, the Cupra 290 hatch pitches in somewhat higher at group 32, while the Cupra 300 estate sits in group 35. 

Depreciation

Leon retained values are decent – it’s not the best model in its class for depreciation, but nearly every model still easily holds on to more than 40 per cent of the list price after three years.

Looking at past models, the five-door hatchback seems to retain marginally more than the now-discontinued SC three-door, and used Leon buyers reward the higher-tech and more mainstream engines. 

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI EVO SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,630

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.4 eHybrid FR 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £36,055

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI EVO FR 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £31,255
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