The Seat Leon has been given a mid-life refresh, which brings two new engines, new technology and a subtle styling update

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.

Read the EV news from the Seat Leon facelift launch here

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.

Read our thoughts on 'evolution versus revolution' car design here

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. 

Our Verdict

Seat Leon 5dr hatch

Seat's third-generation Leon is attractive and capable, but it can't quite reach the benchmark set by the imperious Volkswagen Golf

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Comments
13

19 October 2016
I'm pleased they haven't changed the look too much. An improvement inside and a small tweak outside is a winner with me.

19 October 2016
Interested to know what the new touch screen is like. I think it's bizarre to remove the physical 'hot keys' from around the previous unit; this immediately means more time needed to look at the dashboard, surely...


"Work hard and be nice to people"

19 October 2016
Come on Autocar, please at least get the name right! Looks good and still better than the Golf/Octavia/A3 for my money.

 

 

 

19 October 2016
After long hard years Seat (or SEAT as the language police may be reading this) seems to have become a credible alternative to Skoda as VW's 'budget' brand.
Is Seat still making a loss for VW I wonder?

20 October 2016
Nope, making a (small) profit now - and that's without the access to China that VAG has given Skoda.

20 October 2016
And with such a bland looking car it'll carry on that way. This Mk3 was pretty awful and dull 5 years ago so how can it be a mid-life face lift, more like 'end of life save money on new design lift'. It's looks inside and out explain why I've never seen it in the top 10, unlike the Astra, Focus, Golf, A3 etc

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

F32

20 October 2016
For haters' bad luck, SEAT is making profits.

Another thing is that the YoY sales are up too during the past few years,
in fact they currently have their best-selling results of the past decade.

Get your facts right at least.

20 October 2016
F32 wrote:

For haters' bad luck, SEAT is making profits.

Another thing is that the YoY sales are up too during the past few years,
in fact they currently have their best-selling results of the past decade.

Get your facts right at least.

Neither Post was sure of their return to profit or sales figures. Even VW are unsure "Volkswagen’s long-struggling Spanish division Seat said it MAY return to profit this year for the first time since 2008 and stay there through 2018" - from various news outlets

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

F32

20 October 2016
Dude chill on it.

The blaim is on you all in all. There was no need in the first place for you to claim a fact, when your opinion was irrelevant with the reality. Yet you did feel you had to do it, along with some dismissive chit chat.

The fact is that SEAT is profitable for a long time, meaning you 've had enough time to get your facts. Not to mention the sustainabilty of the numbers if you ever had to slip into it, with high sales figures YoY.

At least, now you know.

20 October 2016
F32 wrote:

.....along with some dismissive chit chat.

The fact is that SEAT is profitable for a long time, meaning you 've had enough time to get your facts. .....
At least, now you know.

Dismissive chit chat, it's from VW via Reuters "Volkswagen's long-struggling Spanish division Seat said it may return to profit this year for the first time since 2008 and stay there through 2018". Although don't read Automotive news Europe they said VW was being generous with the 2016 half year results.
At least now you know

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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