Seat: The New Leon - Confidently
Seat: The New Leon - Confidently
Seat presents its new Leon, the starting point of a new era.
Reaching the 2.2 million mark since 1999, the Seat Leon is the Spanish carmaker’s bestseller. In the image of its close cousin the VW Golf, with which it shares the MQB platform of the Volkswagen Group, the Leon occupies a key position within the Seat range.
As was the case with the 3rd-generation Leon, which inspired the features of the Ateca and Ibiza that followed it, the fourth version of the compact Spanish car heralds new stylistic and technological standards that should spread to the rest of the range in the years to come. Nearly 1.1 billion euros have been invested in the development of the Leon, as well as the production equipment in Martorell, not far from Barcelona.
The new Seat Leon draws its inspiration from the Tarraco SUV at the front end with its vertical radiator grille or the lighting strip linking the rear lights. Overall, the body style is fairly plain, apart from a few judiciously placed curves, as seen in the long sculpted bonnet. Its sporty-chic appearance should again win over a young clientele. The new Seat Leon will be available on the launch of the 5-door hatchback or the Sports Tourer (ST) estate.
As far as dimensions go, the Leon hatchback is 86 mm longer at 4368 mm, 17 mm narrower at 1799 mm, and 3 mm lower at 1456 mm. For its part, the ST is 93 mm longer at 4642 mm. In terms of cargo volume, the boot of the Leon hatchback still offers a capacity of 380 l whereas the ST is 30 litres bigger at 617 l.
Petrol, diesel, natural gas, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid
Under the bonnet, the new Seat Leon offers a wide choice of engines to satisfy a very broad customer base.
For the petrol range, the 3-cylinder 1.0 l TSI gets the ball rolling, in the 90 or 110 hp version. Just above this comes the 4-cylinder 1.5 l TSI, also offering two power levels: 130 and 150 hp. Note that the 130 hp 1.0 l TSI and 1.5 l TSI engines adopt the Miller cycle to increase their efficiency by 10%. Also worthy of note is the cylinder deactivation technique adopted on the 1.5 l TSI engines. These are available with manual or dual-clutch (DSG) transmission. Reigning supreme over the petrol range is the 190 hp 2.0 l version, available only with dual-clutch transmission.
As regards cutting CO2 emissions, the diesel engine still enjoys considerable advantages. The new Leon offers two TDI engines, developing 115 or 150 hp (manual or DSG). The ST estate is also available with the 150 hp 2.0 TDI engine, having a DSG gearbox and all-wheel 4Drive transmission.
Depollution of diesel engines is achieved by a twin-dosing SCR system with a double injection of Adblue that significantly reduces NOx emissions. This results in a diesel-engine range that meets the strict Euro 6DG standards.
The new Leon can be fitted with a dual-function unit, the 130 hp 1.5 l TGI petrol and natural gas engine. This vehicle has a total net capacity of 17.3 kg of gas guaranteeing an autonomy of 440 km. When the gas tanks are empty, the engine is powered by petrol.
It’s impossible for the new Leon to bypass electrification. Seat offers two solutions. The first is a mild hybrid unit implemented on the 110 hp 1.0 l and 150 hp 1.5 l TSI engines. A 48 V starter-alternator connected to a lithium-ion battery backs up the petrol engine.
The second is a plug-in version that combines a 1.4 l TSI petrol engine, a 13 kWh battery and a 6-speed DSG transmission system. This unit delivers a power of 204 hp and is designed to drive up to 60 km on electricity.
Simplicity, Practicality and Connectivity
The interior favours stylistic minimalism and practicality. Although black materials predominate, the presence of two screens, one for the instrumentation (10.25-inch) and the other for infotainment (8.25- or 10-inch, depending on the version), immediately place us in the modern world.
The haptics of the infotainment system mirrors that of conventional tablets and smartphones. Seat has added voice and gesture recognition. The integrated eSIM card connection offers real-time traffic updates, or even information on parking spaces and service stations. With the Full Link interface, the Leon can also be integrated to the driver's digital ecosystem. The Seat Connect application enables vehicle data to be consulted remotely.
Driver assistance features include predictive adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, partially autonomous driving, blind spot monitoring and perpendicular traffic.
The fourth-generation Seat Leon will come into production and be presented for the first time in public at the next GIMS in 2020. It will go on sale at the beginning of April 2020.