2002 Seat Leon SX 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Good looks and fast; can be naughty at times with silly faults


Alternator pulley broke off.

Brake pedal switch has gone on me twice.

Clutch jammed due to plastic part breaking on pedal.

Immobiliser fault so can't start the car with the key; a quick fix is to bang the dash, then it goes away.

Door locks like to self lock.

Door seals can leak.

General Comments:

Love the car, even with the faults I've had with it. Mine is a 110 BHP remapped to 150 BHP, decatted and it makes a BIG difference; would recommend to anyone who has one of these. Not many Leon Mk1s in the Northwest UK, so it may go up in value one day, especially the Cupra and FR models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2017

18th Aug 2017, 22:07

Seats are good cars since Volkswagen's influence at some point in the 1990s when they took over. Don't know about its value rising any time soon though - a mate of mine has a 1996 Toledo Sport and it is in mint condition with low miles. A Seat enthusiast would still only offer about £1000 for it. But that may rise in another few years.

2002 Seat Leon TDI SE 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Solid, reliable, comfortable car


Alternator failed at 82000 miles.

Air con clutch failed at 110000 miles.

Occasionally lets in a little water when it rains hard, common fault on Leons and Golfs apparently.

One rear coil spring failed at 150000 miles.

Air mass flow sensors last 20-30k. Common VW fault.

Apart from that had no major problems.

General Comments:

The car has been very reliable over the past five years and 70000 miles.

I've had a few minor electrical gremlins, most of which I've been able to fix myself.

Considering the high mileage it's done, very few major parts have been replaced. For example the catalytic converter went at 130000 miles, but that was the original from when the car was made! I have only replaced one wheel bearing, one CV joint, rear brake calipers and front discs. No suspension bushes or dampers.

The excellent mid range torque makes it a great motorway car. It has good fuel economy, averaging 49 MPG.

It offers good handling, but I'd like more steering feel. The clutch is a bit heavy if you're stuck in traffic for a long time.

Some parts are quite expensive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2011

2002 Seat Leon SE 1.9 TDi turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Superb value for money, power, comfort and grace in one small package, and she's been reliable!


Yesterday, 21st January, at a total mileage of 210k miles, the original radiator failed! Not bad going!

The offside rear brake lamp failed last year, just the lamp, not the unit. Interestingly though, this triggered a flashing glow-plug warning light! Nothing in the handbook about this, just found it on an Internet search!

Cam belt failed, six months after being replaced by a local "specialist". Problem was that they tried to sidestep any responsibility due to the fact that car had traveled more than 15k miles since the belt had been changed, and their warranty was only 12 months/12k miles, but we argued, successfully, that they did not inform us they were using non-standard parts. This is important: if they had been done at a proper dealer, we would have been given a two year, unlimited mileage warranty. Oh, and when we needed the belt/tensioners changed again, we checked with dealers and found that the Skoda dealer was the cheapest, even beating the "specialist"!

Er, apart from that, no issues! 210k miles, home serviced, apart from timing belts, and only now has the radiator failed. I'd call that result!

General Comments:

Car is great! Okay, the SE model gets sports suspension, so it does feel the bumps, but that is the trade-off for good road holding and confident cornering.

Economy has been superb, almost constantly in excess of 50mpg, very seldom does it fall below that, and usually only as a result of really spirited driving.

Servicing costs have been minimal, oil and filters every 10k miles, the odd fuel filter, brakes as and when required.

We fitted Continental Contact 2 tyres, they seem to really suit this car, and last for around 40k miles whilst being relatively cheap and quiet/comfortable.

The cabin may not be the brightest of places to be, but then that is just betraying the fact that the dash was lifted, lock, stock and barrel from the Audi A3.

The audio system, as standard, is more than adequate, so much so that we haven't even thought about upgrading or changing it!

The boot isn't huge, but the rear seats fold and this adds some great space!

Diesel noise isn't at all intrusive, unlike the Octavia with the same engine that we also own. In fact passengers are often shocked to discover they are in a diesel car!

Paintwork, after 210k miles, okay the front end has typical gravel rash, but that is hardly the car's fault. Once washed, the car still gleams the way it did when she left the showroom.

Something else that people just do not believe either: this car is still on its original clutch! Yes, that's right, 210,000 miles and still the same clutch!

To sum up, the MOT tester last year did not believe the odometer reading (at that point it was just breaching the 200,000 mile mark) and was convinced we had been forced to swap the clocks at some point in the past for high-mileage clocks! He fully believed he was testing a sub-100k mile car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2010

19th Sep 2010, 08:44

Did you get the pulleys and water pump changed with the original cambelt? I was told by my local specialist that this is essential on the diesel Mk1 Leon. A seized water pump will often throw off the belt and cause massive engine damage.