B uenos Dias, Hola and Olé - the new Seat Leon is here. So, enough scraps of Spanish words, let's get down to business. With more than a million cars sold, the third generation Leon (5F) was the VW subsidiary's most popular model. The footsteps through which generation number four are now rolling are correspondingly large. If you want to climb the brand-internal series career ladder, you should ideally have gotten better. We'll see if that's the case here.
First of all the hardest of all hard facts - bare numbers. As the spirit of modern times demands of such a successor, the Leon grows. In the wheelbase by five centimeters to 2.69 meters. From the snout to the buttocks, the compact four-door model is 8.6 centimeters longer and ends up at 4.37 meters. The new one decreases slightly in height and width. In numbers: three and 17 millimeters. Clearly an advantage for garage parkers, city shunters and supermarket shunters. The trunk volume, however, remains at the previous level at 380 liters, which in turn means that an increase in wheelbase and length mainly benefits the legs of the rear passengers. This assumption was also confirmed during the first seat test (the editor measured 1.92 meters).
Modernization in the cockpit
In the cockpit, the infotainment system has grown from eight to ten inches. At the same time, the range of functions grows with the new software generation and freely spoken commands such as “I'm too warm” can be translated from the car into cooler air conditioning. Apple Carplay now also works without a cable connection. The fact that the voice control has to be activated with the exclamation 'Hola, Hola' sounds like getting used to. As usual, the Leon takes over the entire system unit from the (already presented) new Golf. Accordingly, there is also a predictive cruise control in the Spaniard, which includes navigation data, and a touch slider, which can be used to vary various parameters such as the music volume. You can optionally equip the cockpit landscape with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel - but the 5F generation could do that.
Seat has not yet revealed a price, but a moderate increase between 1,000 and 2,000 euros may be assumed. In return, LED headlights, for example, which were paid extra for 1,040 euros on the predecessor, are always standard equipment. If you still want to spend more money on light, you can now have more powerful LEDs with 900 instead of 550 lumens installed. Speaking of lighting, we come straight to design. Of course, it is not possible to say exactly whether it turned out 'better' or 'worse'. In any case, the continuous light strip at the rear is an eye-catcher.
A ' Best-Of-Design “
The lines make Seat overall more sculptural and organic than the straightforward predecessor. The headlights are narrower, the grill is widened and moves downwards. Together with the flatter hood, this corresponds to the redesign measures that can currently be described as common. However, and as much opinion as we are allowed here, that consequently leads to Leon appearing a little more arbitrarily. Instead of standing out from the competition, it mixes design elements and proportions from Mazda 3, Ford Focus and Hyundai i30 and thus loses its independence. It almost seems as if the Spaniard only and absolutely wanted to distance himself from golf - although or precisely because he has most in common with it. But that is certainly a matter of taste.
What's under the hood is more tangible than the design. There is a new option for customers here, which - aha! - comes from that very Golf. The Leon comes as a plug-in hybrid with a 1.4 liter TSI, electric motor, 13 kWh battery and a system output of 204 PS. The selection also increases again with a view to the remaining motor options. Most recently there was the predecessor (after the facelift from 2016) as a diesel, gasoline or natural gas variant in the output levels 115 PS, 130 PS and 150 PS. The new Leon is also available as a base model with the 1.0 TSI with 90 PS. This is followed by 110, 130, 150 and at the very top 190 hp. The 1.5 TGI develops 130 PS, the diesel, always as a two-liter TDI, 115 or 150 PS.