New (bottom) versus old (top), Seat admits it's a subtle facelift
The 2017 Seat Leon has been revealed, with the facelifted model having undergone styling tweaks, as well as gaining new technologies and two new engines.
On the outside, the Leon has been given a larger front grille to make the car look bigger, and other subtle styling tweaks, including front and rear lights that now incorporate the same LED signature as the Ateca. Three new colours are also offered.
Inside, there’s a ‘connectivity box’ – also seen on the Ateca – which incorporates wireless charging. An electric parking brake is now fitted on the revised central console, and certain Leon trims now have ambient LED lighting, which can be controlled via the infotainment system. A digital dash much like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system is also available, going by the name FPK (programmable instrument cluster in German).
The size of the infotainment screen has grown, from 6.5in to 8.0in on all but entry-level S spec. It adds functionality to the old system and clears some of the buttons from the dashboard. Seat also claims that the refreshed Leon is quieter than the current model. Trim pieces across the interior, including the door cards, have been updated.
Other technical upgrades include the addition of the traffic jam assist system – another technology inherited from the Ateca – which allows semi-autonomous driving up to 37mph. Traffic sign recognition and blind spot detection have also been added, although these are likely to be on higher-spec cars only.
Seat claims to have improved the sat-nav and camera systems of the Leon too, as well as offering a parking assist system that enables the car can park itself. These, along with emergency assist and high beam assist, are expected to appear higher on the Leon spec list, too.
Two new engines have been added to the current range; for the first time the VW Group’s 1.0 three-cylinder TSI unit is being offered, as well as the 1.6-litre TDI engine, both with 113bhp.
No fuel economy or emissions figures have been released for these new engines, though; these are likely be disclosed when prices and specs are announced later this year.
In the UK, there will be five trim levels to choose from, including the addition of a new top-spec level. Entry-level cars are badged S, moving up through SE Dynamic, SE, Technology, FR and new Xcellence. The latter aims to provide a premium feel, with standard interior ambient lighting, keyless entry and go, upgraded upholstery and LED rear indicators. Seat is positioning the Xcellence as the luxurious alternative to the sub-Cupra sporty FR spec.
The Leon Cupra will be updated after the standard Leon; probably at the start of 2017. Seat describes the Cupra range as coming with a ‘surprise’, although Seat spokespeople wouldn’t give any details on what this might be. It's confirmed to get more power, although it's not yet clear if this means that it will break 300bhp, in the case of the Cupra 290.
Sales start in February 2017 for the five-door and ST estate models; three-door SC and off-road-focused X-Perience versions will go on sale soon after this, before the range is completed by Cupra variants.
Seat has unified the global launch dates for the model in January, but may fettle the UK’s release date to capitalise on the 17-plate registration. Prices are set to remain close to those of the current model.