• Hi Guest why not show off your SEAT! (now fixed)
    You can now share your favourite car photos in the new media gallery including embedding pictures from your Instagram account.
  • Hi Guest! New high quality keyrings are now available to pre-order: order yours now.

Facelift Petrol v Pre-facelift Diesel

cliveseat

Active Member
May 15, 2008
148
4
West Yorks
Hello all. A long time since I posted, but thought I'd share a few thoughts, having recently moved from a '64 FR TDi 150 to a '67 1.4 TSi. With the Mk4 here imminently, the Mk3 is a bargain right now, so hopefully this might help anyone considering a plunge into the used market.
I've always liked Seats - having owned a Toledo V5 and an Exeo in the past - and really enjoyed the diesel Leon. But it was coming up to five years old and 48k miles and although nothing - and I mean nothing - has ever gone wrong on any of the Seats I've had, I decided I'd had enough of diesel, and wanted to go back to petrol power. Plus, the ride on the 18s, which I'd initially thought OK, wasn't doing much for my ageing back.
I'd have been prepared to move away from VAG - but the more I researched the opposition, the only thing that really fitted the bill (decent performance, comfort, room, economy, looks, price) was....another Leon. A 1.5 Evo was just out of reach - but the 1.4 was such good value and got such positive reports that it was the one I decided to go for. I found a '67 reg with 9k miles on it (!) in lovely Mystery Blue, with the pretty 17-inch wheels for not very much money at all, and got a surprisingly good p/x deal on the diesel (I'd looked after it). I'd also wanted Seat Sound but very few seem to option it. The basic stereo is very poor in my opinion - so much so that I had sound proofing put in on the diesel, which boosted the bass and cured the rattly doors too. Well worth the outlay - but shouldn't be necessary on a modern system.
So - am I happy with the swap? Mostly - yes. It's a great drive - common to all Leons, I guess - and the engine is fantastic, and the one I should have plumped for in the first place. Smooth and punchy - although cylinder de-activation is a bit clumsy at times - I'm getting an indicated 48-50mpg. That's within a gnat's whisker of the diesel on a daily basis, although l used to get 60mpg-plus in that on longer trips. The interior certainly looks nicer than before but on closer inspection some of the new shiny bits are a bit hollow and creaky. There's something going on again in the front passenger door - a zizz on bassy music that irritates the **** out of me (why can't they cure this?) - a rattle from the glovebox lid (well, I do put stuff in it, after all) and I suspect the nasty, cheapo boot floor needs velcro to secure it in place, because something back there is wobbling like mad on poor roads. As the stereo is, once again, pants and there's more road noise than I remember, it looks like another trip to Mr Dynamat is in the offing.
The ride is still too firm for the roads around where I live, there's a bit more roll and less grip (although better tyres will help) especially in the wet. I can't seem to get the tyre pressures right - it's always too hard at the back, but then it is a beam axle. The upside is cheaper tyres and more steering feel (yay!), although the Sport setting is a bit artificial, so I leave it in Normal. The engine's always left in Sport, though. No idea about the Economy setting - used it once on the diesel and it was like driving a bowl of porridge.
The infotainment is annoying. The colourful look and bigger screen really lift the interior, but what's this fad for removing buttons from cockpits? There were only two on the stereo before anyway, now there's just one - and the one that's vanished was for scrolling through music, making a previously relatively simple operation a dangerous fishing expedition on the move. I notice the new Leon has a similar one-button system. Mind you, my daughter's Citroen C3 has everything on the touch screen - even the heating controls - so maybe we should be grateful for small mercies. While we're on it, why no front parking sensors when there's one telling me I'm too close to the car in front on the motorway?
Carping aside, I really like the Leon and would recommend one to anybody - but I liked the diesel for exactly the same reasons. It's easy to live with and a brilliant steer on smooth roads. That said, if I was looking for one now, I'd probably go for a petrol Excellence (did they do that in a 1.8 with the better suspension?) if only for the softer ride. Obviously, I'd love a Cupra...
I like the look of the new Leon, and the tests say it's a good car, but I wish they hadn't made it bigger than the current model. Might just be in the market for the 1.5 hybrid in a few years, though...
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,462
435
Dumfries & Galloway
I think you probably do have front parking sensors, maybe been disabled, worth looking into, my 68 plate FR (standard - no options) has front parking sensors so would hope a 67 plate also has them
 

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,570
454
The facelift car isn't an upgrade. It's a cost cutting exercise. They've just removed and downgraded stuff, it's not a better car.
 

RavH

Active Member
Jul 23, 2020
18
4
Yeah my 67 plate FR tech only has rear parking sensors no fronts which is annoying as i believe pre-facelift had both.
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,462
435
Dumfries & Galloway
Yeah my 67 plate FR tech only has rear parking sensors no fronts which is annoying as i believe pre-facelift had both.
My 68 has front and rear, seems strange they dropped it for a short period of time, front parking sensors you have to ask yourself how important they really are, the rear yes beneficial but the front, if your bumping things at the front maybe better to give up driving.
 

Seriously?

Active Member
Apr 20, 2018
500
296
My 68 has front and rear, seems strange they dropped it for a short period of time, front parking sensors you have to ask yourself how important they really are, the rear yes beneficial but the front, if your bumping things at the front maybe better to give up driving.
Strange: Mrs Seriously's FR Tech was a factory order placed in March 2018 and delivered end May 2018: it was standard spec apart from the addition of the winter pack and only has rear sensors.
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,462
435
Dumfries & Galloway
Strange: Mrs Seriously's FR Tech was a factory order placed in March 2018 and delivered end May 2018: it was standard spec apart from the addition of the winter pack and only has rear sensors.
Mine was registered Nov 2018 and has front and rear, mine is boggo FR spec but with FR+ alloys, i also have the 1.5TSI. By the time i got mine i don't think the tech pack was still available, was either FR or FR+ and they started making the models [ez] so you couldn't spec anything at all.
 

beddin90

Active Member
Mar 31, 2014
144
26
The facelift car isn't an upgrade. It's a cost cutting exercise. They've just removed and downgraded stuff, it's not a better car.
I currently own a 2016 and a 2018 Leon, driving both on a regular basis. They are very similar i wouldn't say the facelift feels like a cost cutting exercise..
 

daniel_ley

Active Member
Mar 3, 2018
73
27
Dudley
The facelift is certainly undoubtedly a better car, with some nice visual and tactile upgrades. I would always recommend people to get the facelift if they had a choice.
 

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,570
454
The facelift is certainly undoubtedly a better car..
Sorry, just not seeing it.

I haven't noticed that the headlights are better, I'll take your word on that and a welcome change if they are. The indicators are just a stylistic change and offers no practical benefit. Likewise the revised bumpers, don't make any difference but they have to make the car look different or it's not a facelift!

There is an entire thread about the handbrake so I won't go into that again. I don't like it, my wife doesn't like and many others feel the same so let's call it a draw on that.

Let's be clear, the bigger screen is not an upgrade. It's cost cutting. It's only slightly bigger but you lose the direct access buttons and scroll wheel so it's more steps to get to where you want. The system behind the screen is not changed at all, it's identical, so you'r losing the buttons and gaining zero. No investment, cheaper to make, worse to use.

Is the rest of the interior improved? No. It is identical to the previous car. No new dash, no new trim, no new features. In fact they've shaved money off here too. The leather on the FR seats has been reduced to a trim strip around the outside of the front seats. The leather bolsters have been replaced with cloth and the rear seats have no leather at all where the old car had leather highlights to tie them up with the front seats.

We have both cars and the steering wheels look identical to me?

In the boot of the ST there is carpet trim under the movable floor. Or at least there used to me. On the facelift they'e left it out.

To contrast this with the Ibiza, when it was facelifted in 2015 it got the usual bumper and lights treatment. It also got much improved suspension, a new soft-touch dash and a much better touchscreen infotainment system. Also a new steering wheel and new stalks, the ones from the Leon.

The Leon says to me 'how can we make this car cheaper but make it look like t's better?'. The new Ibiza is the same. Put that side by side with the older Ibiza and count the ways they've saved money. Seat are on a mission. Give you less making it look like more.
 

Seriously?

Active Member
Apr 20, 2018
500
296
The leather on the FR seats has been reduced to a trim strip around the outside of the front seats.
And whatever it is, it ain't genuine leather. But then it never was.
 

cliveseat

Active Member
May 15, 2008
148
4
West Yorks
My 68 has front and rear, seems strange they dropped it for a short period of time, front parking sensors you have to ask yourself how important they really are, the rear yes beneficial but the front, if your bumping things at the front maybe better to give up driving.
That's not the point I was making. It's not about the importance or otherwise of sensors - just a backward (cost-cutting) step, when my previous diesel had them at both ends. It's just mean. And I'm quite capable of judging the length of a Leon bonnet without crashing, thanks.
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,462
435
Dumfries & Galloway
That's not the point I was making. It's not about the importance or otherwise of sensors - just a backward (cost-cutting) step, when my previous diesel had them at both ends. It's just mean. And I'm quite capable of judging the length of a Leon bonnet without crashing, thanks.
And thats not the point i mean either was a general statement. At the end of the day front parking sensors are relatively unimportant
 

cliveseat

Active Member
May 15, 2008
148
4
West Yorks
I haven't noticed that the headlights are better, I'll take your word on that and a welcome change if they are. The indicators are just a stylistic change and offers no practical benefit. Likewise the revised bumpers, don't make any difference but they have to make the car look different or it's not a facelift!

There is an entire thread about the handbrake so I won't go into that again. I don't like it, my wife doesn't like and many others feel the same so let's call it a draw on that.

[/QUOTE]

Without wishing to trample all over the separate thread about the auto handbrake, I had a VW CC with one, so wasn't too concerned. Quite amusing to watch other people who've driven the Leon fishing for a handbrake that isn't there - even though I've told them it doesn't have one. What I do like, though, is that it's raised the centre console a bit, making it slightly cosier than the pre-facelift and the gearlever a bit stubbier, so the shift action's nicer. But the clutch was easier to modulate on the diesel. The petrol judders off the line, an issue repeated on the 1.5, I see.
 

Yern

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
308
166
When I was looking to buy I noticed most (standard) 1.4 FR only had rear sensors but the 1.5 FR had front as well. I certainly wasn't going to pay slightly less for a demo 1.4 when I could go for a new 1.5!
 
GAP Insurance - cover the difference for peace of mind