This is the first time there’s been an estate Leon, lending an air of additional practicality to SEAT’s family-car offering but without too much of a weight penalty. In essence it’s a cheaper, better-looking Golf estate.
The Leon ST’s interior borrows much from it’s VW and Skoda sister cars, but adds that bit of Spanish flare that livens up the otherwise dark and gloomy cockpit. The aluminium inserts and Alfa-Romeo style dials lift the cabin. A drawback of the low-slung roofline is a boot that is a bit smaller than the ones in the Golf estate and Skoda Octavia, but passenger space is unchanged and therefore plenty.
While it can’t match the Ford Focus Estate for outright agility , the Leon ST has a clever front differential and plenty of optional extras like adaptive dampers and steering to make it very competent and confidence inspiring on the road. It’s also helped by the fact it’s the lightest estate car in class.
Engine choice, similarly to VW and Skoda, is broad and covers just about any customer need – the 1.6-litre diesel is one of the cleanest on sale and the 185hp 2.0-litre diesel has all the performance you’re likely to want and is cheap to run, too. If you don’t plan on driving the Leon ST at fully loaded, then the 1.2-litre petrol is the recommended choice.
All Leon ST models come with sat-nav, air-con, Bluetooth phone connection, a double boot floor and t roof rails.
The Leon ST is a great alternative to a Golf Estate
The Leon is a mystery. It’s as good as a Golf, but better to drive, better looking, more characterful and much, much cheaper – the mystery is how the Volkswagen Group allows it.
It’s not the last word in load luggers but for general estate-car duties – family, dogs and luggage – it knocks spots off the more prestige in-house rivals. If you’re looking for a Golf estate then, unless you need every last litre of seats-down load space, test drive the Leon ST first. Your wallet will thank you. If you want even more space without paying a premium, then there’s always the Skoda Octavia Estate.