[YesAuto Review] I used to think that the SEAT brand has something to do with the chair. Maybe it was used to make furniture before… Not a guess, you see Peugeot made saw blades a long time ago. In fact, SEAT is the abbreviation of “Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo” in Spanish, which is translated into “Spanish Automobile Group” for the time being. This brand has just arrived in China, so I think a little introductory text will be useful.
What kind of car is LEON? Like the Volkswagen GTI, it is a compact family hatchback that pays attention to performance, which is what we commonly call the “small steel cannon.” It is divided into three versions of 1.8T FR, FR+ and 2.0T CUPRA. Today we tested the 211 horsepower, 280N·m CUPRA. There is no doubt that its most direct opponent is the same brother: Volkswagen GTI. The indicators of the two are very close, and it is inevitable to compete.
The engine model is quite familiar, right? EA888 appears on many models of Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda. Is there aesthetic fatigue? In fact, compared with Magotan, GTI and other cars, the high-power 2.0T engine used by CUPRA is still superior. The piston ring, air flow sensor, high-pressure oil pump, vacuum pump and other components have been upgraded. Oh, by the way, there is also a 6-speed wet dual-clutch gearbox, which is also an old face.
● Driving experience
The name LEON reminds me of Luc Besson’s classic “LEON”. The Chinese name is determined to be “This killer is not too cold”. This may be one of the worst translations in the history of film, as if in jasmine tea. Throw a handful of MSG. If LEON is compared to a killer, it is actually not too cold. Why do you say that? Look down.
You must remember the tight suspension of GTI. In order not to disappoint the long-awaited domestic consumers, it dare not relax at all. The LEON CUPRA from Spain is much more relaxed. It is said that SEAT’s designers specially adjusted for the road conditions in China before coming. In actual driving, its suspension comfort is indeed better than that of the domestic GTI, which is common in performance cars. The harshness is erased, the bumps are handled more gently, and the seat seems to be a bit more comfortable than the GTI. Simply put, its daily comfort is better than GTI.
But don’t underestimate its strength in handling. We took CUPRA to a mountain road far from the city and had a good experience. The high body limit impressed me very well. The fierce movements within a reasonable range can be handled with ease. The feel and direction of the front of the car are slightly softer, neither the excitement of GTI nor the sluggishness of ordinary family cars. Such a setting meets the expectations of potential consumers for it. It is extremely fun and not tiring to drive.
The power and transmission system need not be described. Before the appearance of BMW's N20 series 2.0T, the Volkswagen Group's EA888 2.0T was once the most prestigious star (the world is really changing fast). The engine and the dual-clutch gearbox work well together. The S gear can provide plenty of power at any time. Because of the wide torque output platform, driving becomes easier for novices. You don't need to pay attention to the gear selection, just focus on the road ahead.
The design of the LEON instrument panel is full of drama. The tachometer is placed in the center. The speedometer on the right reads very publicly. The bottom of the table is 280km/h, and the 9 o'clock position is already 80km/h. You really need to pay attention when you first come up. Keep pressing the accelerator lightly. Speeding may occur for a short period of time. Engaged in S gear is still so familiar and brave. The gear drops and the speed increases. The whole car enters a fighting state. With a kick to the end, it can jump directly from the 6th gear into the 2nd gear. With the clear shifting impact, the body The perceived speed-up pleasure has also increased rapidly. At this time, enjoy the fun of the small steel cannon. The 2.0T+ dual-clutch combination is really wasteful if only creeping the body in the city.
Performance cars will do something about the exhaust sound. The same is true for LEON CUPRA. It is very enjoyable to listen to from outside, but there is a headache in the cabin. Daily driving of its gearbox tends to be high gear and low speed. The resonance in the car is the most obvious in the range of 1000rpm to 2000rpm. That is to say, if you use the D gear to move at low speed in the city, you must always endure this. The buzzing test, if you want to solve the problem, downshift in manual mode, and the speed is more than 2000rpm.
● Fuel consumption test
However, increasing the speed will increase fuel consumption. What is the fuel consumption of LEON when the D gear is turned on normally? In this fuel consumption test, we ran 132.6 kilometers, including highways above 100km/h, which accounted for about 30%, about 25% of the roads were congested, and the rest were ordinary roads with signal lights in the urban area.
Finally, it consumes 11.36 liters of No. 95 fuel, with an average fuel consumption of 8.57 liters/100 kilometers. In this test, the high-speed cruise accounted for a little more, and the dual-clutch gearbox can effectively reduce fuel consumption under this working condition. It is a pity that China's urban planning is far behind the economic growth rate. In the case of frequent congestion, CUPRA's fuel consumption figures will increase. We are satisfied with the 8.57 liters/100 kilometers performance, which is in line with expectations.
● Performance test
Entering the performance test section, the official acceleration score per 100 kilometers is 7.1 seconds, which is relatively conservative. The fastest result we measured is 6.78 seconds.
The tire slip at the start is not an exaggeration. After the vehicle moves, the power is fully exploded, and the front wheels begin to idling violently. From the graph, the acceleration G value can be maintained at around 0.5g in the entire first gear. The performance is in place, and it cuts into the second gear. There was an explosion afterwards, and an acceleration G value of 0.5g appeared again. We were quite satisfied with this explosive power, but the initial front wheel idling wasted a lot of power, and the final result was not amazing. But in the daily driving process, its power reserve can certainly meet your needs.
The braking performance did not reach the expected level. If you talk about “Little Steel Cannon”, you must have a figure of at least 38 meters, and our actual measured number is 40.79 meters. It's good in a family car, but it's average in a performance car. On the graph, you can see that the maximum brake G value can reach -1.17g, which is very strong, but the suspension is slightly softer and affects the overall performance.
LEON CUPRA is currently the seat with the best performance in the Chinese market. Today, it has shown considerable athleticism in our performance test, coupled with personalized product design, youthful brand positioning, and Substantial preferential policies can indeed attract young consumers who value independence and prefer original imports.
Everyone will inevitably have to compare it with the domestic GTI. From the product level, the two are evenly matched, but the difference in brand awareness is not a little bit different. In the days before the official import of the Golf R, GTI has always been synonymous with performance small steel cannons. It must take a while for LEON to climb to such a height.
Domestic? It is unlikely. The SEAT brand needs a sporty temperament, not a price-performance ratio, so it is best not to copy Skoda's approach. Seat may still feel aggrieved, the tax is too high, but consumers will not think about it for you, so try to set the price more convincingly and steadily. Fortunately, LEON is currently doing this.
Today's article only introduces the performance aspects. Regarding the exterior design, interior, configuration, space, etc., the shopping guide channel will launch experience articles in the near future. Readers who like LEON, please stay tuned!
At present, SEAT 4S stores all over the country have given considerable discounts. If you are interested in this car, you may wish to click on the link to check the local 4S store quotation. There may be surprises.
● LEON CUPRA and Golf GTI configuration comparison