SEAT Leon review - Practicality, comfort & boot space
With more room for rear-seat passengers, the Leon is a practical family hatchback, although the luggage capacity could be larger
The three-door SEAT Leon is no more, so your choice is limited to a five-door hatchback or Estate. Few will mourn the passing of the three-door Leon SC, not least because SEAT’s family hatchback is more practical than ever before.
The SEAT Leon is 4,368mm long and 1,991mm wide, including the door mirrors. This means it’s roughly the same length but slightly narrower than the Volkswagen Golf. The SEAT Leon Estate is 4,642mm long, with the additional length found behind the rear axle.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
SEAT’s designers have added 50mm of extra bodywork between the front and rear axles, which is great news for anyone travelling in the back. That’s because it has been used to create more rear legroom, so the new Leon feels far more spacious than its predecessor.
There’s also lots of headroom, so two adults can sit in the back without having to tilt their heads. Even anyone travelling in the middle will have little cause for complaint, although they’ll have to stick their feet either side of the hump in the floor.
The rear doors are larger than before, so it’s easier to get in and out. This is also handy when loading a child into a car seat – there are two ISOFIX mounting points in the back.
Up front, the driver and front seat passenger will find plenty of headroom and shoulder room, while there’s plenty of adjustment in the driver’s seat and steering wheel. Everyone should be able to find their ideal driving position.
The minimalist design makes it feel even more spacious and there are plenty of useful storage areas throughout the interior.
The Leon’s 380-litre luggage capacity is below average for the class but just a litre shy of the VW Golf’s. The location of the battery means the capacity drops to 270 litres in the e-Hybrid model, which is a figure you’d associate with a supermini. If you need more space, it would be worth considering the Skoda Octavia with its massive 600-litre boot.
There’s a large load lip, which can make loading heavy items a bit of a pain, and there are none of the clever storage solutions you might find in a Skoda. The only exciting feature is the virtual pedal on the Xcellence Lux model, which provides hands-free access to the boot.
For something more practical, the SEAT Leon Estate features a 620-litre boot, although the luggage capacity drops to 470 litres in the e-Hybrid version.
The 2.0-litre diesel has a maximum braked towing capacity of 1,800kg, which makes it the pick of the range for anyone intending to tow a caravan or trailer. The 1.4-litre petrol versions will tow up to 1,700kg, but the figure drops to 1,500kg for 1.0-litre models.
The Leon Estate won the caravan weight 1,100-1,200kg class at the 2020 Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe SEAT Leon offers the tech and driving experience of the VW Golf, but for a lower price
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Leon delivers excellent ride comfort and sharp steering, with excellent pace from the plug-in hybrid model
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsRunning costs are low thanks to efficient engines and a new plug-in hybrid model
- 4Interior, design and technologySharper looks, a stylish interior and a greater emphasis on digital technology
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingWith more room for rear-seat passengers, the Leon is a practical family hatchback, although the luggage capacity could be larger
- 6Reliability and safetyAlthough the Leon has achieved a five-star Euro NCAP rating, not all of the safety equipment comes as standard