SEAT Leon ST estate (2014-2020)
"The SEAT Leon ST estate takes the sharp looks and great driving experience of the hatchback and adds a much bigger boot"
- Great range of engines
- Stylish design
- Fun to drive
- Slightly bland interior
- Rear seats don't fold flat
- Beaten by rivals on boot space
Building on the strengths of the SEAT Leon hatchback, the SEAT Leon ST estate adds a healthy dose of practicality and provides the Spanish carmaker with a rival to the Volkswagen Golf Estate and Skoda Octavia Estate. These VW Group offerings have a lot in common mechanically, but each has its own distinct style and personality.
The Leon ST has the sportiest demeanor of the three and can almost equal the Ford Focus Estate for driving fun. It’s also not far from matching the Kia Ceed Sportswagon for value, or the Peugeot 308 SW for versatility and style.
Where the Golf looks classy and the Octavia is understated and robust, the Leon ST takes on a more aggressive look, with a tapering roofline and sharply creased sides. As a result of its curvaceous styling there’s a little less boot space than in its two VW Group sisters, but interior space is still generous. An update in February 2017 refreshed the Leon’s style with SEAT’s latest front grille and introduced LED front and rear lights for the top trim levels.
The Leon ST’s engine line-up ranges from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol to an economical 2.0-litre diesel with a variety of power outputs. Each has been tried and tested in cars as disparate as the SEAT Mii city car and Volkswagen Passat Estate. Whichever engine you go for, the Leon ST has plenty of appeal for the enthusiastic driver – but if you’re hungry for more power, there’s always the SEAT Leon ST Cupra 300 – as powerful as the Volkswagen Golf R Estate.
Cupra versions aside, the Leon ST line-up consists of SE, SE Dynamic, FR, FR Sport, Xcellence and Xcellence Lux trim levels. Xcellence was introduced as part of a 2017 update, with ambient lighting, chrome exterior trim, keyless entry and optional Alcantara and leather upholstery. This top version also includes standard LED headlights and tail-lights, improved connectivity (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and driver assistance features, such as blind-spot monitoring, plus the ability for the car to drive itself in traffic jams.
The ST boasts the same impressive quality as the Leon hatchback and enjoys the same five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. It’s likely to prove a pleasure to own, too – the SEAT Leon range finished 52nd out of the top 100 cars ranked in our 2019 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK.