In-depth reviews

SEAT Leon review - Interior, design & technology

Sharper looks, a stylish interior and a greater emphasis on digital technology

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.5 out of 5

  • Improved passenger space
  • Impressive digital tech
  • Good to drive
  • Not exciting to look at
  • Not inspiring to drive
  • Average boot space

The previous SEAT Leon was on sale for so long, it had become all too familiar. Which means this new version might take a while to get used to. There’s no three-door version, but it’s good that SEAT has resisted the temptation to disguise the rear doors on the new car. It looks great in profile, thanks to some sharp creases and a sloping roofline.

There’s also a neat full width light bar running across the back of the car, while 16-inch alloy wheels are standard on the entry-level SE model. The FR and FR Sport models are the best looking thanks to larger alloy wheels, LED headlights and sportier bumpers. But it’s a shame about the fake exhausts.

Although the interior of the SEAT Leon lacks the wow factor of the new Golf, it feels more modern and upmarket than its predecessor. It’s a more minimalist approach, with greater emphasis on digital technology.

Quality is excellent, while a neat dashboard design lifts what could otherwise have been a rather sombre cabin. There are some cheap-feeling plastics on the doors and centre console, but the key areas feel good. A flat-bottomed leather steering wheel is standard across the range and is heated on some models.

Leather upholstery is available only on the Xcellence Lux model, although FR Sport and Xcellence get a suede upholstery which actually feels more premium. It’s also suitable for buyers looking for a vegan-friendly interior.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Entry-level SE trim gets an 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with two USB-C ports, seven speakers, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and steering wheel-mounted controls.

All other trims get an impressive 10-inch touchscreen display with sat-nav and voice control. There are two USB-C ports on the SE Dynamic model and four on the others.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the range, with a wireless phone charger fitted to all except the SE and SE Dynamic models. A customisable SEAT Digital Cockpit with a 10.25-inch screen is fitted to all except the SE model.

Overall, it’s an impressive package, but moving the heating controls to a touch bar below the infotainment screen is a backward step; it’s fiddly to use, especially at night.

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