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New Leon is a real "X-Perience"

Created on 16/04/2015 @ 08:20
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With SEAT sales in the UK going through the roof the timing looks perfect for the company to move into the SUV sector and the newly launched Leon X-Perience is a taste of things to come.

The company is planning a range of three SUVs over the next few years and while the name of the new model doesn’t roll off the tongue too well it looks certain to be another big success.
The X-Perience is not a ”stand-out in the crowd” offering and its raised four wheel drive set-up is a familiar look but for the motorist looking for more space and some off-road ability it really fits the bill.

Leon was a great success in 2014, delivering 154,000 units , which was 49.9% more than in 2013, making it the brand's best-selling model, and surpassing the Ibiza for the first time ever.

Now the first estate from the Leon family marries style, technology and driving dynamics with a 587 litre boot and four wheel drive ability. Though don’t be fooled into thinking this is an off-roader because there are limits.

The car runs in two-wheel drive mode for most of the time but if its intelligent system detects a slippy surface or increased weight the all-wheel drive system kicks in seamlessly – and I mean seamlessly.

On test was the 2.0TDi 150PS six-speed manual and it was virtually impossible to tell when the traction control system was telling the rear wheels to join in.
The SE model is identified by 18” alloys and black roof rails to separate it from the Leon family, along with twin exhausts and the X-Perience logo.

This model also gets a “real” spare wheel, a technology pack which includes a DAB radio, navigation system and a full LED headlight pack. You also get a convenience pack, elect mirrors, front sports seats with leather trim, a six inch colour touch screen control system, iPod connectivity and the ability to select your own driving profile.

The test car had an on-the- road tag of £26,370 but cruise control, an improved sound system and rear air bags added to the price to total £28,285. Surely the rear airbags should be standard?

This model is no slouch either with a top speed of 129mph and 0-62 in 8.7seconds. It will be cheap enough to run too with advanced technologies meani9ng you can expect to get an average of 57.6mpg with CO2 emissions of 129g/km.

Inside there’s ample room for five and when you fold the splitting back seats there’s enough space to cope with most family or sporting demands.

So who will buy this new arrival? SEAT has its eyes on other brand buyers who will be in the ABC1 bracket with children and an average age of 34-44. They will come from the adventurous and young spirited group with a high proportion interested in outdoor sports such as cycling.

SEAT expects a 50/50 split between retail and fleet buyers and is looking for the X-Perience to account for 8% of all Leon ST sales.

The 2.0TDi on test should be the best seller.

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