SEAT Leon (2012 - 2020) review - Reliability and Safety
The well-built Leon is proving reliable and Euro NCAP has rewarded its active safety features with a five-star rating
The Leon has an excellent reliability record, according to Driver Power respondents. However, they rated it 52nd out of 100 best cars in the UK, in 2019, with some negativity towards high servicing costs and styling. Now, more than ever, might be just the right time for SEAT to introduce the all-new Leon, and it will be interesting to see how it fares next time around. The brand finished a middling 14th out of 30 manufacturers, so again, much work is still to be done to secure a top spot.
In 2012, Euro NCAP awarded the Leon a five-star crash test safety rating, something it’s revalidated and confirmed every year since. The Leon performed very well in individual categories, with a superb 94% for Adult protection and 92% for Child protection. Pedestrian protection came in at 70% with Safety Assist marked at 71%.
SEAT offers two optional safety packs, according to trim line: some models feature more standard safety kit than others. Key features are a driver tiredness recognition system, high beam assist, lane assist, rear seatbelt reminder and auto lights and wipers. It’s an affordable option - around £500 on volume SE and FR models – and has appealing features such as auto-dip rear view mirror, LED interior lights and footwell lights to hopefully encourage people it’s worth choosing.
All new UK SEATs have a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty. It’s made up of a two-year manufacturer warranty, with unlimited mileage, plus a third year dealer warranty that’s capped to 60,000 miles. You can choose to extend it up to five years and 90,000 miles with the SEAT Extended Warranty but you must select this before the car is registered.
SEAT also offers a three-year paint warranty and a 12-year body protection warranty. What’s more, official SEAT accessories are covered by a three-year warranty if purchased new with the vehicle, while OE parts have a two-year warranty.
The Leon offers a choice either of fixed 10,000-mile or annual service intervals or variable intervals that can stretch up to 20,000 miles or two years. SEAT advises high-intensity users to take the fixed intervals, with those less heavy on the car – long-distance motorway users, for example, picking variable intervals.
Servicing packs are also offered, to fix the cost of routine maintenance, but you have to choose them when the vehicle is new, before the first service is due.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe SEAT Leon is one of the best family hatchbacks on sale, blending style, practicality and excellent dynamics
- 2Engines, performance and driveHi-tech range of engines, paired with a superb chassis that's sporty and sophisticated - the Leon Cupra is a real star
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFuel-efficient engines are offered across the range. TDI diesels are the best but the TSI petrol line also impresses
- 4Interior, design and technologyInterior is a big step up over previous Leons, featuring mature design and a cutting-edge range of in-car technology
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceRoomy and reasonably practical cabin is almost as usable as a Volkswagen Golf's - high praise indeed
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingThe well-built Leon is proving reliable and Euro NCAP has rewarded its active safety features with a five-star rating