2001 Seat Leon Cupra 4 1.9 TDI 150 HP from Slovakia


A real street sports car


The hose between inter cooler and engine loosened up and the engine was taking "false" air, this resulted in zero performance and thick clouds of smoke coming out of the exhaust. It happened three times.

General Comments:

Now the car has about 220hp. It has a "hybrid" turbo (KKK27 cool turbine in original KKK26), a racing CAT, cool air intake, new exhaust system (SEBRING) and chip tuning.

It handles like a sports car and has no problems during winter - especially because it's a 4x4.

The acceleration is also very impressive - I've beaten a 911 Porsche once.

The gas mileage is just perfect - 7 liters per 100km.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2002

28th Dec 2002, 03:47

"I've beaten a 911 Porsche once"

In your dreams!

2001 Seat Leon SE 1.9 TDI from UK and Ireland


Good value


Scratches on the bonnet, dealer fixed.

Cassette not working, dealer fitted new radio.

Clutch squeaked, dealer eventually fixed after three attempts.

General Comments:

50 mile to the gallon.

Have driven to South of France and back, with no problems at all.

Have not had a water leak yet.

Good boot, together with SEAT roof bars and roof box, we can get family of four and camping equipment in.

SEAT service quite expensive though.

Build quality OK so far.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st October, 2002

2001 Seat Leon S 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A good car, at a good price, mainly let down by water incursion problems


The airbag warning light came on and stayed on. The dealer ordered a replacement part, but when it came - eventually - it was broken and had to be reordered. There was then another long period before the replacement made an appearance.

According to the dealer, a design fault caused water to collect inside the rear passenger side door, which then flooded the car. It took some time for this to be fixed.

There have been other problems with water collecting on the door sills of the front passenger and driver's side. Again this required dealer attention.

The front passenger side indicator unit became dislodged from the headlight unit causing water to get in and subsequent condensation. Fixing this meant that the dealer had to remove the front bumper.

Sometimes getting the car into reverse gear is a bit of a problem.

General Comments:

Apart from the annoying problems mentioned above, the car is good and handles well.

It particularly suits Flash Red and the car is much admired by colleagues and complete strangers.

The specification is good (air conditioning, alloy wheels, central locking, etc.), but I wish that the dealers and Seat, in particular, could source parts more quickly. The parts I have needed have never kept the car off the road, but I wonder how they would respond if the opposite was true.

Rear visibility on the car is poor which makes reversing very tricky and it would be good to have some more legroom in the rear.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th September, 2002

17th Oct 2002, 14:38

The car is now 16 months old and has only covered 13500 miles. However, since this original report was written, the car has broken down and has had to be towed to the nearest Seat garage. The car has now been in the garage for almost two weeks and they still have not worked out what the problem is. I am told that the engine is getting fuel and a spark, but it will not run.

Current thinking is that it is the engine management system at fault (two other 'possibilities' have been tried without success.). However, the garage doesn't know, as yet, which part of the engine management system it is. This means that they cannot order the correct part and therefore the car remains unusable.

Has anyone had similar problems?

I am fast becoming disillusioned with Seat service.

7th Feb 2003, 09:34

Well, it's a VW group product and I'm afraid that my own experience with a new Passat and lots of other peoples' experiences suggest: Avoid like the Plague! Hope you find better luck with another car.

29th Jun 2003, 04:28

My wife has just purchased a 2001 'S' model Leon and it has just gone back to the dealer to have leaky doors rectified, after pooling in front nearside and rear offside foot wells.

This is a shame as the sales pitch rates them better than the VW Golf which I have owned for many trouble free years.

We are now suffering Lights coming on and staying on.

11th Aug 2008, 12:19

We bought a brand new SEAT LEON 1.6S back in 2001. Great, we thought at the time. Relying on perceived and marketed VW quality and reliability... This was a big mistake. The car has proved to be complete rubbish.

In the first year of ownership the car was plagued with faults such as: airbag warning light coming on, requiring approx 20 trips back to the dealership to have the system re-set, then there was the sodden carpets due to the leaky door seals, not to mention faulty coil packs and mass air meter failure. Oh! And just for good measure poor paint quality on the driver's door which needed repainting by the dealership.

If all you want is a pretty little car then the LEON fits the bill.

If, however, you want or need a car that is pretty but also delivers on Quality AND Reliability... DON'T GO INTO THE LIGHT... there are plenty other motors that will meet the criteria.

We can honestly say we would not buy another SEAT ever again. The ownership experience is pathetic.