SEAT Leon Gets Ecomotivated - Full Details On New Diesel-Sipper

So what have we here then?

SEAT describes it as the most "extreme" new Leon, a bit of marketing bait-and-switch referring to the Ecomotive's extreme economy - 85.6 mpg on the combined cycle.

What's new?

Plenty, if you're comparing it to the old Ecomotive, but a reasonable amount even next to regular Leon 1.6 TDIs. Ecomotive models used to feel a little impoverished with wheel trims and modest equipment levels, but the new Leon is better than that.

Based on every version of the Leon (5-door, SC and ST) - it gets toys like alloy wheels and air conditioning, as well as the obligatory eco tweaks: low rolling resistance tyres, 15mm lower suspension for better aerodynamics, and different radiator grille. There's also an aerodynamic body kit, but we'd be lying if we said we could spot it.

What's under the bonnet?

A 1.6 TDI lump familiar to many, as the Volkswagen group drops it in pretty much every small to medium car they do. Here it develops 110 PS rather than 105, and has a six-speed gearbox with longer ratios to aid cruising efficiency.

The upshot is that 85.6 mpg rating and 87 g/km of CO2. The regular 1.6 TDI manages 74.3 and 99 grams, by way of comparison.

Anything else?

Yup - as alluded to, equipment levels are pretty decent. Fog lights, cruise control, a leather wheel and gearknob, aircon, 'leccy windows, Bluetooth and a SEAT Easy Connect multimedia system.

How much will it cost me?

The sportiest SC kicks off at 19,360. You'll pay a mere 300 more for a pair of extra doors, while the ST estate starts at 20,485. The Ecomotive is based on SE trim, which is about a grand cheaper if you're not bothered about the extra economy.

Any alternatives?

Oh lordy, dozens of the things. Obvious candidate number one is the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion, which starts at 20,335 in three-door format and gives you a couple more miles for every gallon of diesel.

Cheaper is Ford's Focus 1.6 TDCi Edge ECOnetic, which gets you 83.1 mpg and 88 g/km for 18,145. Several other manufacturers offer similarly frugal eco-diesels.

In a line?

Budget Golf Bluemotion... but a little less desirable

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