HERE ARE SOME ALTERNATIVES
Kia Proceed, £20,595
The 1.6-litre diesel Kia Proceed costs less than the Leon SC but it can’t match it for power and performance. It takes 10.5 seconds to reach 62mph and its top speed is a comparatively pedestrian 122mph. Its economy and CO2 emissions also compare unfavourably (65.7mpg (combined) and 112g/km). In fact, if you want to approach the speed and performance of the Leon SC FR 2.0 TDI I drove, you’ll need to switch to the far less economical petrol-fuelled Proceed GT (which is great, by the way).
Vauxhall GTC, £21,705
It’s not as pretty as its Spanish competitor but it’s certainly smart looking. Still, the Vauxhall GTC seems like a conservative choice compared to the Leon SC. The 2.0-litre CDTi Sport model has a smaller power output (163bhp) and lower top speed (134mph) and acceleration time (0-60mph, 8.4secs). With a combined economy of 58.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 127g/km, the GTC is known for its agility and is as sporty to drive as it looks.
VW Scirocco, £26,540
Volkswagen’s Scirocco remains one of the best looking coupes on sale. However, you’ll have to fork out considerably more money for comparative diesel performance. The 2.0-litre diesel GT 2.0 TDI (175bhp) will not be quite as quick (0-62mph, 7.9secs), quite as clean (134g/km, CO2) or quite as economical (55.4mpg, combined). Add to that the fact that the boot is considerably smaller at 312 litres (versus the Seat’s 380 litres) and the Leon SC looks like a bargain.