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Seat Leon X-Perience 2.0 TDI

Compared with the Leon ST, the X-PERIENCE stands around 15 millimetres higher. Photo by Kyran O'Brien

Compared with the Leon ST, the X-PERIENCE stands around 15 millimetres higher. Photo by Kyran O’Brien

Seat’s latest car is a four-wheel drive version of its stylish Leon Estate writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it?  This pumped-up, beefier off-road version of Seat’s load-lugger is the latest addition to the Leon range, the X-Perience.

Who is it aimed at? It is aimed at buyers who need space and off-road ability, but don’t want to compromise on running costs.

Styling? The X-Perience adds four-wheel drive and subtle body cladding to the regular Leon estate, including rugged black cladding while roof rails complete the pseudo-SUV look.

Under the Bonnet? Powering our test car was a very impressive 2:0 litre diesel with 184bhp, it goes to 100 in seven seconds and fuel consumption is an impressive 4.9-litres per 100 or 57.6 mpg. CO emissions are just 129g/km.

What about inside? Inside it is virtually identical to the rest of the Leon range, uncluttered with good quality materials; Seat interiors have proven hard-wearing, but a little on the dull side. There’s plenty of space at the back with decent rear passenger legroom and a boot that can carry 587 litres.

On the Road? On the road the Leon has always been a good car to drive – and the X-Perience model doesn’t diverge from a trusted formula. Armed with 380Nm of torque, overtaking is smooth -and even when cornering the increased ride height is imperceptible. The four-wheel-drive system sends more power to the rear wheels when you need extra grip.

And Safety?   The safety and security kit is good : you get plenty of  airbags, traction and stability control and integrated assistance system. All you need now is a sense of adventure.

Options? Seat only offers the 2.0-litre TDI diesel unit  but you can choose  either 150 or 184bhp. The 150bhp version is available with a six-speed manual gearbox while the tested, higher-power model comes with the VW Group’s six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

Will it break the bank? Prices for the two-litre TDi with 150bhp start at €32,495 and the 184bhp at €35,495. Seat says a more affordable 1.6-litre is on the way in time for 152 registration that will be priced under €30,000. Interestingly the mechanically identical Skoda Octavia Scout costs €33,795, nearly €1,500 more that the Seat. Other rivals include Volvo’s V40 Cross Country, which starts at €29,195 for the front-wheel-drive version only, and Opel’s Insignia Country Tourer with a entry-level price of €39,295.

Verdict? Four-wheel-drive estates with high ground clearance and affordable running costs may be the perfect solution for many families, particularly those with young kids who love the great outdoors. With stylish good looks, affordable running costs and space the X-Perience is designed to meet to the demands of family life. But it is worth remembering if you don’t need the extra functionality – and, let’s be honest, many people don’t need a 4×4 – you may be just as well served with the regular Leon estate and an extra €3,500 in your pocket

 

Why you’ll buy one? Driving Dynamics, Subtle styling,

Why you won’t? Pricey; Limited engine range

 

Watch our video review below (Video Filming by Kyran O’Brien)

 

 

 

Rivals

Skoda Octavia Scout – priced from €33,795

 

Seat LEON X-Perience 2.0TDI 184hp 4WD DSG

Engine: 1968cc,  184bhp @4000, 380NM @1750 rpm
Max speed:  224km/h
0-100 kph:  
7.1 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) :
  129 g/km (Band B1 €)
Model price range: €32,495 – €35,495
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP :  5 stars
Fuel type:  Diesel)
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.9 l/100km (57.6mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 587 litres (1470)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Length: 4543mm
Width: 1816mm
Height: 1481mm
Wheelbase: 2630 mm

For more information check out Seat.ie  the Seat Facebook page or follow them on twitter here.

 

Geraldine Herbert

 

6th May, 2015

 

 

 

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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