One of the big takeaways from my time with the the Leon Estate was its fuel economy. Despite returning below the claimed 44.1-47.9mpg, at around 41mpg, I was still astounded at how far it could make its fuel go, using just one quarter of its 50-litre tank in 150 miles of stop-start driving, and with more than 400 miles of range remaining.
The economy didn’t come at the expense of driving enjoyment, either, with the car's 150PS steaming through the seven-speed 'box and putting in a good effort at acceleration, taking 8.7-seconds to reach 62mph and topping out at 135mph. The gearbox is smooth and well-ratioed, but while flappy paddles behind the wheel offer a degree of control they are a little slow on the uptake. There’s a spot of lag if you really put your foot down, too, but I'm yet to drive a car that doesn’t do that. The mild-hybrid system is smooth and barely noticeable, while the brakes are ample for the task and nothing more.
Two modes of ‘Drive’ and ‘Sport’ are available, with the latter understandably the more enjoyable and engaging. However, if you have too much fun, or leave it in Sport mode indefinitely, a warning flashes up on the dash, alerting you to the uneconomic nature of your drive. It’s quite literally a spoilsport!
The sports suspension (the FR's reid height is dropped by 15mm compared to the rest of the range) manages its 1,410kg weight well, holding the car steady into bends and offering ample grip coming out. Despite its dimensions, the Leon Estate feels agile, precise and firm. The weighted steering is smooth and direct, however it pre-empts bends ham-fistedly – just one of a handful of slightly irritating driver aids.