Pocket rocket that packs a real punch

Rochdale Observer - - TIME-TRIP -

A re­shaped bumper now fea­tures a stretched grille and re­vised head­lights to give the front end a new look while three new ex­te­rior colours (in­clud­ing our car’s highly un­usual ‘Bo­hemia’ me­tal­lic deep pur­ple) and new al­loy wheel de­signs are now avail­able.

In­side, SEAT has taken great strides to im­prove qual­ity and in­stalled an Ateca-style lay­out with 8” touch­screen sat nav, elec­tric hand brake and am­bi­ent light­ing. There is also a new flag­ship XCELLENCE trim level that is the same price level as the FR mod­els, but fo­cuses more on lux­ury.

Un­der the bon­net there is a choice of a new en­try level 115bhp 1.0-litre three-cylin­der turbo a 115bhp 1.6-litre diesel and our 1.4 petrol. As be­fore gear­box op­tions in­clude five and six-speed man­u­als and the su­perb DSG auto fit­ted to our test car.

Five trim lev­els are avail­able - S, SE Dy­namic, SE Tech­nol­ogy, FR and XCELLENCE. And ex­cept for en­try-level mod­els, all Leon’s now come with a larger eight-inch touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem.

This works well, is clear and easy to use ex­cept the sat nav which, for some rea­son, did not like post­codes - but per­haps this was a case of op­er­a­tor er­ror.

The Leon also now shares other fea­tures with the Ateca such as wire­less phone charg­ing, Traf­fic sign Recog­ni­tion and Traf­fic Jam As­sist plus Ap­ple CarPlay, An­droid Auto and Mir­rorLink.

Twin pipes at the rear set the FR apart from lesser Leons and this lit­tle hot hatch has the go to match its show feel­ing punchy and quicker to 62 that the quoted fig­ure,

Thank­fully com­fort­able seats help take the edge off the ride, with good side sup­port when cor­ner­ing. There’s plenty of room in both rows of seats as well, but the large rear pil­lars mak­ing things a lit­tle gloomy and ham­per rear vis­i­bil­ity.

The boot’s also pretty use­ful, though there’s a big drop from the open­ing to the boot floor.

Also on the stan­dard kit list for the FR are: Dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, rear park­ing sen­sors,cruise con­trol (not adap­tive), 17-inch al­loy wheels, low­ered suspension and full LED head­lights.

All for a base price of £21,050 - al­though our three door car had a few ex­tras (in­clud­ing that strik­ing paint­work at £575) plus key­less en­try and go and stor­age and driv­ing as­sis­tance packs which took the fi­nal on the road to­tal to £22,825.

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