With a plethora of brands worldwide, the Volkswagen Group has become a modern version of classic General Motors. Globally there are eight brands under the VW umbrella – Audi, VW, Porsche, Seat, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Skoda and Bentley.
Seat has been hasn’t got as much attention or development dollars as the rest of VW’s brands. For instance with the Exeo, Seat received a repurposed previous generation Audi A4. The idea isn’t half bad, but VW has bigger plans for Seat’s future. Lately, there has been signs of more investment. That brings us to the new Leon, arguably Seat’s best offering yet.
As far as hatchbacks go, the Leon ranks up there as one of the most stylish. The model debuts new styling details for Seat, such as a refashioned logo and polygonal LED headlight graphic. There’s an effort to establish a bit more of an identity for Seat as a brand. It is still very Audi, but we’re sure that is intentional. VW’s design has never been about offering much differentiation, much to the chagrin of those of us in the automotive industry. Out back, there are hints of Alfa Romeo style – another brand VW has feverishly worked to try to bring under its umbrella.
The cabin is a nice place to spend time, with a driver-focused environment. There is little in the way of clutter; it is more minimalist than most modern interiors. And, with it’s two-tier structure, it works to stand out from Audi’s interiors. A plethora of engines will be available (two at launch, a startling seven in total), but the one we’re interested in is the 181-horsepower 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder. Unfortunately, the Leon won’t be offered in the U.S. In the past there have been some rumors about VW looking to bring the brand to our shores. Lately those have died out though as a U.S-centric, heavy volume emphasis has been placed on the VW brand.