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In-depth reviews

SEAT Leon hatchback - Interior & comfort

Technology comes to the fore, giving the interior a modern feel

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

The outgoing SEAT Leon had a reasonably generous eight-inch infotainment setup, but the new model increases its screen size to 10 inches and features an attractive tablet-style design.

SEAT Leon dashboard

There's a far greater emphasis on digital technology for this generation, including a SEAT Digital Cockpit instrument cluster with a 10.25-inch screen and clear, customisable graphics and two USB-C ports. Designers have also embraced ambient lighting, creating a swathe of illumination that spans the entire width of the car at night and continues on the doors. Not only does this give the interior a different ambiance at night, it can also provide visual clues such as blinking when the blind spot detection is warning of another vehicle.

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One misstep is the temperature control, which is a touch bar below the infotainment display. This is a move too far in the war against buttons; it’s fiddly to use in the day and even more exasperating at night. Quality is slightly improved over the Mk3 Leon, but it's not quite enough of a jump to elevate it above the Ford Focus. Soft-touch materials are well placed where you're likely to rest your hand or elbow, but it's easy to find harder plastics. During 2021, vegan leather was also introduced for the gear sticks of manual models, in keeping with SEAT's ambition to reduce its environmental impact.

Equipment

Even entry-level SE trim cars should still look fairly stylish, thanks to LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels and standard metallic paint, while there's an eight-inch infotainment screen inside. SE Dynamic adds slightly larger wheels, a 10-inch screen, sat nav, digital instruments, all-round parking sensors and tinted glass. It also gains a centre armrest, triple-zone climate control and two additional USB type-C charging ports for rear passengers.

FR trims are similar to Volkswagen's R-Line and Audi's S line, adding new bumpers and lower suspension along with LED rear lights, triple-zone climate control, a wireless smartphone charging tray and rear USB-C chargers. It's also worth noting that FR is the lowest spec available for the Leon e-Hybrid. FR Sport adds more features like extra ambient lighting, 18-inch alloy wheels and a Winter Pack, while SEAT's Xcellence trim concentrates more on luxury, with added chrome and a suede interior trim that's swapped for leather in the Xcellence Lux model.

Options

SEAT doesn't tend to offer the same quantity of optional extras as sister-brand Audi but there are some to consider. A space-saver spare wheel is available for just over £100, while a towing hook can also be added for around £700. For just under £1,000 it's possible to bring light into the interior with a panoramic sunroof.

At night, the interior ambiance can be lifted with interior lighting, costing just under £300 for the FR trim and only £100 for the Xcellence version.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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