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Seat Leon 1.5 eTSI Review: The Bright Side

The entry-level Leon is great for Singapore and well-optioned.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
23 Dec 2021
On the road, the car is just so polished for the mundane tasks of the everyday.
What we like:
Fairly well-equipped and pleasing to drive…
What we dislike:
… But some cost-cutting is evident.

After trying the Cupra Leon, you’d think the basic Leon would not be on par.

Somehow, it did not fall short.

With a peppy little 1.5-litre engine paired with mild hybrid technology (dubbed eTSI), which also happens to be closely related to our Powertrain Of The Year 2021, the car rarely feels slow unless you’re really in a hurry. In most situations, it is punchy and on cold starts, it even sounds fairly sporty.

Speaking of sport, there is only one trim level in Singapore - the racier FR. That means the car comes already very well-equipped. There is the 10.2-inch digital cockpit, wrap-around ambient lights and an electronic differential lock. My only wish was that it ought to have the higher-end multi-link suspension for the rear, as opposed to the torsion beam. There is also clear evidence of cost-cutting elsewhere, like the lack of gas struts for the bonnet, but VW is guilty of this, too.

Rear passengers would likely want more comfort, but it is not a deal breaker. It is by and large still a very plush car, with great sound insulation and road manners. Although the looks have toned down a little from the previous generation, there is an upside: its drag co-efficient improves by 8% over predecessor.

On the road, the car is just so polished for the mundane tasks of the everyday. It does it so very well, but with just a little more flair. For instance, the way the wraparound LEDs surround you at night does uplift the ambience, and the way it integrates the blind spot warnings is also very clever.

Compared to the usual suspects, it undercuts even the base Golf by some margin, and you could only get a lower-trimmed Octavia for roughly the same money. It is a value play and looking at the bright side, it will make you feel younger too.

Credits: Text and Photos by James Wong

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