With the odometer primed to reach 2,500 miles in the first five weeks of ownership, the Leon ST is proving adept at coping with my daily motorway commute. Despite my initial despair at its lack of adaptive cruise control, I have settled back into the ritual of constantly engaging and disengaging the basic standard system in rush hour traffic – before giving up completely and relying on my own right foot.
The built-in navigation has been a favourable travel companion, with up-to-the-minute traffic reports ensuring I am well aware of the daily A14 blockages before I reach them. It’s relatively simple to use and comes with the added bonus of being programmable by voice or using the steering wheel buttons – much more preferable than jabbing at the screen and festooning it with fingerprints.
The seats have caused me no bother either, despite being influenced by ‘bigger brother’ Audi in terms of firmness. There is adequate adjustment, including height for the passenger seat, and the steering column can be adjusted for both reach and rake.
The Volkswagen influence on ergonomics is clear from the concise layout of the cabin and tactility of the controls.
My only gripe – which may sound petty, but it is irritating – is that the key needs to be twisted at an excessive angle to fire the car into life. I’d much rather see a push-button start system, which the majority of our other test cars currently benefit from.
The upcoming Ateca SUV will be the first model from Seat to use this technology.
A more frequent need to keep the air-con running has meant a slight reduction in fuel economy. Average consumption is currently hovering at around 58mpg, giving me a range of 580 miles – still respectable given the engine is only just starting to loosen up.