JOE’s Car Review: SEAT Leon FR – the 184hp version
Last week, JOE’s Oisin Collins had the pleasure of driving around in the most powerful SEAT Leon FR on the market, so here’s a look at how he got on.
Okay, so first things first. I’ve already tested out the SEAT Leon FR (you can read the review here), but that was when I tested the 150hp version. This time around, the kind folk at SEAT Ireland let me test out the FR’s most powerful engine yet: the 2.0L TDI 184hp.
The 2.0L TDI 184hp engine is only available in the FR spec, but if you’re thinking of buying a new car with a lot of bite then you should definitely think hard about this one. I’ve never wanted to buy the car that I was testing as much as I did with this particular Leon FR…
The SEAT Leon is a gorgeous motor in it’s own right, but with the FR trim it really, REALLY stands out from the crowd. The FR spec receives some minor updates on the front bumper that make it look a tad sportier than the normal Leon, but it’s the head lights that really make it stand out.
They look like the eyes of a nocturnal predator that’s quietly stalking its prey. That’s pretty much what the Leon FR 184hp is like as a car in general and as soon as you put the foot down the 2.0L TDI engine pounces as if it was going in for the kill. That's no surprise though, as ‘FR’ stands for Formula Racing, so there's already a fairly big indication that the car is fast and powerful, and that's before you even hear the low growl of the engine for the first time.
The Leon FR 184hp is incredibly quick off the line and it handles like an absolute dream, but push the car too far and its powerful engine will be ready and waiting to bite you in the arse.
The 184hp engine emits 112g of CO2 per kilometre (combined) putting it in the 101-110 tax band, which will cost you jut €190p.a. in tax, while the fuel consumption comes in at just 4.3L/100km or 54.7MPG in old money.
Even after a week of driving the Leon FR in-and-out of work, not to mention a few trips around Sally’s Gap in Wicklow, the car still had just under half a tank of diesel left in it.
If the 184hp engine sounds a bit too much for you, then you can choose from five different diesel engines, or from four different petrol engines in the new Leon. Three of them feature in the FR including the 2.0L TDI 184hp, tested above, the 2.0L TDI 150hp (also available with a DSG gearbox) & 1.8L TSi 180hp.
The Leon FR starts at €27,095, but once you start putting in extras such as 18" machined performance alloys, the eye catching titanium painted mirrors, Alcantara sports seats and sound system, the price rises slightly to €31,000. Still, it would be money well spent in my opinion and the Leon FR is sure to still look like a brand new car in years to come. The only thing that looks more exciting right now is the Leon CUPRA 280…
There was genuinely nothing bad to report or to point out about the car and even though we’re only one month in to 2014, the Leon FR 184hp is already shaping up to be one of JOE’s Cars of the Year.
For more about the SEAT Leon FR 184hp and the entire range, make sure to check out SEAT.ie.