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19 Jul 2017

Facelift (What's New)
1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecomotive petrol engine delivering 114bhp and 200Nm of torque
Updated infotainment system with Full Link connectivity
Full LED head lights and taillights

It may pack a smaller engine than before, but the Seat Leon ST proves that you can make meaningful downsizing progress without compromise.


For whatever reason, it seems like stationwagons are having a little renaissance of sorts. Across multiple brands, stationwagon model variants have steadily re-emerged in Singapore, and we're quite chuffed about it. Why? That's because stationwagons are cool.

This here is the facelifted Seat Leon ST, the Spanish brand's stationwagon offering.

The biggest change is under the hood, where you will now find a 1.0-litre engine packing 114bhp and 200Nm of torque

So what's different?

The significant change is under the bonnet. The Leon ST is now offered with a 1.0-litre TSI Ecomotive engine. It may have dropped 200cc worth of displacement, but the power output from the engine has been bumped up to 114bhp and 200Nm of torque. Some people may chuckle at the notion of a 1.0-litre powerplant (there are motorbikes with bigger capacity engines, they say), but don't let these naysayers fool you. With the trend towards downsizing, car manufacturers are producing some lovable small capacity engines, this Leon ST a case in point.

The three-cylinder engine is a perky unit that pulls with verve, especially when you hit the torque band between 2000rpm to 3500rpm. During the long drive across the island for a whole day, the engine never feels exhausted, even at highway speeds. Yes, no one's going to call this car a 'fast car' (0-100km/h takes 9.8 seconds), but the Leon ST has no delusions of grandeur. It's a car about practicality and sense, and this engine suits it perfectly.

The updated infotainment system is a welcome sight, elevating the quality of the cabin

So it's just a new engine, then?

Nope, there have been other updates as well. As part of the facelift, the Leon ST now comes equipped with Seat Full LED - LED head lights with daytime running lights, LED tail lamps, number plate LED and Highway Assist (standard on this Special Edition variant that we drove). Other than that, the exterior is unchanged.

Inside, the biggest change is the updated infotainment system, which is much nicer to look at and is easy to use. The Full Link capability also lets you conveniently access your phone's functions using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Beyond that, it's essentially a Volkswagen - everything is neatly designed and intuitive to use, if admittedly on the utilitarian side. You do get a wireless phone charger for Qi-enabled phones. It also acts as an antenna enhancer, even for phones that don't have the Qi charging capability. This means that even if you drive to some ulu part of Singapore, you can still get a signal for your phone. 
In the practicality department, the Leon ST packs a 587-litre boot (slightly less than the Golf Variant, which has 605 litres), and is expandable to 1,470 litres with the rear seats folded.

It's all practicality and sense, so it can't be any fun to drive, right?

You'd be mistaken. When we drove the Seat Leon some time ago, we were impressed by how it managed to combine comfort and pliancy with nimbleness and spirited handling when you throw it into some corners. The Leon ST doesn't drive the same, but the overall sensation of spiritedness is still present.

The sporty exterior is enhanced by full LED head lights with daytime running lights

Through corners, the chassis feels tight and composed. There's not much feel through the steering wheel, but the car handles neatly. It may have extra booty hanging out at the back, but you don't feel it.

Driven sensibly, the overall ride pliancy is good. Yes, it's firmer than the Golf Variant, but it's not uncomfortable. The seamless seven-speed DSG gearbox appears to be geared shorter, which is probably for the purpose of efficiency. Thus, we managed to get about 14.3km/L, which isn't too shabby at all.  

Downsize without compromise

So why are stationwagons cool? It's because while they may be designed for the purposes of practicality, the good ones find a way to not overly compromise the overall driving sensation. And compared to your countless sport utility vehicles, there are fewer of them on the road. Their relative rareness makes them more unique.

The Leon ST proves that just because carmakers are downsizing their engines doesn't mean that the end result cannot be good

We like stationwagons. And we like this facelifted Leon ST because it manages to make progress and take the next step in engine downsizing without great compromise. 



Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

3-cylinder 12-valve

Engine Cap

:

999cc

Horsepower

:

85kW (114 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

200 Nm / 3500 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

9.8sec

Top Speed

:

202km/h

Fuel consumption

:

22.7km/L

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