The higher-riding nature also inevitably results in a touch more body roll through corners than you would get in a standard Leon ST, but it never impacts on normal driving. And anyway, it's unlikely that this car will be driven in such a manner for that to be an issue. The steering is on the light side, but it weights up at speed to give plenty of confidence.
Given that the X-Perience is never likely to be driven in an overly enthusiastic manner, the 181bhp engine in this version seems like it would be a step too far up the range for many potential buyers, although its relaxed nature belies an official 0-62mph time of 7.1sec. If you do choose to make the most of that acceleration, then it makes for smooth and rapid progress, but the noise levels rise when it's pushed.
Generally, though, engine noise is never that intrusive, and it is only really road noise that makes its presence known when you get up to motorway speeds.
The choice between the lower-powered version and this one will be made easier by the fact that both emit the same 129g/km of CO2, and officially average 57.6mpg. However, the addition of the dual-clutch gearbox affects practicality in what will be a key area for many in the market for a rugged estate: the maximum towing capacity drops from 2000kg to 1600kg on this version.
Practicality otherwise is much the same as that of standard ST. It gets the same 587 litres of boot space, but with more protection at the boot lip. There is enough space for four adults in the cabin, along with all their luggage.