Facelift Spec Differences & Options

TomsLeon

Active Member
Sep 26, 2020
38
3
Morning all,

I'm new here but some of you may know me from other forums previously.

I've driven manual diesels for years but due to declining health and a change in circumstances I'm now after a reliable, comfortable, automatic petrol. I haven't even hit 30 yet though, so still want something a little youthful lol, and ideally a bit sporty before that becomes totally unacceptable for me.

Golf GTI was the ideal candidate...but sadly out of budget for the year and spec that I wanted, so I think I've settled on a 2.0 TSI Mk3 facelift Leon around 2018/19 instead.

Main choice is Xcellence or FR...what are the actual differences between them in 18/19?

Is the ride really so much different? I'm very sensitive to ride due to the health issues but both cars would be on 17" rims and both have IRS (one reason I'm avoiding the smaller TSI engine) so it's just the stiffer springs that would make the difference. Test driving both isn't really an option as the 2.0 TSI's are few and far between so I can only go off other peoples experiences at the moment. For reference, I've been driving a Golf Match and Focus Titanium's on 16" rims which is fine. I did have an A3 Sport on 17s briefly but I'm not sure any suspension was fitted to that at all! It was unbearable even over short distances and I will not be going for another Audi after that one. I was surprised how different a car could be despite being based on the same chassis as the Golf. I know some of you will say just go for the Xcellence...but as I say I want something that's still a bit youthful and like the FR styling and red interior touches etc.

Next question is factory options, optional extras and packs. If anyone has a PDF of the 2018 Leon Brochure that would be helpful. Also, is there any site that shows factory build specs from the reg plate? There is a Ford site for this, but not a VW one so I guess no Seat one either?

Some of my absolute necessities are cruise, climate, auto wipers/lights/mirror, rear privacy glass, DAB, Nav and LED headlights - but I think both FR and Xcellence come with all those as standard anyway? Keyless entry, Seat sound, powerfold mirrors and a spare wheel all seem to be optional...but what else?

Onto the engine and gearbox - the 2.0 TSI and 7sp DSG box are both fairly reliable right? Chain driven so no cambelt to change every other month (no idea why VAG belt intervals are so short, PSA & Fords are 10 years!). How often do they need servicing? Any major service parts? Does the DSG need regular servicing? What are the main dealer service prices like seeing as the car will be under 3 years old and still covered by manufacturer warranty?

One thing I feel like all the non-Cupra Leons are missing is a nice rear spoiler, surprised the FR doesn't get one. Are they easy to add?

Lastly, if I do buy one without a spare wheel, would the space saver, jack and kit from my Mk6 Golf fit the Mk3 facelift Leon?

Sorry for the long thread but this would be the most expensive car I've ever bought, and after making some errors previously (the A3 being a big one!), want to make sure I'm heading in the right direct this time! I have read the other Xcellence vs FR thread but it wasn't quite the same as it was for ST's and an FR Sport.

Thanks in advance,
Tom
 

UnworthyBean

Active Member
Dec 6, 2019
24
15
Auto wipers and lights weren't standard on the FR and I don't believe they were on the xcellence either. Folding mirrors definitely were standard on the FR.

The 6 speed in the 184 needs.a service every 40k miles but the 7 speed doesn't need a service as far as I'm aware.

You can buy the rear spoiler, often see them for around £70 and then needing painted and fitted.

If the suspension is a worry, find a FR on 17s and an xcellence on 17s and test drive them both. Forget the spec and engine, just use it to get a feel for the suspension then you can decide which you like. I have an FR on 17s and I find it very comfy but I am used to harsher suspension.
 
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BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,646
499
Dumfries & Galloway
If you think an a3 sport on 17’s is horrible to drive then you really need to discount the FR.

the facelifts got auto lights and wipers.

i seen a desire red xcellence lux and it was a very nice looking car on the road.
 
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TomsLeon

Active Member
Sep 26, 2020
38
3
If the suspension is a worry, find a FR on 17s and an xcellence on 17s and test drive them both. Forget the spec and engine, just use it to get a feel for the suspension then you can decide which you like. I have an FR on 17s and I find it very comfy but I am used to harsher suspension.
The smaller engines get twist beam rear suspension so the ride will be different compared to the IRS on the larger engines. I wonder if there are any Suffolk members on here with an IRS FR that I could try? Probably a long shot but worth an ask...

Thanks for the other info, good to know the 7sp doesn't need servicing.
 

TomsLeon

Active Member
Sep 26, 2020
38
3
If you think an a3 sport on 17’s is horrible to drive then you really need to discount the FR.

the facelifts got auto lights and wipers.

i seen a desire red xcellence lux and it was a very nice looking car on the road.
That's a shame. I see you own an A3 Sport but mine was the older shape...maybe the ride has improved since?

Good to know the facelifts got auto wipers and lights as standard. The auto wiper stalk doesn't say AUTO on it does it? I've noticed a couple of Leons with the auto light switch but what looks like a manual wiper stalk. I wonder if they just use the same stalk for all the Leons? I'm sure my Golf says Auto on the stalk...I've been driving it 2 years but can't say I've taken any notice lol.

I don't think the Xcellence looks particularly bad, it just doesn't have the 'sporty' edge I'm looking for now. Must admit, I really don't like the alloys on the Xcellence Lux, too intricate with black inserts and look like they'll be a right pain to keep clean as well. I do like the full leathers (rare option on FR) and the digital dash, but there's not much else I like on the XL compared to the FR. Needs and wants are at opposite ends of the spectrum unfortunately, no manufacturer makes a sporty luxury model as far as I know, it's one or the other!
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,646
499
Dumfries & Galloway
That's a shame. I see you own an A3 Sport but mine was the older shape...maybe the ride has improved since?

Good to know the facelifts got auto wipers and lights as standard. The auto wiper stalk doesn't say AUTO on it does it? I've noticed a couple of Leons with the auto light switch but what looks like a manual wiper stalk. I wonder if they just use the same stalk for all the Leons? I'm sure my Golf says Auto on the stalk...I've been driving it 2 years but can't say I've taken any notice lol.

I don't think the Xcellence looks particularly bad, it just doesn't have the 'sporty' edge I'm looking for now. Must admit, I really don't like the alloys on the Xcellence Lux, too intricate with black inserts and look like they'll be a right pain to keep clean as well. I do like the full leathers (rare option on FR) and the digital dash, but there's not much else I like on the XL compared to the FR. Needs and wants are at opposite ends of the spectrum unfortunately, no manufacturer makes a sporty luxury model as far as I know, it's one or the other!
The Leon FR Sport and FR Black Editions came with Digital dash and heated leathers.

these were run out models starting on 68 plate for the Sport and 19/69 plate for the FR Black Edition

my leon was a 2018 FR with 18’s with beam suspension. The audi is IRS with 17’s that i changed to 18’s and i wouldn’t say one or the other was any more comfortable. Quite comparaible to each other.
 
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TomsLeon

Active Member
Sep 26, 2020
38
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The Leon FR Sport and FR Black Editions came with Digital dash and heated leathers.

these were run out models starting on 68 plate for the Sport and 19/69 plate for the FR Black Edition

my leon was a 2018 FR with 18’s with beam suspension. The audi is IRS with 17’s that i changed to 18’s and i wouldn’t say one or the other was any more comfortable. Quite comparaible to each other.
Good point! FR Sport does look nice but they're on 18s sadly. I might be able to tolerate FR suspension but 18s are definitely off the board lol. Not a fan of the black edition, don't like black alloys.
 

BigJase88

Jase
Apr 20, 2008
2,646
499
Dumfries & Galloway
Good point! FR Sport does look nice but they're on 18s sadly. I might be able to tolerate FR suspension but 18s are definitely off the board lol. Not a fan of the black edition, don't like black alloys.
Around the same time they started making the [ez] models so pretty much every FR has the same spec

get an FR Sport and then swap the wheels i’m sure someone on here will swap you the 17’s and cash your way
 
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jt20vt

Active Member
Sep 17, 2010
127
17
Agree with #BigJase88 swap the wheels over. I use 17's on my 17 reg cupra st for winter wheels and if comfort is a top priority then 17's is the way to go. You can find them for cheap money if you look around and others on here have looked for 18's to put on cupras to make it a more comfortable drive.
 
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Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,780
534
I don't think the Xcellence looks particularly bad, it just doesn't have the 'sporty' edge I'm looking for now.
Finding something sporty but with soft suspension is going to be tricky. The facelift FR is better than the previous model, the suspension is softer, but it still drives well. It's ok even on 18'' wheels, you should try one. on 17'' I don't think you would have a problem.
 
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TomsLeon

Active Member
Sep 26, 2020
38
3
Buying an FR Sport and swapping wheels seems like a good idea, but finding someone local for a wheel swap would be the issue. I'm right over on the East Anglia coast and can't drive far now.

You do seem to get better value with the Sport over the standard FR. A few more miles and one plate identifier older but £500 gets a digi dash, full heated leathers and the 18s here...both in the colour I want too...



Out of interest, what's the black square on the dash to the left of the headlight switch? I assume it's a blank for something but can't think what?

Also, as the FR Sport there clearly comes without a spare wheel, could anyone confirm if my Mk6 Golf space saver would fit? I know it's an older platform so not sure?
 

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,780
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could anyone confirm if my Mk6 Golf space saver would fit?
No. You want a Mk7 golf wheel and jack. You can pick them up cheaply on eBay. If you get an estate (ST) there is room in the well for a full sized spare wheel.
 
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jt20vt

Active Member
Sep 17, 2010
127
17
With regards to swapping wheels you can advertise in the market place section of the forum and someone will get in touch. I've purchased wheels off others on the forum with no issues we are a polite bunch. The mk 6 golf spare will be the same stud and hub size not sure on the offset though. As #Mr Pig has said if in doubt get a mk7 golf spare. Time is on your side as from what you've said you're still debating which one to go for.
 
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TomsLeon

Active Member
Sep 26, 2020
38
3
No. You want a Mk7 golf wheel and jack. You can pick them up cheaply on eBay. If you get an estate (ST) there is room in the well for a full sized spare wheel.
Ah ok thanks, I had a feeling that would be the case!

Good to know but I don't have any need for an estate now so intend to stick with a hatch. Plus I'd have to explain the ST to all the Ford guys I know... 'No, it's not in electric orange. No, it doesn't have 5 cylinders' lol...
 

TomsLeon

Active Member
Sep 26, 2020
38
3
With regards to swapping wheels you can advertise in the market place section of the forum and someone will get in touch. I've purchased wheels off others on the forum with no issues we are a polite bunch. The mk 6 golf spare will be the same stud and hub size not sure on the offset though. As #Mr Pig has said if in doubt get a mk7 golf spare. Time is on your side as from what you've said you're still debating which one to go for.
Time isn't really on my side, I'm just terrible at making decisions. Need to make a choice within the next couple of weeks ideally.

I'll have a look in the Marketplace section now, haven't left the Mk3 section so far!
 

BoomerBoom

Active Member
Jun 1, 2018
422
142
Good point! FR Sport does look nice but they're on 18s sadly. I might be able to tolerate FR suspension but 18s are definitely off the board lol. Not a fan of the black edition, don't like black alloys.
The 17s are only just about okay with the FR suspension, I wouldn't describe them as comfortable on rougher surfaces though - so the 18s would be quite hard on your internal organs.
 

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,780
534
The 17s are only just about okay with the FR suspension, I wouldn't describe them as comfortable on rougher surfaces though - so the 18s would be quite hard on your internal organs.
I don't agree. On the pre-facelift car hitting a pot hole on 18''s is something you know all about but the facelift is different. They've clearly softened the suspension to suit the larger wheels but it feels like they still use a bigger anti-roll bar as the car still corners pretty flat. The balance between comfort and handling is very good.
 
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