2017 Seat Leon SC 1.4 EcoTSI First Drive: Mild Refresh Adds Appeal
Seat talks about having three pillars upon which its future success will be built and these metaphorical supports are the year-old Ateca, the absolutely brand-spanking new fifth-generation Ibiza supermini, and this Leon, which is now receiving its midlife facelift a little later than expected, given it was launched in 2012.
But it’s the third-gen Leon that really kick-started Seat’s move from ‘youthful but sort of slightly underwhelming Iberian arm of the Volkswagen Group’ to a genuinely zesty, talented brand. The Leon Mk3 is a strikingly handsome, spacious, well-equipped and sharp-driving machine that can do the day-to-day mundanities well, too.
Therefore, not much has changed for the 2017 model year updates, but what has been done applies to the entire vast family of Leons – the SC three-door, the five-door hatch, the ST wagon, the X-Perience off-roading estate, and the Cupra performance models.
There’s new equipment on-board, including ambient lighting, an electronic handbrake, Front Assist automatic city braking with Pedestrian Protection and Hill Hold Control, plus a revised infotainment system with a different button arrangement down the side of the screen, while the 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine is uprated from 110- to 115hp. A 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TSI petrol engine with 110hp is also introduced for the first time in the UK.
The argument that Seat has made is that the stylists got the third-gen Leon just right first time around, so drastically ...