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New SEAT Leon revealed

SEAT has rebooted its popular family car with cloud tech and hybrid powertrains

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SEAT has revealed its new Leon family car, which it claims will be the ‘most advanced vehicle’ ever made by the firm, thanks to advanced on-board technology, safety systems, and electrified powertrains.

Based on the latest Mk8 Volkswagen Golf unveiled late last year, the new SEAT Leon will continue to be offered in hatchback and estate forms. There will be a wider choice of powertrain options that includes petrol, diesel, mild hybrid, and plug-in hybrid options. Manual and automatic gearbox options are available depending on engine choice, while FR and FR Sport trim levels also get three driving mode presets: Evo, Normal and Sport.

Mild hybrids to the fore

As with most manufacturers, the Volkswagen Group is embracing mild hybrid powerplants to improve fuel economy and emissions, to comply with upcoming EU legislation. The new SEAT Leon’s electrified powertrains include a mild hybrid option for the 110hp 1.0-litre and 150hp 1.5-litre petrol units, using a small electric motor and battery to allow for engine-off coasting to save fuel.

Being a mild hybrid, the electric motor cannot drive the car and is purely used to assist the petrol motor.

Meanwhile, a full plug-in hybrid powertrain will also be available, which combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor that is powered by a 13kWh battery pack. The combined output is 202hp, with an impressive electric-only range of up to 38 miles.

  • 2020 SEAT Leon - overhead | The Car Expert
  • 2020 SEAT Leon - rear | The Car Expert
  • 2020 SEAT Leon estate | The Car Expert
  • 2020 SEAT Leon - interior and dashboard | The Car Expert

Sharper, sleeker design

The exterior has been redesigned with a focus on improving overall efficiency through improved aerodynamics. It also incorporates the new LED headlights and full width tail lights, though the design is more evolution than revolution, looking very similar to its predecessor.

The new Leon is longer than before, which SEAT says has resulted in improved legroom for passengers in the back. Elsewhere in the cabin, there’s a new ‘floating’ dashboard design, SEAT’s digital cockpit, and improved lighting.

Impressive technology levels are included as standard, including LED headlights. In the cabin, owners can utilise a new voice recognition system that can understand natural language, benefit from real-time data through connections to the cloud, and plug-in hybrid owners can manage charging from an app.

SEAT says it has also fitted its most advanced safety systems, too, including giving the car the ability to constantly monitor its surroundings to react to dangerous situations. We will bring you the Leon’s Euro NCAP safety scores as soon as they are published.

Order books for the new SEAT Leon are set to open imminently, though prices and UK delivery dates have yet to be confirmed.

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Darren Cassey
Darren Cassey
Articles by Darren Cassey are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.