it handled just as well as the hatchback ...
Ride and Handling
Like its five-door hatchback sibling, the SEAT Leon ST delivers lively, agile and responsive driving dynamics. Much of this is down to the cars lightweight build (1,331kgs) and fairly low centre of gravity. It means that you can throw the car around with confidence and the road-holding is beautifully sound.
At no time did the car feel or drive like an estate car. In fact, it handled just as well as the hatchback.
Our test car sat on 17-inch alloy wheels which seemed the ideal size as the ride was excellent and all the road’s uneven creases were ironed out by the highly effective suspension system. All Leon ST models get MacPherson-type front suspension (although FR cars are lowered by 15mm with stiffer springs and thicker anti-roll bars).
The steering was responsive and the electro-mechanical steering rack certainly helps to maintain a natural feel through the wheel while having enough power assistance to deliver a comfortable driving experience.
The driver benefits from a high standard of all-round visibility which is a real must for a family car.
Ease of Use
When designing what is essentially an estate car, it has to look anything but a load-lugger. Yet it needs to feature all the storage space you could wish for combined with easy accessibility and plenty of built-in flexibility along the way.
The SEAT Leon ST is a winner on all counts. It looks dynamic in its design, but has a massive boot capacity – 587 litres, which can be quickly increased to 1,470 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
There is a retractable parcel shelf as standard along with a place to store it within the boot, so it doesn’t need to be left behind in the garage.
Transporting longer items such as skis won’t pose any problems either as all Leon ST models have a through-hatch from the boot into the cabin. Elsewhere there are 13 cubby holes scattered throughout the car to hide away all those knick-knacks.
There is a fairly simplistic and clutter-free layout to the cabin. One feature certainly worth noting is the toggle switch on the multi-function steering wheel. This is very simple to use and gives the driver access to many of the car’s functions without taking their eyes off the road.