This week I’ve had the pleasure of test driving the SEAT Leon FR ST (Sports Tourer). I’ve been looking forward to taking this particular machine for a spin ever since I tested the Leon FR hatchback for Car Buyers Guide during 2013. I’m glad to report that nearly every angle of the SEAT Leon FR Sports Tourer impresses.
The Leon FR Sports Tourer from the outside is a very nice looking machine and it holds a very sporty stance with perfect curves. From looking at the exterior of this machine you would be forgiven for thinking that it doesn’t look like the most spacious tourer in the world, but once inside and once you start throwing in the travel cot, buggy, two suitcases, baby-seats, suits, food for the weekend, etc; you will realise that space is more than ample.
You see, as I’m writing this review I am still in possession of the car. I’m just back from a journey spanning 766km of Ireland. The Leon FR has brought my family, all four of us, safely from Dublin to Donegal, from Donegal to Sligo, from Sligo to Mayo, from Mayo back to Sligo and from Sligo back to Dublin. No, we didn’t make this journey just because we had the car! We had plans, and I was more than willing to welcome the Leon FR Sports Tourer on the journey.
So what has my journeying thought me about this vehicle? Well, firstly, the space in this vehicle is more than enough for a family of four. The boot is long enough to accept all of the aforementioned materials (and then some) with its capacity of 587 litres. If this space isn’t enough for you then fold down the backseats and you can expect to get 1470 litres for those bigger-than-usual loads.
I’ve learned that the fuel efficiency is not a million miles from what the brochure states – the brochure says 4.6l/100km, my journey told me 5.3l/100km – very efficient. The 50litre fuel tank has enough left to get it back to SEAT in the morning.
The fully-loaded car I am testing is powered by a 2.0litre TDI 150hp engine. On paper it burns 119g/km of CO2, which means that at the current motor tax rates you will be paying €200 per annum in road tax. The 150 hp allows the SEAT Leon FR Sports Tourer go from 01-100km/h in a not-too-shabby 8.6 seconds.
For the weekend I have been enjoying the brilliant Lane Assist combined with the unbelievably intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control. If I’m being honest I barely had to drive this weekend. I let the car do everything for me. The adaptive cruise control proves how efficient autonomous driving can be. I trusted the machine I was driving and let it do what it was built to do. At any stage if I felt the car wouldn’t brake when it should have it was simple to intervene – but being completely honest I gave this car a lot of trust, and it didn’t disappoint.
I’ve said it before in past reviews that I am a fan of the interior of these vehicles. I am particularly fond of the dashboard and the layout of the centre console. The touch screen is imbedded into what I find to be quite a retro finish – although I am sure a lot of people would disagree with my description there. The only thing that disappointed me about the interior of the model I was driving is that it didn’t come with SatNav.
Overall I have found this SEAT Leon FR ST to be a very enjoyable car to drive. It’s practicalities are good too. In terms of what this car is up against it is worth looking at the Ford Focus, the KIA C’eed and the Skoda Octavia Combi. My view is that this machine is certainly up their among the best in its segment.
As a side note, I’ll be test driving the SEAT Leon Cupra next week – we look forward to reporting back!