Seat updates Leon with more tech and hybrid power

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Words: Nile Bijoux
29 Jan 2020

The Leon has been given a tasty update for the new decade, with Seat imbuing the model with hybrid power as well as more technology.

Based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform, alongside the Mk8 Golf and fourth-generation Skoda Octavia, the latest Leon is being pitched as the sportiest and most ‘emotional’ of the trio. Styling is said to be inspired by last year’s Formentor concept, with sharp lines and creases, full LED head and taillights, and dynamic turn signals. There’s a curvier front end and a more upright windscreen, the latter apparently creating a “cockpit” feel and decreasing the impact of the A-pillars on forward visibility.

The profile design is largely unchanged but the rear gets the group’s new ‘coast-to-coast’ full-width LED rear light. Seat says it helps increase the Leon’s visual width and also incorporates the central brake light usually found high on the rear window.

The new Leon is 17mm wider and 3mm lower than the outgoing model but 86mm has been tacked onto its length, 50mm of that coming from the wheelbase. According to Seat, this has all gone into increasing rear legroom. There’s also a wagon variant, which measures 4642mm long, 1800mm wide and 1448mm tall. It shares the 2686mm wheelbase with the hatchback. Storage capacity for the hatch continues at 380 litres while the wagon can swallow 617 litres of cargo.

The latest Leon is Seat’s “first fully connected car,” coming with a 10.25-inch driver’s display combined with either an 8.25-inch touchscreen on lesser models or a larger 10-inch screen. The Full Link system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and has wireless phone charging capability. Powertrains are standard VAG fare. Entry-level models get a 1.0-litre TSI turbo triple with 67kW or 82kW, middling models will have a four-cylinder 1.5-litre TSI with 97kW or 111kW and the top-tier Leon will get a 141kW 2.0 TSI. Expect dual-clutch transmissions rangewide for New Zealand.

Europe will get mild hybrid versions of the 1.0 and 1.5-litre engines but we’re not sure if these will make it to NZ. On the diesel side of things, the only option is a 2.0 TDI with either 85kW or 110kW. No torque figures for any engine are to hand.

Finally, Seat will offer the Leon as a plug-in hybrid, bonding a 1.4-litre TSI engine with an electric motor. It produces 150kW and has a WLTP-rated electric range of 60km.

Don’t forget, Seat’s performance sub-brand Cupra is working on its own hot Leon, which could debut later this year.

As for local information, we’ve asked Seat when we can expect the new Leon range and for how much.

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