Long Term Test: Seat Leon PHEV

Leon's plug-in port is located on the front passenger side wingThe Leon's rear lights in particular stand out from the crowdThe Leon's infotainment isn't the most intuitive and Apple CarPlay is quite 'laggy'

Long-term test reviews

4 March 2021

Seat Leon PHEV LTT 2021

Although we’re in lockdown, I managed to get a decent run up to Yorkshire and back to collect my daughter, who’s on from leave from the British Army.

The Seat is a reasonably comfortable place to be. The ride isn’t too harsh, but there is more road noise than I was expecting on the motorway. That said, the Leon does a good job at keeping wind noise down.

Once out of EV charge, the 1.4TSI engine performed well and was happy at 70mph on cruise control – a function that’s easy to use.

Seat Leon PHEV LTT 2021 screenHowever, on the way up to Harrogate the infotainment system froze – it couldn’t be turned off, and audio volume and air-con couldn’t be adjusted because they’re controlled through the screen. The sat-nav was down, too. After stopping at a motorway services on the A1 and turning the engine off, the infotainment screen and radio remained switched-on but unresponsive until the system decided to switch itself off after 10 mins or so. On turning the engine on once again, all was back to normal – a technical ‘glitch’ which thankfully hasn’t yet been repeated.

The rest of the 460-mile journey was unremarkable (as it should be), with the Seat performing as expected. Infotainment wobble aside, it was a decent performance.

Dave Wallace

Tester's notes

•  The absence of buttons for volume and AC proved problematic when the Leon suffered a ‘glitch’.  It is possible to go too minimalist!

•  The taller sidewalls on the tyres, courtesy of the 17-inch alloys, make the Seat’s ride less harsh than it otherwise could be.

The stats

Seat Leon e-Hybrid FR 204PS DSG

P11D: £31,115

Official combined mpg: 217.3mpg

Our combined mpg: 72.0mpg

CO2: 27g/km

18th February 2021

I’m one of those blokes that doesn’t like using manuals – I tend to judge how easy things are to use based on how long it takes me to get frustrated with it.

Seat Leon Long Term Test - 2020 - Apple CarPlay is very laggy

The Leon’s infotainment isn’t the most intuitive and Apple CarPlay is quite ‘laggy’

For me, the Leon’s infotainment system is not the most intuitive.  Don’t get me wrong, everything you could want is there – just too many ‘virtual’ button clicks or screen swipes away.

AppleCar play is also not the easiest to operate – as my son would say, it’s just too ‘laggy’! Response times to input ranging from a couple of seconds to seven or eight seconds in some instances.

Dave Wallace

The stats

Seat Leon e-Hybrid FR 204PS DSG

P11D: £31,115

Official combined mpg: 217.3mpg

Our combined mpg: 65.1mpg

CO2: 27g/km

3rd February 2021

Seat Leon e-Hybrid Long Term Test - 2020 - When big grilles seem to be the fashion amongst manufacturers, it's nice to see a 'normal' size front grille

Now that I’ve had chance to get behind the wheel of the new Leon PHEV first impressions are quite good.

The cockpit appears well laid-out with VW’s digital cockpit as well as the 8.25” media screen which is angled slightly towards the driver making viewing easier although there seems to be a distinct lack of buttons on the console – hmmn.

Cabin materials are a mixture of hard plastics used lower down the cabin for door bins etc, with more padded soft-touch materials for the main dash.

Starting the engine and pulling away the first thing that hits you is the Leon is no slouch – it’s not hot-hatch quick, but there’s plenty of oomph from the 1.4 TSI engine combined with the 12.8kw battery – perhaps even too much as it can be relatively easy to wheelspin if you are a little too heavy with the right foot.

Seat Leon e-Hybrid Long Term Test - 2020 - Rear Lights Stand Out

The Leon’s rear lights in particular stand out from the crowd

E-mode and hybrid are the only driving modes available which in some ways makes things simpler. Charge time from my 7.6kw home wall charger was just over 3h 40mins – which isn’t too bad.  Seat claim 40m of electric only driving when fully charged – to date the best I’ve managed is 33 miles!

Dave Wallace

Tester's notes

1. The Leon would look better with 18” alloys, but that would impact the CO2 emissions and ride handling

2. The Leon’s front and rear LED lights are distinctive and certainly stand out

The stats

Seat Leon e-Hybrid FR 204PS DSG

P11D: £31,115

Official combined mpg: 217.3mpg

Our combined mpg: 64.9mpg

CO2: 27g/km

21 January 2021

Seat Leon PHEV LTT 2021

Following the departure of my Audi, I’m saying hello to another VW Group PHEV, this time in the guise of the new Seat Leon e-Hybrid which sees a 1.4 TSI engine mated to a 12.8 kWh Lithium-ion battery producing a max output of 204hp and a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds, CO2 of 27g/km and – most importantly – BiK at just 6% for 2020/21 – keeping both fleet manager and company car driver happy. 

Offered in SE, SE Dynamic, FR, FR Sport, Xcellence and Xcellence Lux trims, we’ve chosen the FR trim which should be the pick of the bunch for fleets.

LED headlights, dynamic turn signals, high beam assist, 17” alloys, rain sensing wipers, wireless phone charging, digital cockpit, 8.25-inch media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, three-zone climate control, sports suspension, rear parking sensors and keyless start all come as standard.

Seat Leon PHEV LTT 2021

Leon’s plug-in port is located on the front passenger side wing

The new Leon FR’s standard safety features including Lane Keep Assist, Front Assist with forward collision warning, ESC brake control system with brake booster, XDS electronic differential lock, dynamic traction support, tiredness recognition system and rear parking sensors.

Now, let’s see what it’s like to live with day-to-day…

Dave Wallace

Tester's notes

• The Leon’s Mystery Blue paintwork looks quite smart and has a purple-ish hue to it.

• The PHEV’s charging port is located on the passenger side front wing. Thankfully with the Leon’s charging cable is long enough to still allow you to reverse onto your drive

The stats

Seat Leon e-Hybrid FR 204PS DSG

P11D: £31,115

Official combined mpg: 217.3mpg

Our combined mpg: 62.8mpg

CO2: 27g/km