SEAT Leon e-Hybrid engines, drive & performance
Like all SEAT Leons, the hybrid version is a lovely car to drive; electrification just makes it faster and more responsive
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The addition of an electric motor and battery has done nothing to spoil the fundamental strengths of this latest SEAT Leon: like its 1.5-litre petrol-engined sibling, the e-Hybrid is fast and punchy. Acceleration, as noted below, is swift – although if you really floor it the engine can sound quite strained. The din dies down at motorway speeds, where the Leon proves itself to be an accomplished and relaxing cruiser.
One area where the Leon gives ground to its Mercedes A 250 e rival is the integration of the petrol and electric parts of its drivetrain. The SEAT is by no means a poor effort in this regard, but the Mercedes is just that little bit smoother when transitioning between the two power sources, and makes more of an effort to stay in electric mode more of the time.
SEAT Leon e-Hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
Sprightly performance is a hallmark of plug-in hybrids, thanks to the extra power provided by the electric motor working in concert with the petrol engine. In the Leon e-Hybrid, that translates to a respectable 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds, while top speed is a heady 137mph.
Like any Leon, the e-Hybrid doesn't roll about too much in corners and responds eagerly to steering inputs. That sharp handling and steering does mean ride quality is on the firm side, but many find that an acceptable trade-off for a more involving driving experience.
In This Review
- 1VerdictWith a strong pure-electric range, stylish looks and family-friendly practicality, the SEAT Leon e-Hybrid is one of our favourite plug-in hatchbacks
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingSub-30g/km CO2 emissions and over 200mpg fuel economy are the official claims for the Leon hybrid, while charging is reasonably swift from either a wallbox or socket
- 3Running costsThe hybrid Leon offers an ultra-low 6% Benefit-in-Kind rate for company-car users – but only in certain trim levels
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingLike all SEAT Leons, the hybrid version is a lovely car to drive; electrification just makes it faster and more responsive
- 5Interior & comfortThere's little in the way of interesting design inside the Leon hybrid, but it is high-quality, logically laid-out and well equipped throughout
- 6Practicality & boot spaceBoot space is reduced to accommodate the hybrid Leon's battery pack, but otherwise it remains a reasonably practical family hatchback
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Leon scored well in EuroNCAP crash-testing, and although there's no long-term reliability data available just yet, signs are promising