Seat Leon 1.6ltr 2006

Seat Leon

I heard a new report that said “Nature has stopped us flying”. He was talking about the Icelandic volcano that’s been firing ash into the sky over most of Europe. Do you know what? Nature is doing what nature does, it’s growing through violence. The reason we are not flying places  is my pet hate; Health and Safety.

There is nothing like the little men that count the cost of something bad happening before it happens. Their soul job is to look at the possibility of something bad happening and they stop you doing it. It’s not that it will happen its that it might.

Do you know that little yellow sign that you see in supermarkets when the floor is being washed? Well that’s not really health and safety, that’s there because way back when someone was washing a floor and there was no warning sign. Once a person fell and got hurt there was a court case and the shop was put out of business because they didn’t tell the person the floor was wet. Thus began the ministry of the bleeding obvious, it didn’t take long for “contents hot” to appear on the cup of coffee that you just filled yourself and “contains Egg” to materialise on a box of eggs.

Seat don’t have a Health and Safety department, or at least in 2006 they didn’t. There are no warnings in the Leon except one sticker on the passenger side reminding you not to but a baby seat in the front. There are no warning bongs telling you about the car starting/stopping/lights/reverse or anything warning like. I think Seat believe the driver should know these things happen.

The car I drove is the first of the new model, it’s a 1.6ltr 102hp engine from an A3 which give decent enough fuel economy and performance. The 0 to 60 time is over 11 seconds and that’s slow, but for a hatchback car it’s fine. The model for the Irish market was called “Sport up”. That came with bucket seats, dual zone climate control, leather steering wheel and gear shift, 17″ alloys, ABS, Traction control, tyre pressure sensors, and the list goes on.

It looks sporty and handles very well, there’s a little under steer when your getting lairy. In making the Leon Seat had a good rummage around in the VW parts bin, almost all underpinnings come from a Golf which should make it reliable. At the time it went on sale in Ireland there was no 1.4 petrol version or indeed Cupra/FR so the price was pointed accordingly. The Sport up version was 25000 Euro which was good at the time, if you compare it to a Golf with the same kind of spec your going to pay 35000 and maybe more. Which is a bit much seeing as the Leon is a Golf in a different dress.

The Leon has all the bells and whistels, most of the good stuff from VW with a little Spanish madness. If your looking for a really good package in a second hand car you could do a lot worse than the Leon, there are no better buys at this kind of money. Stop thinking about the badge.

If your buying a newer one check that engine, the later ones have some problems when they stopped using the Audi engine. Stay away from the early 1.4ltr, get one with a turbo from 2008. The Diesel 1.9 is great as is the Cupra. The FR range is confusing and just isn’t the same as a full bore Cupra model.

As you might be able to tell I love the Leon, it does everything a car should, and looks good on the driveway. In fact I liked it so much I bought one.