What is it?
A key version of the new Seat Leon. The Spanish car-maker expects this model – specific to engine, transmission and even trim level – to account for more than 30 per cent of UK sales; twice as many as the next most popular model. Which also happens to be powered by its 1.6-litre, 104bhp turbodiesel engine, as it happens.
That's because this mid-range, low-emissions model will be the big fleet seller. Like every other Leon SE, it comes with air conditioning, Bluetooth, 16in alloys, cornering fog lamps, cruise control, electric windows all-round and leather-covered steering wheel with audio controls – a healthy offering, in other words.
It'll sell on the strength of style and compactness, as much as anything. The new Leon is more than 50mm shorter than the car it replaces, but has a wheelbase that's 50mm longer. Boot space and passenger accommodation are improved, says Seat, but the Leon remains a relatively short, tightly-packaged kind of hatchback, and a particularly handsome one too. This is emphatically not a sensible utility car like its brother Octavia; far from it.