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SEAT Leon preview

SEAT Leon preview

What's this?
One of SEAT’s most important cars, the Leon C-segment hatchback, returning for its fourth-generation outing. As ever, it will be related to its in-group cousins, in the form of the Volkswagen Golf 8 and Skoda Octavia, and it will be available in five-door hatch and Sports Tourer estate forms. It’s bigger, more technologically advanced and perhaps a little less attractive than its forebear.

What will its rivals be?
Aside from the aforementioned Golf and Octavia, the Leon must take on the likes of the Renault Megane, Honda Civic, revitalised Toyota Corolla, the Kia Ceed, the Hyundai i30, the Ford Focus and the Opel Astra.

Any tech info?
SEAT has confirmed that the Leon Mk4 range will have LED lights all around, with dynamic indicators fitted and a full-width light strip at the back making for a distinctive feature. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster will be offered on the Leon for the first time, while an eight-inch standard infotainment screen can be enlarged to a ten-inch item for a fee. Gesture and voice recognition will be supported in the cabin, as will Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity, while a SEAT Connect app will allow owners to check the status of the car remotely, allowing them to see if it is locked or where it is parked, for instance.

What will the range be like?
There will be 110- and 150hp TSI turbocharged petrol engines available for the SEAT Leon Mk4 family, the former being a three-cylinder, 1.0-litre unit and the latter a 1.5-litre four that features Active Cylinder Management to run on two cylinders under light loads. Both of these can also be had with a 48-volt mild hybrid electrical system, which will bring ‘eTSI’ badging to the boot. Above these will be a 190hp 2.0-litre TSI, which won’t be available with the hybrid tech, and alongside is a 150hp TDI 2.0-litre turbodiesel. Beyond this, there will be two plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) versions of the Leon Mk4: a regular example with a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol and a 13kWh lithium-ion battery, allowing for a 60km all-electric range; and the other is the Cupra Leon. This will be the high-performance derivative and, at the time of writing, no specific details are known about its drivetrain.

As ever with a new Volkswagen Group product, they’re high – but even higher still for the first Cupra model that will not be a crossover or an SUV. The Leon Mk4 looks to be a big step on technologically from its predecessor, but the Mk3 was always a great car to look at and drive. Those are big shoes for the Mk4 to fill, then, but it has every chance of doing so. We look forward to driving it as soon as we can.

Carzone - 20-Feb-2020