Most people will be now be aware that SEAT is part of the Volkswagen, Audi, SKODA stable. This of course is no bad thing because you have the background of well-established manufacturers who’ve got a cracking reputation. Okay, a lot of the cars share a fair chunk of equipment in terms of engines and stuff like the audio system, sat nav etc, but, again, that should be seen as a plus point.
However, here’s the big plus point. When you compare something like the SEAT Lean ST with the Volkswagen Golf estate you’ll instantly spot one vitally important ingredient.
The SEAT Leon ST is cheaper by around about £2000.
Buy an entry level Leon ST, and don’t instantly compare the prices because you also need to compare the specification like-for-like.
There are six levels of trim starting with SE at £19,255, but we like the SE Dynamic (add £755) which means that along with the standard spec of colour touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth, multi-function steering wheel, powered windows, central locking, height adjustment to both front seats, air con and cruise control, you also add satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, bigger and smarter alloys and tinted rear windows. It’s worth the extra outlay to make the car feel a bit more special.
In terms of petrol engine choices there is everything from the entry level 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder, 113 bhp TSi petrol engine up to a 2.0 litre 187bhp unit. There’s also a 1.6 litre TDi 113 bhp diesel in between.
If economy is the name of your game, then 55mpg from the diesel engine will appeal, but the terrific 1.0 litre petrol engine isn’t far away (47mpg) and has similar performance with 0-60 taking a shade over 10 seconds. It sounds really good too. You’ll also appreciate the smooth, quiet delivery from the petrol engine, especially if you’re using your Lean ST for family transport on a long holiday trip.
The others bonus for keen drivers is that SEAT has a reputation for producing cars with a sporty characteristic. The Leon ST is no exception. Compared to something like the VW Golf estate or the SKODA Octavia estate the ride is firmer, but it’s never uncomfortable and actually is really well controlled. Ok, you feel the lumps and bumps around town, but on motorways there’s nothing in it.
Build quality is excellent and, although looks are a personal thing, we think the Lean ST is really smart.
SEAT is still a brand that people forget about…but they don’t know what they’re missing.
The SEAT Leon ST is roomy, well equipped, decently priced, good to drive and comfortable. It should be ultra-reliable too. Before you know it, it’ll become a key part of the family.
For more information on the new SEAT Leon ST visit //pulmanseat.co.uk/new/cars/leon-st