Arrived: February 2011 List price (including options): £17,355 Average economy: 43.6mpg
The SEAT Leon Ecomotive has been -
Changing hands. Having spent some time with a photographer, piling on the miles while full of tripods and filters and stuff (I don't really know what photographers carry, to be honest), the Leon has switched to family duties for a while. It's come up north to a clan with two kids and a desire not to spend too much money on diesel.
We're loving the -
Well, having run a pre-facelift diesel SEAT Leon on Yahoo! Cars' long term fleet before, we've been looking forward to seeing if this updated version has ironed out some of the issues we first had. Mainly the ride, but to be honest the cabin ambience wasn't so great either: a bit drab, a bit plastic.
But all's improved, we can already say. Granted, our Ecomotive car is on smaller wheels and thicker tyres then the 17-inchers of the Sport we did have. Still, it just seems to have packed up its tent from the rock hard ground of Sportstown and pitched it a little further towards the soft turf of Comfortville. The cabin quality is about the same, but a nicer set of air conditioning controls and a couple of other little bits have improved the environment noticeably.
But not so impressed by -
SEAT's model badging policy is a little confusing, because it uses the Ecomotive appellation on quite a lot of stuff - Ecomotive meaning green. A straight Ecomotive badge just means that your SEAT has some fuel-saving technology on it, whereas the most economical versions of a particular range are called E Ecomotive. Which is what our Leon is.
Anyway, the claimed economy for this car is 74.4mpg - pretty staggering for a smart family hatchback - but we're only getting 43.6mpg. In solitude, 43 miles per gallon is a decent return - but where have the 31 miles gone? In fairness, there's every chance we're to blame for the anomaly: we've done a lot of door-to-door mileage already, and some rather enthusiastic motorway stuff. But it's still a big, big drop. We're going to try, suffice to say, to gain some extra miles per gallon over the next few weeks.
We're looking forward to -
Well, apart from our fuel economy challenge and getting reacquainted with a Leon (we really did like our last Spanish long termer), there's not a great deal to look forward to, in the sense that you'd look forward to Christmas or a visit to a cottage cheese convention. We'll see how it does as family transport, and particularly in light of the car it's replaced, a Skoda Yeti. That's the Skoda Yeti we've let go of while believing it the best pound-for-pound family car on sale today. Big shoes to fill, Leon.