THERE’S a new SEAT Leon out now, so that could make prices for the outgoing model even more reasonable as it falls out of favour with new car buyers.
The smooth and svelte Leon has loads to recommend it, with stylish interior and smooth body shape.
It’s based on the VW Golf so has the best of chassis and engines. These start with a slow 75bhp 1.4 petrol but the 1.6 with around 100bhp is much better, revving sweetly and sounding great.
Further up the range were a 1.8 with 125bhp and then 1.8 and 2.0-litre turbos with 150 to 220bhp, giving superb performance.
Earlier diesels are 1.9 90 or 110bhp and there are also more powerful versions, both 1.9 and 2.0-litre. All have good to excellent performance and superb economy.
Lower order cars have a comfortable ride allied to good road-holding, but top models have sporting suspension for sharper handling and this gives a bone-jarring ride.
All Leons are five door hatches and the level of equipment makes the VW Golf look overpriced.
Interior space is good, with room for four and five on a shorter run. The boot is a decent size and the rear seats fold 60/40 for maximum versatility.
SEAT Leon 1.6
Price: Pay about £4,800 for an ’08 08-reg Essence, or £7,100 for an ’10 10-reg S
Mechanical: 100bhp, 1,595cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 114mph
0-62mph: 10.6 seconds
Combined mpg: 38
Insurance group: 9
CO2 emissions: 180g/km
Main rival: VW Golf