SEAT Leon tops ‘True MPG’ test

What Car? has placed the SEAT Leon at the top spot of its True MPG table, thanks to its outstanding real-world fuel economy.

The magazine’s team tested more than 200 models over the past 12 months to evaluate how well the cars match their manufacturer-claimed fuel economy figures in real life driving situations.

Of all the models tested, the five-door Leon SE Ecomotive model came out on top, managing a highly commendable real-world average fuel economy figure of 63.2mpg.

Average real-world economy of 63.2mpg

Jim Holder, What Car? editor, said: “Buyers get frustrated when they can’t achieve claimed fuel economy figures. That’s because the official EU tests are carried out in a laboratory under very specific conditions that don’t reflect real-world driving.

“However, we took action a few years ago by launching True MPG and have published real-world figures for hundreds of popular vehicles since.”

True MPG was launched in 2012 by What Car? in conjunction with fuel partner Tesco, and in that time almost 500 cars have been assessed in real-world conditions, achieving figures that are on average 20 per cent short of the official numbers.

Even the Leon’s table-topping figure of 63.2mpg is below its manufacturer claimed figure of 85.6mpg, which is a result of manufacturers being forced by law to test their cars in lab conditions.

Unlike the sterile laboratory conditions manufacturers use, What Car? calculate the data using experienced engineers who test the cars over a variety of real roads, including motorways and urban streets.

Interestingly, the data also showed an unexpected trend, which shows that high-performance cars, typically less fuel efficient than others, are consistently the closest to their claimed economy figures.

Jaguar F-TYPE surprisingly economical!

The new Jaguar F-TYPE R, powered by a large V8 engine, was one of only two vehicles in the entire table to beat its claimed figure in the real world, delivering 25.7mpg instead of a claimed 25.5.

As well as having topped the True MPG table, the SEAT Leon added another trophy to its sizeable cabinet earlier this month after having been named the Best Family Car twice running by Carbuyer.

Stuart Milne, Carbuyer’s editor, said: “Behind those handsome looks lies a car with a big boot and room for five. Despite featuring plenty of cutting-edge equipment, the Leon still represents exceptional value for money.”

The Leon has gone on to become SEAT’s top-selling model since it was first released, and has picked up an enviable slew of awards since, thanks to its good looks, strong performance and practicality.

SEAT’s Leon range is available to buy from Perrys dealerships now, with prices starting from just £15,815 for the entry-level hatchback model.