Skip to content
Motorpoint logo
  • All Cars
  • By Make
  • By Model
  • By Body Style
  • By Budget
  • Electric Cars
  • Hybrid cars
  • Vans
  • Reviews
  • Aftercare
  • Stock Number Search

SEAT Leon interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

With supportive seats and plenty of adjustment in the seat and wheel, it’s easy to get comfortable in the SEAT Leon. Ahead of you are crisp, clear dials – whether they’re analogue or digital – and the touchscreen is within easy reach.

In terms of usability, it’s a case of newer isn’t always better, unfortunately. The old Leon has shortcut buttons to take you straight to the home screen or phone-mirroring options, plus physical climate buttons and dials that you can twizzle in the drizzle without taking your eyes off the road.

The latest Leon’s screen is bigger, but also busier as it’s used for nearly everything. There are climate control sliders beneath, but they’re imprecise – not to mention unlit at night. At least the steering wheel buttons are easy enough to work out.

SEAT has been clever with the materials it’s used. This isn’t a premium car so you will find cheap plastics out of the way, but the main bits you’ll touch – such as the steering wheel and dashboard – feel high-quality. Importantly, everything feels well constructed and likely to last a long time.

Standard equipment

Which trim level would you like your Leon in? There are six to choose from, starting with SE. This ‘essential’ trim level gets 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning and a touchscreen with phone connectivity and DAB radio. New-shape cars in this trim also get rear parking sensors, keyless start, LED headlights and extra active safety kit.

SE Dynamic adds 17-inch wheels, tinted rear windows, a bigger touchscreen and parking sensors at each end – plus digital dials on new-shape cars.

FR is SEAT’s sporty trim, a bit like Audi’s S Line offering, and boasts sharper bumpers, natty five-spoke alloy wheels, red interior stitching and twin exhaust tips. Extra kit includes ambient lighting, multi-zone climate control, folding door mirrors and a choice of driving modes. FR is the cheapest trim level on last-shape Leons to get bright LED headlights.

Next up is FR Sport, with its 18-inch alloy wheels and heated seats. Older cars get leather seats, while newer cars get Microsuede upholstery for a sporty feel. This suede material is fitted to last-shape FR Black Edition cars, which also get black wheels and trim.

Xcellence has a more premium intent, with silver trim inside and out, plus multi-spoke alloys. Inside, the Xcellence stands out with a reversing camera, wireless phone charging and keyless entry. Top-spec Xcellence Lux has different wheels and a longer list of driver assistance features.

Infotainment and audio

Straight away, there’s good news here – all modern Leons include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with wireless CarPlay on new-shape cars.

After a facelift in early 2017, all previous-generation Leons come with an eight-inch touchscreen mounted in the dashboard. This screen might be fairly small by modern standards but it’s super easy to use, with big, clear tiles for different functions. It’s pretty easy to work out the submenus and settings so you can personalise the car or see your efficiency data.

New-shape cars in SE spec are the only ones to get shortcut buttons, underneath an 8.25-inch screen. All other examples come with a 10-inch screen that fills its bezel much more confidently, but SEAT – like parent company VW – has tried to do away with as many buttons as possible. The result is that the infotainment screen is chock full of features, but the clusterbomb of icons and graphics aren’t always clear or useful.

Submenus are harder to find on the new Leon and everything takes one or two presses more than you expect. There are a lot of popups asking you to confirm your choice, and confusing layouts. It’s almost as if SEAT knows this, because our test car took several minutes to comprehensively guide us through the features on offer – which wouldn’t be necessary in a more intuitive system.

However, once you’ve got your head around it and remembered some of the major functions, it’s good to use. The screen itself looks great, and very modern, and it’s generally very quick to respond.

You no longer get the option to pick an upgraded sound system, but all cars get at least seven speakers. The standard system should be fine for casual listeners or people who never crank up the volume to unsociable levels.

Rear seat space

Even with the slightly sloping roofline, only very tall adults will find their hairdos brushing against the headliner. The Leon does very well for rear-seat space, with enough room for two adults to comfortably stretch out. Like its rivals, it’s possible to sit three people across the rear bench but they’ll have to like each other because elbow room will be tight.

The newer Leon has 50mm more rear-seat space than its predecessor, so this could be a consideration if you regularly carry tall adults – or if you have bulky child seats. On that point, though, the Isofix points in older Leons are more easily accessible, behind a clip instead of the zip you get in newer cars.

Boot space

Most Leon hatchbacks in the last 10 years have had a 380-litre boot, which used to be enough before SUVs became popular. Now, that boot space looks a little average even in the family hatch class, with the Peugeot 308, Skoda Octavia and Honda Civic all offering more. Even so, the Leon’s boot is plenty big enough for normal life, and folding the rear seats down frees up a large area that’s perfect for your latest Ikea haul.

Choose the Leon estate instead and boot space massively increases to 620 litres. Take that, SUVs. Whether it’s family clobber or labrador slobber, the Leon estate will take it all in its stride – and its boot opening, which is nicely square. If you regularly have to load heavy items, it’s worth considering that the Leon has quite a high and deep load lip.

Also remember that plug-in hybrid cars have some of their boot space bumped off by batteries. eHybrid hatchbacks get 270 litres and estates get 470 litres.

You may also be interested in

Review for Volkswagen Golf


8 / 10

The VW Golf is an efficient and premium-feeling family hatchback

Review for Ford Focus


8 / 10

The Ford Focus is an excellent, do-it-all family transporter

Review for Mercedes-Benz A Class

Mercedes-BenzA Class

8 / 10

The A-Class packs quality into a compact, city-friendly body