SEAT has put its first-ever plug-in hybrid Leon on sale in Ireland. With a starting price of €30,740, it's a key part of SEAT's expanding electric offering, which will shortly also include plug-in hybrid versions of the Ateca SUV, and the high-performance Formentor PHEV from the now-separate CUPRA brand. CUPRA will also shortly be launching its own fully-electric model, the El-Born.
Best of both worlds
SEAT claims that the plug-in hybrid Leon e-Hybrid offers 'the best of both worlds' with a 64km claimed one-charge electric range. It uses the now-familiar 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol four-cylinder engine, combined with a 13kW battery pack. That battery can be charged in 3 hours and 40 minutes from a 3.6kW home charger, and when you combined the battery and a full fuel tank, SEAT reckons that the Leon e-Hybrid can get you as far as 800km away before you need to find a petrol station and/or a charging point.
CO2 emissions are quoted at 30g/km, while the official fuel economy is a fairly optimistic 1.3 litres per 100km. Thanks to a healthy 204hp combined power output, performance is decently brisk, with a 7.5-second 0-100km/h and a top speed of 220km/h. If you want more, you'll have to wait for the more powerful CUPRA version of the same powertrain, which will have a more robust 245hp.
The e-Hybrid Leon will come in two bodystyles - the usual hatchback, and the rather handsome (and roomy) Sportstourer estate. There will be four trim levels: Xcellence, Xcellence Plus, FR and FR Plus. Xcellence has items such as 17-inch 'Dynamic' alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, three-zone air conditioning, 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment, full digital cockpit instrument panel, and wireless phone charging, with Xcellence Plus adding larger wheels (18-inch 'Machined'), front and rear parking sensors, Park Assist automated parking, predictive adaptive cruise control, a larger 10-inch infotainment system with navigation, voice control, a 'Winter Pack' (which means heated seats and steering wheel), traffic sign recognition, as well as side assist and exit assist.
If you step up to an FR-spec e-Hybrid, you get 18-inch 'Machined' alloy wheels and FR styling as well as driver profile selection, with the FR Plus model adding the larger 10-inch touch screen infotainment, electric driver's seat and the Winter Pack.
SEAI grant available
The Leon e-Hybrid starts from €35,740 on the road for the Xcellence five-door hatch and €37,225 for the Xcellence Sportstourer, but this drops to €30,740 and €32,225 respectively for private customers who can benefit from the SEAI grant of €5,000. FR models start from €35,740 for the 5-door hatch and €37,225 for the Sportstourer and these drop to €30,740 and €32,225 respectively for private customers that can avail of the Government grant.
If you're buying on finance, SEAT can offer you a 3.9 per cent APR PCP deal with monthly repayment starting from €289, or you can pick up an online 'scrappage' voucher worth €2,500 and take a 5.9 per cent finance package, with monthly repayments of €319. Both offers come with the option of a €9.99 per month three-year service plan.