The new Seat Leon looks like a big contrast from the model it replaces, which was extra curvy in a typical last generation Seat kind of way. The new design language of Seat has alot more straight lines to it, almost Volkswagen-like but with subtle differences, such as a side view with a bit more character (the lines are called Linea Dinamica) instead of the more flatter lines of a Volkswagen.

Seat showcased this design language on concept cars like the Seat IBL Concept before applying it to production cars. The face is of course unique to Seat, and this car debuts Seat’s new slightly tweaked logo with a single split line going through the S instead of the previous double split line design.

The new Seat Leon is built on the MQB platform that also underpins the Audi A3 and the future Mk7 Golf. Wheelbase is up by almost 60mm, but overall length has reduced by about 50mm, which means a bigger interior but more compact exterior dimensions with shorter overhangs. The new MQB platform allows Seat’s engineers to position the front axle 40 millimetres further forward, which contributes to the wheelbase as well as allows a more balanced distribution of axle load, which in turn benefit comfort and handling. In addition, overall weight has been reduced by 90 kilograms compared with the previous version.

It doesn’t just feature LED daytime running lights, but Seat has also given the new Seat Leon full LED headlamps, which is a first in its class.

Engine options include various petrol and diesel engines ranging from 1.2 litres to 2.0 litres in displacement. All engines have direct injection and turbocharging, whether petrol or diesel. The basic oil burner is a 1.6 TDI making 95 PS, and a tuned up version of the 1.6 will do 105 PS and 250Nm. The 2.0 TDI makes 150 PS and 320Nm of torque or 184 PS and 380Nm, depending on tune. For the petrol engines, two 1.2 litre TSI engines will be available, making 86 PS and 105 PS. A 1.4 litre TSI will do 122 PS.

The top of the line petrol engine will be a 1.8 litre TSI putting out 180 PS, and this will combine both direct injection and port injection, which seems to be a new trend in internal combustion engines – Toyota also implements it in certain versions of its D4-S injection technology. From what we hear this new 1.8 litre will have an integrated exhaust manifold and an electric water pump.

The MQB platform allows different rear suspensions to be equipped based on usage. In the Seat Leon’s case, all engines with power outputs up to 150 PS will use a torsion beam rear suspension, while engines more powerful than 150 PS will get a multi-link suspension.