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Leon will become the benchmark for everything we do, says Seat director



1.6-litre diesel 103bhp
0-62mph 10.7 secs; 119mph top speed
5sp man
99g/km CO2; 74.3mpg
RV 3yr/30k
Start mileage
Current mileage
Key rivals
Ford Focus, Kia Cee’d, Mazda3



Our January write-up of the Leon turned the spotlight on a Seat dealer for an opinion on the car and the brand. The dealer raised concerns, not about the car, but about the over-reliance on the Ibiza for sales and the need for sportier, design-led cars in the range, to reflect more honestly the ‘passionate’ image pushed in Seat’s marketing.

AM took the comments to Seat UK director Neil Williamson. “The Ibiza model’s enduring popularity is something we’re very proud of, and long may it continue,” he said.

“The new Leon will not just emulate that success, though, but surpass it. The Leon five-door outsold the Ibiza five-door in the UK last year, despite only being on sale from March, and with the introduction of the Leon SC and Leon ST – both firsts for the model – there’s every reason to believe the Ibiza will soon become Seat’s second-best-selling model.”

Williamson said the Leon embodies the mix of ‘Spanish-inspired’ styling and Volkswagen Group technology and quality, together with value for money.

“It will become the benchmark for everything we do from here,” he said.

On the issue of Seat living up to its marketing message, the Leon again carries the torch.

“In the Leon Cupra, our dealers now have a halo product to get really excited about, and with the forthcoming Leon X-Perience (a family-sized crossover based on the ST), we’ve got something really unique.”

Looking beyond this year, the Seat SUV (confirmed earlier this month) will arrive in 2016, a vehicle which Williamson says dealers “have been crying out for”.

“Our dealer network is our lifeblood and we’re always looking to make it simpler and more profitable to work with us.

“That, combined with the outstanding new Leon family and forthcoming SUV, makes this a very exciting time for Seat dealerships,” he said.

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