For many the SEAT Leon SC is a three-door version of the Leon but look a little closer and you’ll find that the SC is a model in its own right.
The SC’s wheelbase is 35mm shorter than the five-door Leon meaning that it is closer to the VW Scirocco rather than the Golf.
The SEAT Leon SC is a step-up in quality. The materials used are better and the equipment levels are improved meaning there is more standard kit right from the entry-level models.
Standard kit includes 15-inch steel wheels, heated exterior door mirrors, front electric windows, air con, a five-inch colour touchscreen media system with CD player, Bluetooth handfree connectivity, six speakers, remote audio controls, stability control with tyre pressure monitoring, driver and front passenger airbags, front side and curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbag, alarm and remote central locking.
Move up to SE grade and this adds hill hold control (prevents the car from rolling backwards when on a hill), 16-inch alloys, front fog lights with cornering mechanism (allowing you better vision around bends), cruise control, rear electric windows, leather steering wheel and gearknob, front armrest, driver’s seat lumbar adjustment, front reading lights, footwell illumination and SEAT XDS system.
XDS detects slip at the front wheels and alters the amount of power to stop wheel spin when you are cornering quickly.
Opt for the top-of-the-range and this adds 17-inch alloys, LED rear lamps, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, dark tinted rear windows, electric folding mirrors, eight speakers, front sport seats and the SEAT Drive Profile. This is where you can switch the set-up between normal, eco and sport modes depending on your mood and your driving style.
Practicality is good when it comes to load space as the three-door has an identical amount of space as the five-door car – 380 litres that’s the same as Kia’s Pro Cee’d and the Vauxhall Astra GTC. Headroom, however, in the rear is less than in the five-door Leon thanks to that sloping roofline.
On the road
On test we drove the Ecomotive version with a 103bhp 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine. It will get from zero to 62mph in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 139mph. Power delivery is fairly good and overtaking manoeuvres are simple when using the gearbox wisely.
The Leon is fun to drive. it is agile when cornering enthusiastically and the steering is well weighted, however, the feedback is not as good as Ford’s class-leading Focus. The standard suspension gives the SC a good balance and comes on S and SE versions while the sports suspension comes on the FR trim.
The SEAT Leon SC gets the thumbs up. It comes with a cool new design but is backed by substance with efficient engines and good driving dynamics.