2003 Seat Leon SE 1.8 20v petrol from UK and Ireland


Dependable, great looking and comfortable hatchback. Does everything well


Virtually nothing - coolant temp sensor, brake light switch, handbrake warning light switch and aerial booster.

Genuine parts are cheap and readily available, as VW have an independent parts supplier chain set up for DIY mechanics and the trade, so you can avoid main dealer parts mark up whilst still using genuine parts.

I use main dealers for services (to get the stamp in the book) and do anything else myself. My main dealer is excellent and ensures I can get an auto trans courtesy car, as I can no longer drive a manual.

General Comments:

I purchased this car in 2013 from a used car dealer. I was convinced the price was an error or there was a hidden problem with the car. It has a full main dealer service history (Seat's fixed price servicing deal is fantastic), only a couple of previous owners (3 I believe), and it looked like an 18 month old car. I need an automatic due to injuries I sustained in a road accident in 2012, and need a dependable car as I commute 100 miles a day. The Leon has proved ideal; it's comfortable, has been very reliable, and the couple of items I have needed have been cheap from a company owned by VW who sell only genuine VW parts. Genuine VW parts are very cheap, far cheaper than for Ford or Vauxhall, while being better quality.

I simply can't find anything real to criticise the car on. There could be more interior storage as the door pockets are small, and the CD changer fills the glove box, but other than this, it's excellent.

Fuel consumption and performance with the auto box is typical rather than outstanding, but a well specified Leon is a great car. Look for a car with a full main dealer history in good condition and you shouldn't have much to worry about.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th September, 2014

2003 Seat Leon Cupra R 1.8 turbo from UK and Ireland


Watch out for BMW diesels!


There has been a fault with the airbag, as the light is on permanently.

Slightly noisy auxiliary belt when idling. Sounds more like the actual pulleys rather than the belt.

Fuel filler cap won't open via the button inside.

ESP button won't work.

Has loud tyre noise at about 40-50 MPH. Not sure if it's the hard compound tyres. Sound like front bearings have gone, but they have been checked.

General Comments:

So far the car has been good to own and lots of fun.

With the black 18in alloys and factory bodykit, it does look the part.

Economy wise I can get about 30 MPG average, even with a heavy right foot. I tend to use V-Power fuel, but don't know if it really makes any difference.

Road tax isn't too bad at £260 for the year. Insurance is not as high as I thought it would be.

Performance is average. Mine is the 210 BHP version as it has the AMK engine code. Sometimes it feels quite flat, but once it gets on full boost it's quite brisk. However, a BMW 320d kept up with me the other day quite easily, and could have passed me. Maybe a remap might be on the cards.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th June, 2011

2003 Seat Leon Cupra 1.8 T 20v from UK and Ireland


Very stylish and luxurious


Water Pump Failed @ 27.5K, common fault on the 1.8T engine. (replace water pump for metal impeller version and replace timing belt)

Rear door seals allow water into rear foot wells, but this is cured by punching a drain hole in the seal.

Rear lights leak water into boot, (replace seals).

Rear door speakers blown.

Coil pack failure @ 46k.

General Comments:

Remapped performance is excellent, and if you decide to also do suspension and brake upgrades, this makes for a very fast car.

Leather interior is very stylish and nice looking.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2008