By Mark Slack • 10 June 2021 • 13:58
Find out everything you want to know about the SEAT Leon FR Plug-in Hybrid
Amongst the automotive pantheon that is Volkswagen Audi, SEAT has arguably the least heritage, some may determine a bit of an also ran within the group. However, SEAT has carved its own niche as the brand offering more for less and is arguably out styling some of VAG’s more illustrious badges.
The Leon has sharp, sleek looks and prices start from a very reasonable €23,732 (£20,405) for the manual SE with a standard equipment that includes keyless start, rear parking sensors, air conditioning, metallic paint, LED headlights and 8-inch touchscreen media system.
My FR model sits mid-range but being the plug-in hybrid comes at a somewhat hefty €38,189 (£32,835). Power from the 1.4-litre TSi engine is bolstered by a 13 kwh battery which in my case managed a creditable (for a plug-in) 39 miles on pure electric. That’s decent enough for a commute but a home charger is a must have with the poor public charging infrastructure and pure convenience.
You soon get into the habit of arriving home and taking just a couple of minutes to plug the car in for its nightly dose of volts. The benefit of plug-ins is that you have a petrol engine to back you up some no range concerns here.
Standard fare includes heated door and folding mirrors, auto dimming rear view mirror, auto lights including main beam assist, auto wipers, cornering lights, cruise control, three zone climate control, wireless phone charging and a larger touchscreen media system.
On the road the Leon handles particularly well with a ride that while firm still smooths out the worst of the bumps in the tarmac. The hybrid system starts on pure EV and can be a bit of a pain, thanks to excess digitalisation of the controls, to move it to hybrid if you are on a longer journey and want to save the battery power for an urban destination.
Depending on your view a potential downside is VAG’s decision to go digital is a distinct lack of proper buttons. It makes for multiple outstretched finger movements where a button required just one. Admittedly, you would get used to the system but it’s another example of manufacturers moving to systems that don’t appear to have universal approval.
Digital disapprobation apart the Leon is a very smart and stylish machine that offers the best of electric and petrol power. Urban electric and petrol power for range.
Facts at a Glance
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.
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