The new generation boasts a new grille with a smaller Seat logo and more stylised chrome surround as well as larger headlights, new door mirrors and new wheel designs. Meanwhile, at the rear, the glass area is made larger to deliver greater visibility, while the rear hatch and light clusters have also been modified.
Inside, there are important modifications to the instrument panel and centre console as well as changes to the door panel trim and materials resulting in a modern, more ergonomically efficient passenger compartment. All versions feature new upholstery, with new leather seat options in the Leon. Meanwhile, Leon FR versions are now set to offer a combination of black fabric (for the seat sides) with eye-catching red or silver Alcantara down the middle.
The revisions to Seat's Leon and Altea family are much more than skin deep, though. Engineers at the advanced Martorell Technical Centre near Barcelona have been working to include a raft of crucial if 'invisible' engineering upgrades to the new models.
Perhaps chief among these is the addition, depending on specification, of XDS electronic traction control technology. Mimicking the function of a conventional limited slip differential but doing without the costly and heavy mechanicals associated with existing systems, XDS works together with ESP to improve the car's performance in situations where traction is lost by braking the wheel that loses grip.
In its home market the broad engine range on the new Leon, Altea and Altea XL models now offers ten choices: five petrol and five diesel. They have all undergone a significant engineering evolution with the emphasis firmly on improved performance as well as reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
A 211 PS 2.0-litre TSI engine steals the spotlight in the petrol engine range, while the most important innovation among the diesels is the arrival of common rail technology to the 170 PS 2.0-litre TDI. What's more, all versions equipped with Seat's slick DSG automatic sequential manual gearbox now feature motorsport-style shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The equipment list has been significantly upgraded. Besides the XDS system which is exclusive to the Leon, Seat's new vehicles can feature additions such as Hill Hold Control, bi-xenon headlights with AFS and daytime driving lights, a new climate control system, new audio equipment, cornering fog lights, front and rear parking sensors and an optical parking system displayed on the new navigation system.
UK pricing and full specification details for Seat's revised Leon and Altea line-ups will be released closer to the models' showroom debut here this summer.Seat Tarraco production starts
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