If you need family transportation, there are a multitude of shiny, spacious family SUVs for sale that are very useful and fashionable. Ah, but what if you don't fancy an SUV? What if you want to buck this trend for high-rise cars? What if you need something with an even bigger trunk? Questions, questions, questions, questions, but don't worry, we have the answer: go for an old-school, low-slung car instead. Allow us to introduce you to the stylish Seat Leon Sportstourer.
This is the third generation of the Leon, which has been on sale since 2012. Like the compact model on which it's based, the Leon ST has been kept fresh with updates that include new engines such as the appearance of an eco-friendly version with Compressed Natural Gas, an upgraded infotainment system and extra safety kit.
Under its striking bodywork, the Leon ST is closely related to VW Group rivals that include the Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf. Outside that circle, it competes with other family-sized models, including the best-selling Ford Focus and Opel Astra.
If you choose the Seat Leon Sportstourer TGI, you'll notice that its ride is firmer than that of, say, a Volkswagen Golf estate or Ford Focus. Overall, it manages to remain comfortable, but you'll notice a bit more jitters on highways and jagginess in town.
FR trim adds sport suspension, which is even firmer. Again, it's tolerable, but the result is more of the above, and it can really hit over steeper bumps and expansion joints taken at speed - more so than the Focus ST-Line equivalent.
This adaptation maintains the gasoline system, adding the possibility of using compressed natural gas as fuel, having a greater autonomy with NGV than with gasoline. There is no reduction in power or notice a slower speed when driving in either gasoline or CNG mode, on the contrary it is a smoother and more fluid driving
You should have no trouble getting comfortable in an NGV Leon ST. The steering wheel moves in and out, as well as up and down, while the seat has height and lumbar adjustment as standard on all versions and provides good cushioning on a long trip. FR, Xcellence and Cupra models have a sportier seat with extra lateral support.
All models also come with a height-adjustable center armrest, and the controls you'll use regularly - for heating and ventilation, for example - are clear and placed within easy reach.
There's room for three in the back, but if all three are wide adults, it's a bit tight. If it's just two, only the super-tall will complain about legroom or headroom, and the Leon ST is on par with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf Estate. The Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus Estate are noticeably roomier in the rear as is the truly huge Skoda Superb.
Rear seat passengers don't have much storage space. There are useful compartments in the doors, each large enough for a reasonably large bottle of drink. It's also quite airy and light, so passengers won't feel cramped on long journeys.
The Seat Leon Sportstourer is a good family vehicle for any kind of route, with competitive prices, lots of equipment and decent running costs, especially if we choose the TGI version with CNG and if we have a pump where we can refuel comfortably.
Power: 130 hp
Fuel: Gasoline + CNG
Warranty up to 2 years
Length: 4.54 meters
Mixed fuel consumption WLTP Gasoline: 5.6 l/100 km