In-depth reviews

SEAT Leon hatchback - Practicality & boot space

A growth spurt has liberated extra space for back seat passengers

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Practicality & boot space Rating

4.0 out of 5

The latest Leon has taken a noticeable step forward in the practicality department because SEAT's designers have added 50mm of extra bodywork between the front and rear axles. This has almost exclusively been used to boost space for back seat passengers, so carrying adults and kids alike should now be a more comfortable experience.

SEAT Leon interior space & storage

In the past, SEAT has tried to hide the Leon's rear doors to make it appear more like a three-door, but it ditched this approach for the third-generation car and now its back doors have increased in length. This should make it easier for occupants to get in and out, and for parents to fit child seats in the ISOFIX mounting points. An extra 49mm of legroom is also noticeable, making the Leon feel more comfortable for adults. There's plenty of headroom, although a transmission tunnel means the middle passenger has to put their feet either side of a hump in the floor.

Boot space

Boot space behind the rear seats has remained unchanged at 380 litres, putting the Leon on a par with the Volkswagen Golf and Kia Ceed. If you need more space, there are bigger rivals in the class, including the Honda Civic with 478 litres and, of course, the Skoda Octavia with a huge 600-litre boot. There's quite a tall loading lip to haul heavy items over, and the Leon misses out on some of the clever storage features of the Skoda range. Range-topping models feature a powered tailgate, which can be activated by waving your foot under the bumper.

While there are lots of reasons to recommend the Leon e-Hybrid, boot space isn't one of them. Because of its battery, boot space shrinks by a significant 110 litres, and there's no storage for valuables or the charging cable beneath the boot floor. This means if you need the cable while out and about, you'll need to keep it in its storage bag with your other belongings. At least an estate version of the e-Hybrid is available if you need a bigger boot.

Towing

The SEAT Leon is an accomplished tow vehicle, able to lug a braked trailer of up to 1,800kg if you pick the 2.0-litre diesel engine. The 1.5-litre TSI and PHEV aren't far behind, with a maximum capacity of 1,700kg, dropping to 1,500kg for the 1.0-litre TSI. Despite its extra power, the 2.0-litre TSI petrol only matches the 1,800kg capacity of the diesel.

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