The new SEAT Leon Sportstourer PHEV on test for Changing Lanes

SEAT Leon Sportstourer Hybrid Review

The new SEAT Leon Sportstourer PHEV on test for Changing Lanes
The new SEAT Leon Sportstourer PHEV on test for Changing Lanes

Caroline drives the SEAT Leon Sportstourer plug-in hybrid!

SEAT has used the launch of the latest generation Leon as an opportunity to bring the brand's first plug-in hybrid model to the Irish market. Combining a petrol engine, battery and electric motor, the new Leon e-Hybrid range is a nod to the future of motoring, a starting point for the electrification of the SEAT brand.

Hybrid power for the Leon

Available as a hatchback or a Sportstourer estate, the new SEAT Leon e-Hybrid can be plugged in and charged, allowing owners to drive on electric power for up to 60 km. This is designed for drivers who do short commutes or spend a lot of time driving in town and can really make the most of the pure electric range and zero tailpipe emissions that go with it. Yet the back up of the combustion engine is always there.

The e-Hybrid range kicks off from €33,615 in Ireland for the hatchback and from €35,065 for the Leon e-Hybrid Sportstourer tested here for Changing Lanes.

The fourth generation Leon has been designed, developed and produced in Barcelona, at the company’s headquarters in Martorell. It turns out to be a very handsome car on approach for the first time. The Leon Sportstourer is arguably even better looking than the new generation Leon hatchback. Longer proportions give elegance and sportiness to this car. In sporty FR trim and finished in Mystery Blue, it has real presence.

Leon Sportstourer PHEV on sale from €35,065
Leon Sportstourer PHEV on sale from €35,065

Inside the SEAT Leon Sportstourer

The interior of the new SEAT Leon Sportstourer has been designed to be sleek and minimalist. Decorative mouldings surround the dashboard and continue through the front doors. A digital instrument cluster and 10" infotainment screen take centre stage with functionality including natural voice control as well as gesture recognition to simplify user interaction. It also gives information about the e-Hybrid system including what mode the vehicle is running and battery state of charge.

Equipment levels are good with e-Hybrid models, coming in high spec Xcellence and FR trims only. Highlights of the FR model on test include 18" machined alloy wheels, keyless engine start, rear view camera, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beam.

The Leon Sportstourer proves itself to be a comfortable family car with seating for five and the added practicality of an estate-style boot. While the hybrid packaging does impact boot volume in the Leon e-Hybrid models given that the battery pack is located under the boot floor, the Sportstourer accommodates it better with 470 litres available compared to just 270 litres in the Leon e-Hybrid hatchback.

Inside the SEAT Leon Sportstourer

Driving the SEAT Leon Sportstourer PHEV

The new Leon plug-in hybrid uses a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, electric motor and 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack to produce a healthy 204 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Power is put to the road through a 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The e-Hybrid system requires more space than a traditional combustion engine but it’s been packaged to maximise dynamics so the chassis isn’t forced to compensate, with weight balanced between the front and rear of the vehicle.

On the road the new SEAT Leon Sportstourer feels quick and sophisticated. The hybrid powertrain suits it remarkably well adding a premium feel to the driving experience. Power delivery is strong and linear while the automatic gearbox never misses a beat. The car handles the road confidently and is comfortable too. My average fuel consumption was a remarkably efficient 5.4 litre per 100 km without any charging. Motor tax is €140 per year.

The Leon e-Hybrid can switch instantly between the different driving modes – whether powered solely by the combustion engine, a mixture of both combustion and electric energy, or only by electricity. The plug-in hybrid version provides an all-electric range of up to 60 km (WLTP) using the energy stored in the vehicle’s battery, for increased efficiency, or to travel around city streets.

The driver can choose to maintain the battery’s state of charge, saving it for situations when zero emission driving is ideal. When the battery is running low, the powertrain switches back to hybrid mode. Once you’re near a power source, the battery can be plugged in and replenished in 3-4 hours using a 3.6 kW wallbox charger.

The Leon e-Hybrid can be charged and driven on electric power around town
The Leon e-Hybrid can be charged and driven on electric power around town.

Did you like it?

The SEAT Leon has always been a core pillar in the brand’s product range, with more than 2.3 million sales since its introduction in 1999. The fourth-generation SEAT Leon hits the market perfectly with modern design and technology, as well as the addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the very first time.

Turns out to be remarkably successful in the Leon. The Sportstourer e-Hybrid makes a very appealing prospect. It's not just gorgeous to look at, but the estate-style design makes up well for the loss in boot volume that comes with the hybrid models.

Buyers will pay a premium in the Leon range for the hybrid models but these are high spec models and a good introduction to electrified motoring. Equipment levels are very good and the Leon e-Hybrid can be a truly efficient vehicle to run.

What's more it feels good on the road, sophisticated and premium, and one you will enjoy driving.

Plug-in hybrid suits the Leon Sportstourer very well
Plug-in hybrid suits the Leon Sportstourer very well

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: SEAT Leon Sportstourer PHEV FR
Price: 
€35,065
Engine: 
1.4-litre turbo petrol
Power:  204 hp
Torque: 350 Nm
Top speed: 220 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.7 seconds
CO2 emissions:
26-28 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€140 per year


The 2021 SEAT Tarraco FR on test for Changing Lanes!

Seat Tarraco FR Review

The 2021 SEAT Tarraco FR on test for Changing Lanes!
The 2021 SEAT Tarraco FR on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the new SEAT Tarraco FR!

The SEAT Tarraco got its big Irish market launch back in 2019. Awards quickly followed for SEAT’s flagship SUV. The Tarraco was not just big in size, it also went large on design and quality!

Now it’s time to revisit the SEAT Tarraco, this time in sporty FR trim with a 2.0-litre diesel under the bonnet. The Tarraco is available in 5 or 7 seat models, with 7 seat versions starting from €41,295.

In Ireland buyers can choose from three well equipped trim levels:  SE, Xcellence and FR. The FR models start from €47,365, building on the Tarraco’s healthy specification with even more features and a sporty makeover inside and out.

Power comes from a 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol with 150 hp or a 2.0-litre diesel with 150 hp - or 200 hp and four wheel drive.

What's new for the SEAT Tarraco FR?

The Tarraco is a good-looking large family SUV, and it gets even better in FR trim. There have been a range of exterior enhancements, including special grille with FR logo, wider, black wheel arch mouldings, black roof rails and window frames, and side mirrors finished in Cosmo Grey. At the back the new Tarraco FR gets a new spoiler, an exclusive rear diffuser and the rear logo in a handwritten style. 20” alloy wheels complete the look!

The Tarraco is available with petrol and diesel engines with a plug-in hybrid to join the range shortly
The Tarraco is available with petrol and diesel engines with a plug-in hybrid to join the range shortly

Inside the SEAT Tarraco FR

The SEAT Tarraco feels immediately sporty inside too with some very impressive sports seats. The Tarraco has a lovely cabin and it’s standing the test of time very well. The fit and finish is excellent, allowing the Tarraco FR to command its considerable list price without buyers feeling short changed.

The digital instrument cluster is crisp and modern, while an updated infotainment system with 9.2” screen in the centre of the dash looks glossy and offers good functionality and connectivity.

There’s also a new touch module for the climate control functions with illuminated touch sliders for fan and temperature control. It’s pretty simple to use once you get the hang of it.

The FR model lives up to its sporty billing with a leather sports steering wheel with FR logo, leather gear selector and aluminium pedals at your feet.

Other standard equipment features include keyless start and entry, power folding mirrors, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, rear view camera, drive profile selection, front heated seats, park assist, and parking sensors.

Sporty and comfortable interior for the Tarraco FR
Sporty and comfortable interior for the Tarraco FR

Driving the Tarraco

The Tarraco is a big car but easy to manage and control, whether on the road or in the car park.

There’s little to complain about in terms of space. This is a large, versatile family car whatever way you look at it! Space is more limited in the third row, but it goes with the territory. It’s handy to have these extra two seats available. When these two extra seats are folded into the floor, the Tarraco offers a cavernous boot with great width and height.

On the road the Tarraco FR proves to be comfortable and refined, with the DSG automatic gearbox offering an even more relaxed drive. The 2.0-litre diesel is a powerful companion with plenty of torque. It’s also  economical considering the size of the vehicle, with our fuel consumption averaging at 6.5 litres per 100 km. Motor tax for this model is €270 per year.

Did you like it?

The SEAT Tarraco FR is an exciting addition to the Tarraco range, bringing more individuality to this large SUV once again. All models come well-equipped, which is reassuring. But this Tarraco FR surely has presence that brings SEAT’s flagship on another gear.

It is largely a cosmetic update inside and out, but equipment levels are high so you will want for nothing inside the cabin!

The Tarraco makes a great family car regardless, with a huge cabin and plenty of comfort and refinement on the road. No wonder it's an award winner!

The Tarraco FR adds more character to SEAT's flagship SUV
The Tarraco FR adds more character to SEAT's flagship SUV

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: SEAT Tarraco 2.0 TDI 150hp DSG FR
Price: 
€47,365
Engine: 
2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 150 hp
Torque: 360 Nm
Top speed: 196 km/h
Fuel Consumption: 5.6-6.0 l/100 km
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 10.1 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
148-157 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€270 per year


The 2021 SEAT Ateca on test for Changing Lanes!

SEAT Ateca Review

The 2021 SEAT Ateca on test for Changing Lanes!
The 2021 SEAT Ateca on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 SEAT Ateca!

At its launch in 2016, the SEAT Ateca brought a new dimension to the mid-size SUV market; the perfect match for urban and country life, offering a spacious, practical, and versatile SUV with a unique style we’ve come to expect from the brand ‘Created in Barcelona’.

Recently updated, SEAT has enhanced the Ateca and gone for a more luxe feel with the new Ateca Xperience, which replaces the old Xcellence trim line. Visually, it gets new all-terrain inspired styling – aluminium finish to the front and rear bumpers, body-coloured wheel arch surrounds, and side mouldings in an aluminium finish.

These rugged trim elements complement the already precise lines and muscular wheel arches, with striking LED headlamps and rear lamps with dynamic, sweeping indicators on the FR and Xperience trims. ‘Ateca’ is now spelt across the rear in a new handwriting style.

What's so special about the SEAT Ateca Xperience?

Priced from €37,900, the SEAT Ateca Xperience commands a more premium feeling inside and out, and a high specification, among an excellent engine line-up.

The SEAT Ateca range kicks off from €31,910 in a well-specced SE grade, offering consumers an already well-tuned mix of comfort, design, and practicality, with a choice of petrol and diesel engine. There are also FR models, which look and feel more sporty.

The Ateca Xperience range kicks off from €37,900 in Ireland
The Ateca Xperience range kicks off from €37,900 in Ireland

With buyers abandoning traditional hatchbacks in recent years, it’s clear to see why you might quickly mellow at the sight of the Ateca. With a raised ride height and the chunky looks of an SUV and sharp lines of a classic SEAT, it’s no surprise.

While the latest SEAT Leon now shows off the best of SEAT technology and design being an all-new generation car, slipping into the Ateca is a reminder how SEAT took a stronger grip on the Irish market in recent years.

SEAT Ireland has been riding the crest of a wave with a super stylish line-up of SUVs – the Arona, Ateca and flagship Tarraco. The segment keeps on growing, SEAT growing with it.

Inside the 2021 SEAT Ateca

Inside buyers are met with a solid and straightforward cabin design. The 2021 SEAT Ateca’s interior fit and finish is enhanced with the introduction of new door designs and materials, along with stitching across the panels. There’s also a newly-designed and upholstered steering wheel.

The Xperience has classy matte finish surrounds for the air vents, gear lever and infotainment system, with multi-colour ambient lighting bringing an extra level of customisation to the cabin. There’s also a 9.2-inch touchscreen - keeping things modern in the cabin - with wireless access to both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and wireless smartphone charging. Other standard features include a full leather interior, automatic high beam and Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control.

The car is nicely sized inside with plenty of space up front and good size in the rear for this sort of compact family SUV. The boot has some good depth to it too. There’s an impressive 510 litres of load space to play with!

Inside the new SEAT Ateca Xperience
Inside the new SEAT Ateca Xperience!

What are my engine options?

The latest SEAT Ateca goes on sale with the brand’s familiar portfolio of petrol (TSI) and diesel (TDI) engines.

Ateca Xperience models are offered with 1.5-litre turbo petrol (150 hp) or 2.0 diesel with 115 hp or 150 hp.

Other engines in the range are the 1.0-litre TSI with 110 hp (from €31,910). Motor tax ranges from €210 to €280.

On the road the SEAT Ateca is once again, straightforward and predictable. A quick detour through the Wicklow Mountains on the way home revealed a sharper side however, and this car does hold the road well so there is fun to be had should you want to slip it into Sport mode! It’s a sharp and direct competitor, but ride comfort in this Xperience model is also on par for the segment.

My test car was powered by the 2.0-litre diesel with 150 hp, a powerful and refined companion for this SUV. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.8 litres per 100 km.

The Ateca is available with petrol and diesel engines
The Ateca is available with petrol and diesel engines

Did you like it?

SEAT Ireland hit a golden age with the arrival of a trilogy of SUVs on the Irish market. The full complement of Arona, Ateca and Tarraco SUVs helped the brand drive market share in Ireland like never before.

Since then the brand has welcomed a new generation SEAT Leon and the introduction of hybrid power to the SEAT range for the very first time.

Buyers are now faced with a myriad of choices when they decide to trade in for a new family SUV. Size, quality, and price do vary. And though the Ateca in its current outfit is coming towards the end of its tenure, there’s little to complain about when you take this one for a spin.

Behind the wheel, the Ateca confidently takes on its competitors with a straightforward and logical cabin.

The Ateca is backed up by well proven combustion engines and some great trim options that make the car more individual, while also adding many convenience and comfort features.

The Xperience model sits at the top of the range, and while packing in considerable spec, there's even more value to be had in the rest of the range, with cars equipped well from entry.

Being simple, practical and efficient like the Ateca is very appealing in today’s SUV market.

SEAT Ateca: Simple, practical and efficient
SEAT Ateca: Simple, practical and efficient

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: SEAT Ateca 2.0 TDI XPerience DSG
Price: 
€41,100
Engine: 
2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 150 hp
Torque: 340 Nm
Top speed: 200 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 8.8 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
137 - 144 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€210 per year


The new SEAT Leon on test for Changing Lanes!

Seat Leon Review

The new SEAT Leon on test for Changing Lanes!
The new SEAT Leon on test for Changing Lanes!

Read Caroline's Seat Leon review for everything you need to know about buying the brand's compact hatchback in Ireland.

SEAT has achieved great success in Ireland with its new range of SUVs like the Arona and Tarraco, but it’s the SEAT Leon you could say that put the brand on the map in the first place. Produced since 1999, it's now in its fourth generation with more than 2.2 million sales worldwide.

Volkswagen Group membership has been good for SEAT with access to top quality powertrains and technology taking the brand from zero to hero. But SEAT has found a way to differentiate itself and it’s always been about designing with more emotion. They are happy to embrace their ‘Created in Barcelona’ colours and there is nothing Ireland likes more than a little bit of Spanish sunshine, something we are all missing right now.

The new SEAT Leon designed, developed and built at SEAT’s facilities in Martorell, Barcelona, at least brings some glamour and good will to the dealer forecourt. The new generation SEAT Leon arrived here in 2020, and goes on sale priced from €24,275. The brand cites it as their most advanced car ever. It was time for Changing Lanes to discover this car in more detail. Because photographs can only tell you so much.

The Leon goes on sale in Ireland priced from €24,275
The Leon goes on sale in Ireland priced from €24,275

What's new for SEAT Leon in 2021?

Based on the latest MQB Evo platform from the Volkswagen Group, the new Leon has moved on again in terms of design, powertrain and technology. Electrified powertrains feature for the first time in 2021 with a new plug-in hybrid promising an electric range of up to 60 km using just the energy stored in the vehicle’s battery.

On approach for the first time, the new SEAT Leon is undoubtedly a sharp dresser, marking an exciting evolution of the brand’s design language. It looks bolder than the previous generation of the car, ready to stand out and be counted among C-segment hatchbacks.

The car is characterised by a new nose, longer bonnet, more deep set LED headlamps, smooth flowing surfaces and the perfect mix of curves and edges. That’s all nice but it’s the ‘coast-to-coast’ rear light signature where it’s really at with this car. Design flourishes like that require some thought and application, but go a long way to give the Leon a more distinct character - whether on the road or in the car park.

Inside the 2021 SEAT Leon
Inside the 2021 SEAT Leon

Inside the 2021 SEAT Leon

Inside there's an all-new cabin design. Out with the old and in with the new. Everything at eye level looks glossy and slick, wrap around ambient lighting creates just the right mood, while the latest digital technology brings the Leon up to date with the best in class. There are some cheaper plastics in the doors and the centre console, but the overall impression is good.

The cabin has been ergonomically designed to increase comfort, and decluttering Marie Kondo would be proud of, with a large scale reduction in the number of physical buttons on the centre console. You have to really look for them. And you still won't find them. That's because everything is now controlled via the super glossy touchscreen, including ventilation. The focus is now on the main infotainment screen, for better or for worse. The SEAT Digital Cockpit brings together a high-resolution 10.25-inch configurable driver instrument cluster and 10-inch infotainment system.

The digital instrument panel works perfectly, a responsible digital upgrade for the times we live in. The touchscreen to the driver’s left looks impressive with bright, colourful graphics and menus accessed via some simple swipes. But a few more buttons for the ventilation controls for example are just more convenient when you are on the move. The tapping and swiping can be frustrating when you just want to turn the air con on. The system does pair seamlessly with Android Auto and even offers wireless connectivity with Apple CarPlay.

Away from the vehicle, users can access their vehicle’s data remotely via SEAT Connect, as well as manage the battery charging and control the electronic air conditioning in plug-in hybrid models.

A digital transformation for the new Leon
The new SEAT Leon is available with a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines

Is it practical?

The Leon’s new platform has reaped dividends for interior space. The Leon will seat five and the increased wheelbase translates to more legroom for rear occupants. The space in the footwells in the rear is undoubtedly among best in class.

The boot volume remains the same in the hatchback as the previous generation of the car, but it is a competitive 380 litres.

There is also a Leon Sportstourer available with even more boot space - 617 litres - and numerous other practical features like a low loading sill and split folding rear seats.

What are my options?

The new Leon is available in six trim levels: SE, SE Plus, Xcellence, Xcellence Plus, FR and FR Plus.

Standard equipment includes 16" alloy wheels, keyless start, LED headlight technology with automatic high beam, electronic parking brake, an eight-inch infotainment system, cloth upholstery, leather steering wheel and gear stick, adaptive cruise control and SEAT Connect technology.

SE Plus adds 17-inch alloy wheels, rear view camera, auto wipers and dark tinted rear windows.

The FR trim model on test adds sporty front and rear bumpers, 18" alloy wheels, dual exhaust pipes and a unique suspension set-up. Inside the cabin, FR includes leather multifunction steering wheel with red stitching, drive modes, three-zone air conditioning, wireless charging and two additional USB points in the rear.The FR trim also brings full-LED technology to the rear of the vehicle including the coast-to-coast light and LED dynamic indicators (front and rear), and illuminated front and rear aluminium door plates.

Boot space in the new SEAT Leon
Boot space in the new SEAT Leon

Leon petrol, diesel and hybrid for the first time

The new SEAT Leon is offered with a full complement of engines in 2021: petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI), mild hybrid (eTSI) and plug-in hybrid (eHybrid), with 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic DSG gearboxes available. Petrol options include the 1.0-litre TSI with 110 hp and a 1.5-litre TSI with 150 hp. The diesel options include a 2.0-litre TDI with 115 hp or 150 hp with a DSG gearbox. New to the range is the mild hybrid petrol engine – 1.0 eTSI (110 hp) DSG and 1.5 eTSI (150 hp) DSG.

Petrols are available from €24,245, while diesels are available from €25,995. The mild hybrid petrols are available from €26,815. The technology uses a 48 volt starter-generator and lithium-ion battery to allow the car to coast with no pedal input from the driver with the engine switched off, while retaining all key electric functions, such as power steering. It also harvests energy under deceleration and provides electrical torque assistance during acceleration. Clever!

The model on test was a SEAT Leon 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 150 hp and DSG gearbox. In FR trim, this car has a list price of €31,990. The diesel engine introduces a new Selective Catalytic Reduction system that includes dual AdBlue injectors to significantly reduce NOx emissions compared to previous generation diesel engines and meet the latest emissions standards.

In February, the brand also announced the arrival of the all-new SEAT Leon eHybrid. This plug-in hybrid uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine, 13 kWh battery and electric motor to produce 204 hp and can be driven on electric power alone for up to 60 km using just the energy stored in the vehicle’s battery. This model is available from €34,990, including Government grant and VRT relief.

SEAT has added a plug-in hybrid to the Leon range for the first time
SEAT has added a plug-in hybrid to the Leon range for the first time

Driving the new SEAT Leon

The 2021 SEAT Leon uses the MQB Evo architecture that provides an inherently strong and stiff safety cell, which allows the integration of some of the most advanced driver assistance systems available, including Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control and Emergency Assist 3.0, to make it the safest car that SEAT has made to date.

The new exterior has been specifically developed to enhance the vehicle’s overall efficiency with improved aerodynamics – the drag coefficient has improved by around 8% compared to the previous generation.

On the road the new Leon feels lighter and more precise than ever before. FR models sit about 15 mm lower than other models in the range and with the aid of big wheels, this car will take on the road with impressive stability and control. The trade off is a firm suspension that picks up more imperfections in the road surface. The Leon is good but not the most refined car in its class, bringing some audible wind and road noise into the cabin.

The 2.0-litre diesel is a joy to drive with great flexibility and power meaning that overall it returns an impressive 5.0 litres per 100 km because it's just never under pressure. It works well with the DSG automatic gearbox, making long distance or stop start driving in town really simple and straightforward.

The SEAT Leon is practical and fun to drive
The SEAT Leon is practical and fun to drive

Did you like it?

The new SEAT Leon makes a strong statement with an elegant sporty design and seriously upgraded cabin. It's now happy to stand out, but with the technology and powertrains to back it up.

The engine range is extensive, now offering petrol, diesel and hybrid for the first time.

The Leon still offers value in its class, with cars well specced from base. The FR and Xcellence trims add more visual chutzpah, but beware of the FR's firmer suspension. It looks good and is fun to drive, but it's not the most comfortable hatchback you could ever buy in this configuration.

Let's not overlook that this is a genuinely spacious hatchback, more accommodating for carrying passengers than some rivals. SUVs have put the squeeze on the classic hatchback, even within the SEAT range. But the Leon's simplicity and style should earn it some fans. Those that choose to discover the Leon will find a very capable and practical hatchback.

The 2021 SEAT Leon is on sale now
The 2021 SEAT Leon is on sale now

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: SEAT Leon 2.0TDI DSG FR
Price: 
€31,990
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
150 hp
Torque: 360 Nm
0-100km/h:  
8.6 seconds
Top speed: 218 km/h
Economy (WLTP): 4.6-4.9 l/100 km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 119-132 g/km
Motor Tax:  €190 per year

 


The new SEAT Leon e-Hybrid range is now on sale in Ireland

SEAT Leon e-HYBRID On Sale In Ireland

The new SEAT Leon e-Hybrid range is now on sale in Ireland
The new SEAT Leon e-Hybrid range is now on sale in Ireland

The SEAT Leon e-HYBRID has just gone on sale in Ireland, priced from €30,740 including grants..

Based on the all-new Leon hatchback and estate that launched in 2020, it's the first ever plug-in hybrid to be offered by the brand.

The new Leon e-HYBRID has an EV mode capable of up to 64 km on battery power alone. It uses a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine twinned with an electric motor to produce a combined 204 PS, with a 0-100km/h sprint of just 7.5 seconds.  CO2 emissions remain at or below 30g/km in all versions.

The car’s battery can charge in just 3 hours and 40 minutes from a 3.6 kWh wallbox.

The 2021 SEAT Leon e-HYBRID comes with a choice of two body styles, the traditional 5-door hatchback and the Sportstourer Estate. These are offered in four high-specification trim levels: Xcellence, Xcellence Plus, FR and FR Plus.

The Xcellence model includes 17" alloy wheels, keyless entry/start, 3-zone air conditioning, 8.25" touchscreen Infotainment, full digital cockpit and wireless phone charging.

The Xcellence Plus adds 18” machined alloy wheels, front and rear Park Distance Control, Park Assist Self Parking, Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control, a larger 10” infotainment system with navigation, voice control, heated seats and steering wheel, Traffic Sign Recognition, Side Assist and Exit Assist.

The FR model adds a sportier look to the vehicle with 18” machined alloy wheels and FR styling, as well as Driver Profile Selection. FR Plus adds the larger 10” touchscreen infotainment, electrically adjustable driver's seat, heated seats and steering wheel.

The Leon e-HYBRID starts from €35,740 on the road for the Xcellence 5-door hatch and €37,225 for the Xcellence Sportstourer, but this drops to €30,740 and €32,225 respectively for private customers who can benefit from the SEAI grant of €5,000. FR models start from €35,740 for the 5-door hatch and €37,225 for the Sportstourer and these drop to €30,740 and €32,225 respectively for private customers that can avail of the government grant.

 

ModelPre-Grant Price Recommend On the RoadPrice with €5,000 Grant Recommend On the Road  
SEAT Leon e-HYBRID Xcellence€35,740€30,740
SEAT Leon e-HYBRID Xcellence Plus€38,385€33,385
SEAT Leon e-HYBRID FR€35,740€30,740
SEAT Leon e-HYBRID FR Plus€37,405€32,405
SEAT Leon e-HYBRID Sportstourer Xcellence€37,225€32,225
SEAT Leon e-HYBRID Sportstourer Xcellence Plus€39,690€34,690
SEAT Leon e-HYBRID Sportstourer FR€37,225€32,225
SEAT Leon e-HYBRID Sportstourer FR Plus€38,705€33,705


The new SEAT Leon has arrived in Ireland

SEAT Leon (2020) Pricing For Ireland

The new SEAT Leon has arrived in Ireland
The new SEAT Leon has arrived in Ireland

The 2020 SEAT Leon has arrived in Ireland and will go on sale priced from €23,910.

The first cars are arriving in dealerships now. SEAT Ireland has confirmed that the new Leon will be available to order from SEAT retailers nationwide from 8th June.

The SEAT Leon remains a core model for the brand in the Irish market. The new fourth generation Leon will launch with traditional TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines. Mild hybrid technology will also debut for the first time for the brand in the eTSI range.

There will be five engine options in total. Petrol choices include the 1.0 TSI 110hp and a 1.5 TSI 150hp. The diesel options include a 2.0 TDI 115hp and a 2.0 TDI 150hp DSG. New to the range is the mild hybrid petrol engine - 1.5 eTSI 150 hp DSG.

The new Leon will be available in four trim lines: SE, SE+, Xcellence and FR.

The interior of the new Leon
The interior of the new Leon

Standard features will include 16” alloy wheels, an 8” media system and SEAT Connect, adaptive cruise control, light assist (high beam assist) and fatigue detection.

The Xcellence and FR trims offer customers even more additional features as standard with 17” alloy wheels on Xcellence and 18” alloy wheels on FR, a full digital cockpit, full LED lights, 'coast to coast' rear lights, wrap around interior lighting, a connectivity box and more.

The new SEAT Leon uses the Volkswagen Group's advanced MQB Evo platform as its foundation. The car has been designed, developed and produced in Barcelona, at the brand’s Martorell facilities. Overall vehicle dimensions have increased with more interior space for rear occupants. The Sportstourer (estate) has more boot space than the model it replaces with a total volume of 620 litres. The hatchback has a boot volume of 380 litres, which is the same as the outgoing model.

The new Leon is also the safest vehicle the brand has ever developed thanks in particular to the integration of a state-of-the-art suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

The petrol range will start from €23,910, while the diesel SEAT Leon starts at €26,040.

A SEAT Leon plug-in hybrid ('eHybrid') is expected at a later date. It will use a 1.4-litre petrol engine, 13 kWh battery and electric motor, producing an overall 204 hp and can drive on electric power alone up to 60 km (WLTP) using just the energy stored in the vehicle’s battery.

The Leon will be available in Ireland with petrol and diesel engines, with mild hybrid technology featuring for the first time
The Leon will be available in Ireland with petrol and diesel engines, with mild hybrid technology featuring for the first time

Pricing and PCP offers for the 2020 SEAT Leon in Ireland

EngineRRPPCP Monthly Repayment
1.0 TSI 110 hp SE€23,190from €239
1.0 TSI 110 hp SE+€24,765from €239
1.0 TSI 110 hp Xcellence€26,710from €259
1.5 TSI 150 hp Xcellence€28,390from €279
1.5 TSI 150 hp FR€28,390from €279
2.0 TDI 115hp SE€26,040from €269
2.0 TDI 115hp SE+€26,885from €279
2.0 TDI 115hp Xcellence€28,835from €299
2.0 TDI 150hp Xcellece DSG€32,090from €329
2.0 TDI 150hp FR DSG€32,090from €329
1.5 eTSI 150hp DSG Xcellence€30,890from €299
1.5 eTSI 150hp DSG FR€30,890from €299

*PCP monthly repayment is based of 2.9% APR financed by Volkswagen Financial Services Ireland.


Connolly Motor Group have joined the SEAT dealer network in Sligo

Connolly Motor Group Joins SEAT Network

Connolly Motor Group have joined the SEAT dealer network in Sligo
Connolly Motor Group have joined the SEAT dealer network in Sligo

SEAT Ireland has announced Connolly Motor Group in Sligo as the latest dealer to join the brand's network of 24 dealers, marking another significant step in the expansion of the brand's presence in Ireland.

The dealership will be the first SEAT dealership to open in Sligo and will host the full SEAT range including the SEAT Ateca, the SEAT Arona crossover and the 7-seater SEAT Tarraco. The Connolly dealership will also host the well-established SEAT models, Ibiza and Leon, as part of its fleet.

Ten new full-time jobs will be created as a result of the opening, bringing the total number of employees of the Connolly Motor Group to 280.

Since opening its first dealership in Ballina in 1939, Connolly Motor Group, has had continuous growth with dealerships in Mayo, Galway and Sligo. The family-owned group offer sales and aftersales in both passenger and commercial vehicles and specialise in used vehicle sales. The new dealership will be led by Dealer Principal Neil Connolly and his team: Brand Manager Padraic Gallagher, Sales Executives Morgan O’Reilly and Niall Taylor, After Sales Manager Shane Rochford and Service Advisor Martina Blee.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director of SEAT Ireland said, “SEAT Ireland is delighted to welcome Connolly Motor Group to its nationwide network of dealerships. The team at Connolly’s has a brilliant reputation for excellent customer service and their level of experience and expertise will hugely benefit SEAT. There has never been a better time to join the SEAT network as the brand continues to expand, we now have the largest and newest product range in our history”.

On partnering with SEAT, Neil Connolly, Connolly Motor Group Director said, “We are delighted to be investing in the SEAT brand and bringing this great brand to people in the Sligo region. Being part of a group provides us with the additional benefit and financial stability that comes with having multiple dealerships.

We are proud to be a family-owned group and the foundations of our success is the people who work with us, the manufacturers we represent and of course, our valued customers. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. My brother Kevin and I are extremely proud to be bringing more jobs to Sligo and delighted that we can breathe new life into a building that has been lying vacant in Collooney.”

This new addition to the SEAT dealer network comes after the brand recently reported its highest sales figures in 19 years. Year to date SEAT has sold more than 4,000 units, up 10.5% compared to the market which is down 7%. This gives the brand a record high market share of 3.5%.


The 2020 SEAT Tarraco PHEV

Seat Tarraco FR PHEV For 2020

The 2020 SEAT Tarraco PHEV
The 2020 SEAT Tarraco PHEV

SEAT’s Tarraco SUV will soon be available as a plug-in hybrid FR model, as well as in a sporty FR trim for other engine variants. The new SEAT Tarraco PHEV (plug-in hybrid vehicle) will form’s part of SEAT’s strategy towards electrification, which will include five electric and plug-in hybrid SEAT and CUPRA models by the beginning of 2021.

The Tarraco's plug-in hybrid powertrain system consists of a 1.4 litre TSI 150hp petrol engine, 85 kW electric motor and a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The car can be driven in pure-electric mode for around 50km or combine the petrol engine and electric motor to provide increased performance.

Total output for the system is 245hp (180kW)/400Nm giving the plug-in hybrid Tarraco a top speed of about 217km/h and the ability to reach 100km/h in just 7.4 seconds. CO2 emissions are expected to be below 50g/km on the official WLTP test cycle.

A new sporty FR trim will also become available on other Tarraco variants in 2020. This features wider wheel arches, a rear spoiler and FR-specific 19” alloy wheels, with an option of machined 20” wheels available.

There is also a new colour for the Tarraco FR – Fura Grey and there are new safety and practicality features including trailer assist.

SEAT’s latest generation infotainment system features including a new navigation system with 9.2’’ screen. There are also electrically adjustable sports bucket seats with memory function (for the driver side), aluminium pedals and a new sports steering wheel with FR logo.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director at SEAT Ireland said: “We are excited to introduce the FR trim and PHEV derivative to the Tarraco range. The SEAT brand is performing exceptionally well in this market, and the all-new Tarraco continues to contribute to this success. Ever-changing consumer demands for e-mobility mean we must constantly develop our product range. The plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, engine offers the consumer the choice of electric power with a traditional combustion engine and with the SUV segment thriving in the Irish market we can now combine the consumers’ desire to own an SUV and move one step closer to electrification.”

The SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV will make its world debut at this year’s IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show in September.

The SEAT Tarraco arrived in Ireland in 2019 and is available as a five and seven seat SUV. Click here to read Caroline's review of the new SEAT Tarraco 2.0TDI.


The new SEAT Tarraco!

Seat Tarraco Review

The new SEAT Tarraco!
The new SEAT Tarraco!

Caroline drives the new SEAT Tarraco!

In the last few years, SEAT has grown its portfolio of cars with the addition of a new family of SUVs, including the Ateca and last year’s compact Arona. But now it’s the arrival of the Tarraco that looks set to enhance SEAT’s prospects even more. The new SEAT Tarraco is not only the brand’s largest family SUV, available with five or seven seats, but it’s also a new flagship model for the brand.

With pricing starting from €34,700, the SEAT Tarraco enters a significantly crowded market of family SUVs. Yet the Tarraco is certainly one of the most spacious of its ilk so in that way it’s a properly accommodating family car. Five seat models are standard but you can get two extra seats in the rear for an additional €1000, turning your Tarraco into the seven seat family mover of your dreams.

The SEAT Tarraco is available from €34,700 in Ireland
The SEAT Tarraco is available from €34,700 in Ireland

Stylish and practical family SUV

The SEAT Tarraco hides its bulk well in the metal, being creased in all the right places for a classy, discrete presence. However to distinguish the Tarraco, there’s some more elaborate design touches synonymous with the ambitious Spanish brand. There’s drama in the big, upright grille and sharp LED headlights with SEAT’s triangular signature design, as well as a defining light strip along the rear of the car.

SEAT Ireland has launched the Tarraco in two trims, SE and Xcellence, with even SE models getting LED lights and 18” inch alloys. The Xcellence model I had on test (from €39,885) had 20” alloys added as an option but standard kit includes 19” alloys and a special Xcellence styling kit.

Standard equipment is very good across the range with SE models getting 8” touchscreen, cruise control, digital instrument panel, SEAT drive profile, tri zone climate control, keyless start, front assist, city emergency braking, lane keep assist and rear view camera. Xcellence models add electric tailgate, adaptive cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, and park assist.

The interior of the SEAT Tarraco
The interior of the SEAT Tarraco

Inside the SEAT Tarraco

The interior of the SEAT Tarraco has a simple and elegant design with a digital instrument panel as standard and 8” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Quality is some of the best we’ve seen from SEAT to date. There are also some more distinct elements to this cabin like the stylish brushed chrome trim inserts and the digital instrument panel with unique graphics and three different views to choose from.

The cabin feels large and spacious and there is loads of space for second row occupants. There are two optional seats in row three. There is not a lot of legroom back there, but the split fold rear bench in row 2 can be slid forward and back to create more space. The boot is a huge 760 litres with a wide aperture and a powered tailgate is standard on Xcellence trim.

Rear seating in the SEAT Tarraco
Rear seating in the SEAT Tarraco

What are my engine options?

The new SEAT Tarraco is available in Ireland with a 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol (150hp), a 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol (190hp) and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel. The 2.0-litre TDI is available with a manual gearbox with a power output of 150hp or in automatic DSG 4×4 guise with 190hp.

My test car was a 2.0-litre diesel with 190hp paired with a DSG automatic transmission and four wheel drive. It was a wonderful combination with smooth gearshifts and lots of power, making it an effortless drive whether in town or country. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 7.2l/100km, while motor tax is €390 per year for this model.

The SEAT Tarraco is built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB-A long wheelbase architecture but SEAT say that they have tweaked it to make it more like a SEAT, with a bit of sportiness and flair to the driving experience.

Boot space in the SEAT Tarraco when the seven seats are in place
Boot space in the SEAT Tarraco when the seven seats are in place

On the road in the SEAT Tarraco

The light controls make it easy work in the urban environment, while the diesel was smooth and refined around town. There is only so much that the Tarraco can do to disguise its size and weight in corners, but it handles with enough agility for this class of vehicle. The refinement and comfort of the car is truly special also and the Tarraco moves through the air with incredible ease.

The SEAT Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT, showcasing some of the best quality, comfort and refinement the brand has to offer. It’s a spacious and practical vehicle with a versatile interior that should serve family well.

The Tarraco is stylish and well equipped with well proven engines on offer so it can truly command its position in the market as a stylish, quality and desirable SUV. This is such a pleasant car to drive every day, with ride quality and refinement that gives a surprisingly premium feel to the Tarraco. In that way SEAT has really delivered on the premise of a flagship model for their brand and the Tarraco is an aspirational vehicle that will turn heads.

The Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT!
The Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT!


Caroline Kidd

Model
tested: 
Tarraco
2.0TDI 190hp DSG 4Drive Xcellence (7 Seat)
Price:
€51,460 (Range from €34,700)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
190 hp
Torque: 400 Nm
0-100km/h:  
8 seconds
Top speed: 209 km/h
Fuel economy:
37.2-38.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 
147g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


The 2018 SEAT Arona

Seat Arona Review

The 2018 SEAT Arona
The 2018 SEAT Arona

Caroline reviews the SEAT Arona.

The SEAT Arona is SEAT’s new compact crossover based on the excellent SEAT Ibiza supermini. Sporting a raised ride height and gruffer off-road looks, the SEAT Arona range starts from €17,995 in Ireland and is sure to attract a lot of fans.

For buyers looking for a larger SUV, SEAT already offers the Ateca. But the new SEAT Arona slots neatly into the burgeoning B-SUV segment. The Arona uses the Volkswagen Group’s new small car platform and has been honed and tweaked to make it a formidable competitor in its segment where the Renault Captur currently reigns supreme.

Though compact in size, SEAT has really made great use of the space available. The Arona is one of the roomiest of its ilk and the footwells in the rear are generously sized so it feels anything but cramped back there. The Arona can house a good 400 litres in its boot and the flat loading sill makes it practical for every day use. The rear doors also open wide.

Inside the dashboard design is similar to the SEAT Ibiza supermini so there is a clear, logical layout and a nice mix of materials to add interest to the harder plastics. Infotainment is provided via a 5” or 8” touchscreen depending on model, with Apple Car Play and Android Auto available on all but the base model.

The interior of the SEAT Arona
The interior of the SEAT Arona

In Ireland the Arona is offered in four trims: S, SE, Xcellence and FR. Standard equipment includes electric windows, air con, Bluetooth and Front Assist. SE (from €20,715) adds more including 16” alloys, LED taillights, front fog lights, leather steering wheel and cruise control.

Buyers looking for more equipment and individuality can select an Xcellence or FR model. Both are similarly priced from €22,815, with the Xcellence being pitched as the more upmarket one and the FR pitched as the sporty one with the SEAT Drive Profile Selection to spice things up behind the wheel and sportier styling.

What's the SEAT Arona like on the road?

My Xcellence test car was very well equipped with keyless entry, some updates to styling including special alloys, chrome trim and chrome roof rails, parking sensors and camera, park assist and a special interior finish. Equipped with SEAT’s excellent 1.0TSI petrol 115hp, this model has a competitive list price of €22,815. This model is cheap to run with motor tax costing €200 per year. My fuel economy was 6.5l/100km over a week of driving.

Other engine options include the 1.0TSI petrol with 95hp, 1.5TSI petrol with 150hp and a 1.6TDI diesel with 95hp. But the 1.0TSI really is a star performer in the Arona: it’s nippy and refined with a perfect spread of power whether driving on motorway, town or country roads. Add on top of this the Arona’s agility, quick steering and supple suspension and you have one of the best compact crossovers to drive.

The 2018 SEAT Arona
The SEAT Arona is a delight to drive, roomy and well-priced

It’s fair to say the compact crossover market in Ireland is loaded with competitors but if you go to check out the SEAT Arona you will find a fantastic all-rounder. The Arona offers great space and practicality on board for this class of vehicle. It’s compact, agile and fun to drive making it a great small family car. The Arona is competitively priced with lots of equipment and technology available so deserves to do very well in its segment.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: SEAT Arona Xcellence 1.0TSI 115hp
Price: 
€22,815 (Range from €17,995)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
115hp
Torque: 200Nm
0-100km/h:  
10 seconds
Top speed: 182km/h
Economy: 
4.9l/100km
CO2 emissions:  
113g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year