To summarise this car, you would have to say that the Seat Leon e-hybrid is extremely practical with a decent amount of electric range. It also comes with four different trim levels so it offers something for everyone. There is a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine to keep you moving when you've run out of electric power, so the car would be suitable either as a run-around in town as a second family car or as a company car which is required to make long journeys throughout the week. using the 1.4-litre petrol engine with the electric motor means being able to top out with a respectable 201 bhp. The new Leon looks great from the outside, too, even if VW Group also has other plug-in hybrids that are that little bit more stylish. Switching between electric to petrol in the Seat Leon e-hybrid is seamless and this is not something you can say of all hybrid technology on the market today. This PHEV has plenty to recommend it, not least the driving experience which feels mature yet fun behind the steering wheel.
Like other hatchbacks made by VW Group, the Seat Leon uses a common platform which it calls MQB Evo. This means that the Leon e-hybrid is not dissimilar to a number of other plug in hybrids already on the market.
Range, Charging, & Emissions
Under WLTP tests, the Seat Leon e-hybrid provides 40 miles of range. The claim of 40 miles isn't what most owners will be able to get out of their Leon, however, and 36 miles is probably a more accurate upper limit in the real world. Any review of the plugin hybrid should also mention that CO2 emissions are as little as 27g km when the e-hybrid engine is in use. This version of the Seat Leon comes equipped with a 13 kW battery pack that will be charged in six hours from a conventional wall socket. This time drops to just four hours when the Seat Leon e-hybrid is charged from a 3.6 kW outlet, however. With the petrol motor combined with the electric one, owners can expect to be able to drive for 497 miles before they'd need to refuel or charge up once more. The connector for charging the plug in hybrid is located on the left side of the car at the front. A type 2 connector can be used with the Leon e-hybrid when it's in charging mode. The battery has a warranty of up to eight years or 100,000 miles.
Driving on the popular electric engine the Seat Leon is supplied with not only means lower CO2 emissions than you would otherwise be capable of. It also means lower driving costs. In electrical mode, the new Seat Leon would set you back as little as 6.4 pence per mile to drive, ideal if you think you will rarely go beyond the car's electric range. The average cost of charging the ehybrid car from empty to full would be in the region of £1.96. As nearly every review of the Leon e-hybrid points out, this fuel economy drops as soon as you start to use the Leon's petrol power. In some tests, the car offers around 48 mpg, which is what you might expect of a 1.5-litre TSI pure-petrol Leon. That said, not every real-world test is the same and running costs when running on petrol will understandably vary according to local conditions and individual drivers' styles.
If you want to know about insurance costs, then it is worth noting that the Seat Leon hybrid is bracketed in groups 26 and 27. So, it isn't a car that will cost a fortune to keep on the road in years to come, something not every review of it makes clear. What's more, a new seat Leon will come with a three-year warranty. Like most electric cars these days, this is limited to the number of miles you will drive. In the Leon, you can only get up to 60,000 miles before the warranty is no longer valid. The servicing interval is once every 24 months or 20,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. The benefit in kind (BIK) rate is attractive, too, so this is definitely an option worth considering as a company car. In 2022-23, for example, the BIK you can expect is 12 per cent. Even better, as most reviews fail to state, there is no charge for entering the London Congestion Charge Zone with this PHEV.
As mentioned earlier in this review, the Seat Leon offers exceptional fuel economy within its electric range. It can get from 0-62mph in just 7.5 seconds so that is fairly rapid for a plug in hybrid of its class and size. The top speed that the front wheel drive engine can produce is 135 mph. You can adjust the performance of the Seat Leon ehybrid easily enough. There are four modes to experiment with, Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual. However, even when you are putting all of the available power through the six speed automatic gearbox, it never feels quite like a so-called hot hatch should. This is unlikely to put many people off, however, since the Seat Leon has never really fallen into this category, especially ones with a DSG auto gearbox. By way of comparison on performance, a Golf GTE hybrid can get to 62 mph from a standing start in 6.7 seconds. On the other hand, a Toyota Corolla GR Sport is a bit slower and would take 7.9 seconds to achieve the same speed.
According to Seat, the Leon e-hybrid is designed to look as though it is reflecting the distinctive light of Barcelona. If you put that rather airy statement to one side, however, and review the car's styling on more practical grounds, then you'd have to say that it looks good from all angles. It looks like a conventional Seat Leon until you look closely for the flap that covers the charging connector and the rather discreet e-HYBRID logo on the car's tailgate. This version of the car has a lower drag coefficient than previous iterations of the Seat Leon. Seat has managed this despite the car being slightly lower than before. Expect funky features such as LED indicators that are integrated into the side mirrors of the Leon. The front grille has also been given an angular makeover such that it looks more integrated with the headlight clusters. You get 17-inch bi-spoke alloy wheels with the FR trim. A set of 18-inch performance machined alloy wheels come with the FR Sport edition while an Xcellence trim means getting standard 17-inch alloys despite the higher price tag. A top of the range Xcellence Lux trim comes with what Seat calls 18-inch aerodynamic performance alloy wheels.
Inside, all trim levels of the car underwhelm a little but the FR is the most disappointing to look at and touch. Its sports bumpers don't make up for a rather plain interior despite the best efforts of the level's fully digital cockpit, LED interior lighting and 10-inch infotainment system. Sure the infotainment system also includes a satnav system but there is very little that makes the inside of the cabin feel sporty or extraordinary. One good thing that the Seat Leon offers is a three-zone climate control system with digital controls regardless of your chosen trim. If you opt for the FR Sport, then expect heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, great for chilly morning starts. The same goes for the Xcellence and the Xcellence Lux but you'll also get an advanced version of the KESSY keyless entry device if you splash out that bit more. When it comes to the boot, the ehybrid Seat Leon also underwhelms. A standard petrol version of the Seat Leon would offer 380 litres of storage space in the rear before you even consider an estate version. However, the ehybrid Seat Leon only gives you 270 litres as a result of accommodating the battery pack. A Mercedes A-Class hybrid is roomier! If you want more boot space in the rear, then you should review the ST estate hybrid Seat says will be its other option.
Like all family cars, the Leon's safety rating is important for many would-be owners to review before buying. Euro NCAP, the body that controls safety ratings for cars, has not tested the plug in version of the Seat specifically but it has tested the 2020 version of the car. it gained a five-star rating with features like line assistance and auto speed assistance featuring. There are seatbelt pre-tensioners for the front and rear seats. You also get side head airbags in the front and rear. However, side chest and pelvis airbags are only found at the front seats, not in the rear of the cabin.
For a plug in hybrid with a good level of range, the Seat Leon is surprisingly affordable to get on the road. This is why the car scores so highly in this review. Bear in mind that all four trim levels in the range are exempt from road tax in their first year on the road. If you opt for a new FR, then the asking price will be £32,945, a figure that rises to £34,530 if you opt for the FR Sport. At the upper end of the range, the Xcellence will set you back £34,990 while the Lux version of the auto comes in at £36,190 on the road.