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Syphon

SCN Admin
Site Owner
Feb 28, 2002
7,015
857
North Somerset
www.seatcupra.net
Each of the four generations of the SEAT Leon has been ahead of its time while maintaining the same DNA throughout its more than 20-year history. Designed, developed and created in Barcelona, they all share the same essence that has made the Leon a pillar of the brand, and with more than 2 million units sold so far, a legend that continues to grow. “This is the model that put SEAT on the world map of motoring, thanks to its design, technology and quality”, says Isidre López, who is responsible for SEAT’s Historic Car collection. 





All four generations together



1st Generation (1999), impressive debut. 



MK1 SEAT Leon



Designed byGiorgetto Giugiaro...
Continue reading...
 
Last edited:

Nathan penney

Active member
Jul 8, 2017
280
288
Liverpool
I’ll kick this off then.
All brilliant cars each with their own qualities. ( Not seen a mk4 yet in the metal)
But I’m gonna be bias and have to say the mk1.
Had 3 from 2001 to 2006 then returned with my current LCR 3 years ago.
Apart from the rear dividing opinion when they were released, every review back then was full of praise for the mk1 Leon.
Well built reliable compact hatch with the added bonus of being a good looking car.
I also liked the fact when I bought my first one not many people knew what it was. Helped by the fact that there was no Seat dealer in my home town of Wigan I used to get lots of great comments about it even though it was just a 1.6s model.
Fast forward 19 years the car still looks good today. How many cars can you say that about?
That’s my vote, but all great cars.
Suppose the Mk3 should get a mention too for brining the Leon to the masses.
 
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SteveW

Active Member
Jul 1, 2020
49
41
Salisbury, Wiltshire
I've always liked the Mk1 shape, it reminded me a bit of a Mk2 Astra when i first saw one! I agree, they still look reasonably modern even today. A Mk1 Fr 1.8 turbo was the first Leon I ever drove - was a company car that a colleague at work had at the time back in 2005 (54 plate) and was lovely to drive. He'd had a Mk4 Golf GTI turbo before the Leon and he preferred the Leon.

I'm sorry to say I don't like the look of the front of the Mk2 Leon, but it was another really nice car to drive. We had one of these as a pool car at work, a 1.9 diesel and obviously wasn't as quick as the Mk1 FR I'd driven previously, but it felt solid and well built enough. I liked the way the rear door handles were "hidden", but just couldn't get over my issue with the front of the car - but that's just me and my personal opinion I guess ;)

Fast forward another 11 years and I'm now the owner of a Mk3 FR ST and absolutely LOVE it. Can't fault it all all so far and it does feel like a real "quality" car.

I guess the Mk3 has to be my favourite because it's the one that I own and am so pleased that I bought it over the other cars I was looking at (Octavia vRS estate and Focus ST estate).

But a special mention to the Mk1, a cracking car especially the performance versions :)
 

andycupra

status subject to change
MK1.
simply because the cupra models stood out. I remember the first couple of years in my cupra how many random people would ask me about the car, the looks I got from other drivers simply stopped a the lights and so on. I have never owned a car so long at this one, then the LCR later was another step up, brilliant experience. It was also really very competitive price wise you got a lot for your money.

I've driven MK2s..i never quite warmed to these, the front end didn't quite work for me, I think a stubbier front end would have been better and the grill was a disaster. Interior felt cheap in my opinion. Although it still maintained a design that mean it stood out a little.

MK3 nice looking car, nice car.. but it simply doesn't stand out, and there is a lack of differentiation for the cupra models to the rest of the range. (ok ok so engine and dynamics are fantastic) but it lacked something to set it out from the rest.

Ford focus MK4 - mmm.. there is potential here, if they were to give it a nice makeover for the cupras, but I suspect this will not be the case. Not to mention what the cupras will cost.

overall, though seat has come along way from the Mk1 to Mk4, but I think its moved up the ranks of the potential market so its competing in a tougher field.
 

knoted

Active Member
Oct 23, 2012
53
7
Aesthetics will always be subjective, but basic design concepts can at least illustrate a personal preference with an explanation that makes sense.

- The MK1; in its heyday, I have always found it to be very charming / inviting. Retro-actively, I guess you could say it was sort of what the new Mazda 3 is doing now as a style statement.

- The MK2; I used to have one and freaking loved it. Generally speaking I prefer lines and silhouettes which FLOW without interruption. The MK2's side view silhouette windshield and arching roofline certainly adhere to that principle as does the smooth flowing door panel crease. Basically, this is also why I loved the look of the Astra J, which to me, was very similar to the MK2 Leon.

- The MK3; It's OK-ish tp me, but the 2nd crease at the C-pillar / tail light irks me to no end; because it's basically interrupting the flow of the bigger front crease. The overall silhouette seems box-ier than the MK2 which is why I like it a bit less.

- The MK4; Sigh.... it seems to try and pull off what the new Mazda 3 is doing so incredibly well as a style statement, but the new Leon falls flat on its face trying.....
Again... The MK4 has that interrupted crease line... breaking line flow. yuck..and although the design language features more organically sculpted lines, the overall silhouette proportions have become even MORE boxy (even Seat themselves said the A-pillars are now a bit less swept back/more straight). Why not go straight to a beveled 3 box design then?
Ironic, how I always hated the previous Mazda 3's with their sagging belt line/shoulder line, and I loved/liked the Seat MK2 & MK3, but now the roles have inversed and I dig the look of the new Mazda 3 but strongly dislike the MK4 Leon.

So, as a former MK2 lover/owner, the only contemporary Seat which could draw my interest would be the El Born since it also has that nice silhouette flow going on.
 

Nathan penney

Active member
Jul 8, 2017
280
288
Liverpool
Aesthetics will always be subjective, but basic design concepts can at least illustrate a personal preference with an explanation that makes sense.

- The MK1; in its heyday, I have always found it to be very charming / inviting. Retro-actively, I guess you could say it was sort of what the new Mazda 3 is doing now as a style statement.

- The MK2; I used to have one and freaking loved it. Generally speaking I prefer lines and silhouettes which FLOW without interruption. The MK2's side view silhouette windshield and arching roofline certainly adhere to that principle as does the smooth flowing door panel crease. Basically, this is also why I loved the look of the Astra J, which to me, was very similar to the MK2 Leon.

- The MK3; It's OK-ish tp me, but the 2nd crease at the C-pillar / tail light irks me to no end; because it's basically interrupting the flow of the bigger front crease. The overall silhouette seems box-ier than the MK2 which is why I like it a bit less.

- The MK4; Sigh.... it seems to try and pull off what the new Mazda 3 is doing so incredibly well as a style statement, but the new Leon falls flat on its face trying.....
Again... The MK4 has that interrupted crease line... breaking line flow. yuck..and although the design language features more organically sculpted lines, the overall silhouette proportions have become even MORE boxy (even Seat themselves said the A-pillars are now a bit less swept back/more straight). Why not go straight to a beveled 3 box design then?
Ironic, how I always hated the previous Mazda 3's with their sagging belt line/shoulder line, and I loved/liked the Seat MK2 & MK3, but now the roles have inversed and I dig the look of the new Mazda 3 but strongly dislike the MK4 Leon.

So, as a former MK2 lover/owner, the only contemporary Seat which could draw my interest would be the El Born since it also has that nice silhouette flow going on.
Your point about the new Mazda 3 I totally agree with.
Think I’ve pointed out on another thread somewhere that it looks like that’s what the Leon could have evolved into now if they’d followed the original curves of the mk1.
It’s one of very few cars that catch my eye out on the road these days.
Fair do’s to Seat though, each generation of the Leon has looked totally different to the previous one even if it has divided opinion.
Not many manufacturers are brave enough to do that are they ( Volkswagen, cough cough) lol.
 
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Seastormer

Cupra 280/CBF1000
Apr 25, 2014
4,026
275
64
Edinburgh (Scotland)
Mk3 for me, the Mk4 in FR form looks not bad, may look a lot better when Cupraised, need to wait and see, but still think 3 doors are what a hot hatch should have.
 
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