I was chuffed, it was a case of new car, new job, as after just a month working for Business Car Manager, editor Ralph announced he wanted me to run the new long-term SEAT Leon ST Ecomotive.
Why was I chuffed? Well, the latest Leon is a car I’ve experienced and enjoyed in five-door hatch and three-door ST forms already and would go as far as to say I think it’s a better option than the current Volkswagen Golf.
With a young family, the still stylish ST estate seemed the perfect fit and it would be a challenge to see if I could match the Ecomotive’s impressive 85.6mpg consumption claims.
Anyway, I’ve had the Leon roughly a month now and increased the factory tight delivery mileage of just 62 to a looser, 1,200 miles.
The first major challenge was a 450-mile round trip to the Wirral, with my wife, which gave me a real chance to bond with the Leon.
A mixture of A and B roads, plus motorway showed that the SEAT was generally a comfortable, refined performer and the optional LED headlights are the best I’ve tried.
However, the Ecomotive’s lower, stiffer suspension unsettles more than other Leons I’ve driven on unmade surfaces and the optional Sat-Nav, with finger-sensing technology, just isn’t as intuitive as other VAG units I’ve used in the past.
Kind traffic on our outbound four-hour trip, saw the best consumption I’ve seen with this car yet, at 61.3mpg. More impressive, was the fact that this car had barely 300 miles on the clock at the time.
Heavy traffic through the rush hour on the journey home saw this figure drop to a more realistic 56.8mpg, but I’m pleased to say it hasn’t dropped below 50mpg yet – even on short, around town trips.