Should I buy a Diesel Leon?

Jan 9, 2021
6
2
Hey guys,

I'm seriously considering a 2016-2107 Leon FR ST. I currently drive a 65 plate civic with the 1.6 diesel lump in it, it's worth more than what I owe on it so thinking of getting something with a bit more punch. My only concern is how one of the 2.0 litre tdis will fare on my 14 mile each way commute, (11 miles of Motorway). Will I kill the DPF? I haven't even noticed the Civic do a regeneration in the 2 years Ive ran it let alone have a light come on.

I ran 2 Focus 1.6 ecoboosts 180 and 150 bhp varients (wrote the first off) and my driving style lead to 32 mpg in the 180 and 36mpg in the 150 in the civic I get around 55-60 mpg.

Ive heard great things about the 1.4 150 tsi but worry I'd be getting low to mid 30's again.

Any insight from you guys would be much appreciated
 
Oct 21, 2020
20
3
I have a 2.0 TDI 150hp FR but in SC, so around 1 200 kgs, but with my journey to school that is around 30kms (10kms A road, 20 kms Highway) I get around 5,5 l/100km and that is around 50mpg, but now during winter it comes to 6l because of heating etc. I don't think that you have to be worried about the dpf, I drove around 700km in the last month mostly in cities and there isn't anything that had changed in driving style of the car.

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xyz

Full Member
Feb 28, 2004
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Not sure about the Leon but my wife’s Ibiza (admittedly lighter car!) 1.4 150 gets up into the high 40s low 50s on a run. Depends on what you want really. Look at the VED rates too - might be more on a diesel. As a guide, I can get low to mid 30s on my Golf R - high 20s if I use the poke.


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SRGTD

Active Member
May 26, 2014
1,155
508
I had a mk6 VW Golf GTD with a 2.0 170ps Diesel engine. I used to drive 7 miles each way to work and back and I never had any issues with the DPF in nearly 5 years of ownership. The car did get at some longer trips (up to 60 mile) each week though, in addition to the shorter work commute journeys. Yes, it would perform the occasional DPF regen, but the frequency of regens wasn’t excessive by any means.

Fuel consumption did suffer in the winter months though, as it took much longer to get up to normal operating temperature in the colder winter weather than at other times of the year.

My last two cars have been petrol - I now drive less than 6k miles a year (and considerably less then 6k during lockdown) so don’t need the economy of a diesel.
 
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Bendy

Active Member
Aug 10, 2018
177
68
I have a 2.0 TDI 184 FR ST. I have owned it since July 2018, and in that time have commuted 15 miles each way to work (so 30 miles a day). It does get used on longer trips at weekends occasionally, and it has been up to Scotland a few times.

It does do DPF regens occasionally. If it is doing one when I am coming to the end of the journey, I generally drive around a bit longer until it is finished, more so it doesn't drain the battery.

Despite the short daily journeys, I have had no DPF issues so far, and on my commute to work, generally see between 47 and 55 mpg. Longer motorway journeys sees between 55 and 62 mpg.
 
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Jan 9, 2021
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Guys exactly the info I was looking for thank you very much, I won't worry too much about the diesels, and if a nice one comes up in my price range (fingers crossed for a 184 variant) then Ill go for it, hopefully see you on here with one soon 👍👌
 
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Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
368
134
Leicestershire, UK
I've got the 184 ST.

I used to drive 19 miles each day to work and with other mileage I did 20,000+ miles per year. Usually regular DPF regens around every 180 miles. On a motorway it can do a passive regen in 10 mins. In town traffic it might take 15-20 mins during an active one.

Never had an issue with DPF and the car is now on 106,000 miles.

I now work from home and having just had the MOT done, the car did 9,000 miles in the last 12 months. That will probably get even less now. Now I drive 2 or 3 times a week 5 miles down the road to walk dogs and sort some horses out with the odd longer run. Not ideal for a diesel. The car doesn't even get warmed up properly. The car now regens about every 130-150 miles, so it is noticeable but not an issue. I just need to know when the regen is due and take it for a longer run once it's started. It still runs fine and the only thing I've had to do is buy a smart charger for the battery.

I don't think you'll have an issue with the mileage and motorway aspect at all.

Couple of things that have helped me:

  • I change oil (507.00 spec) and filter every 5,000 miles. The car appreciates it. Everything else is done as per normal service schedule by my mechanic.
  • I bought the Carista OBD dongle and VAG DPF app on my phone. That way you get real time info about your DPF, ash/soot levels and when a regen is due. Very helpful if you're wanting to keep an eye on it ands in my case, make sure the regen is complete before getting home.


Lastly - I got mine chipped at the start of 2020. In terms of power, it picks up a bit better but gives a great squirt of power at 3,000+ revs. That means you can be sensible and boring when you want but give it some stick and off it goes. It's also increased my MPG from about 50mpg to 55mpg driving on country roads mainly. On two 200 mile motorway runs @ 70mph I got 68 MPG both times. I was really surprised. I don't work the car that hard so the MPG benefit is noticeable and nice to have if you're not used to it.

It took me 4 months to find a 184 that I liked. It's worth it, as it's got some uprated bits compared to the 150 version.
 
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Oct 21, 2020
20
3
Actually guys, how can I notice the dpf is in regen mode?

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Cuprabenwytm

Active Member
Jun 17, 2020
86
26
Actually guys, how can I notice the dpf is in regen mode?

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Revs idle higher and youll smell it or see a nice cloud behind you when setting off or at least thats how mine used. To go lol


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Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
368
134
Leicestershire, UK
Actually guys, how can I notice the dpf is in regen mode?

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Buy the Carista dongle and VAG DPF app. Then you know when one is due and can actually see it taking place.

Generally - if it's a passive regen, you won't notice.

If it's more of an active regen and/or you're in town in traffic etc:

  • Stop/start won't work
  • Car idles @ 1000rpm
  • You can smell a sort of hot/burning smell (if stationary)
  • Weirdly - the car has a better pick up as it is overfuelling
  • A more subtle thing is the `change up` notification on the dash will keep you in a lower gear longer so you keep the revs up a bit more.
I'm sure there are others but can't remember them.

If you turn the car off mid-regen, the fan sounds like a train for 5 mins.
 
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Oct 21, 2020
20
3
Buy the Carista dongle and VAG DPF app. Then you know when one is due and can actually see it taking place.

Generally - if it's a passive regen, you won't notice.

If it's more of an active regen and/or you're in town in traffic etc:

  • Stop/start won't work
  • Car idles @ 1000rpm
  • You can smell a sort of hot/burning smell (if stationary)
  • Weirdly - the car has a better pick up as it is overfuelling
  • A more subtle thing is the `change up` notification on the dash will keep you in a lower gear longer so you keep the revs up a bit more.
I'm sure there are others but can't remember them.

If you turn the car off mid-regen, the fan sounds like a train for 5 mins.
Thanks, I have noticed a awful smell the past few days, and now the car is driven much often so every 200-300 kms I hear the fan spinning like stupid, so probably I should take it on some country roads and hold it in higher revs

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Jan 9, 2021
6
2
I've got the 184 ST.

I used to drive 19 miles each day to work and with other mileage I did 20,000+ miles per year. Usually regular DPF regens around every 180 miles. On a motorway it can do a passive regen in 10 mins. In town traffic it might take 15-20 mins during an active one.

Never had an issue with DPF and the car is now on 106,000 miles.

I now work from home and having just had the MOT done, the car did 9,000 miles in the last 12 months. That will probably get even less now. Now I drive 2 or 3 times a week 5 miles down the road to walk dogs and sort some horses out with the odd longer run. Not ideal for a diesel. The car doesn't even get warmed up properly. The car now regens about every 130-150 miles, so it is noticeable but not an issue. I just need to know when the regen is due and take it for a longer run once it's started. It still runs fine and the only thing I've had to do is buy a smart charger for the battery.

I don't think you'll have an issue with the mileage and motorway aspect at all.

Couple of things that have helped me:

  • I change oil (507.00 spec) and filter every 5,000 miles. The car appreciates it. Everything else is done as per normal service schedule by my mechanic.
  • I bought the Carista OBD dongle and VAG DPF app on my phone. That way you get real time info about your DPF, ash/soot levels and when a regen is due. Very helpful if you're wanting to keep an eye on it ands in my case, make sure the regen is complete before getting home.


Lastly - I got mine chipped at the start of 2020. In terms of power, it picks up a bit better but gives a great squirt of power at 3,000+ revs. That means you can be sensible and boring when you want but give it some stick and off it goes. It's also increased my MPG from about 50mpg to 55mpg driving on country roads mainly. On two 200 mile motorway runs @ 70mph I got 68 MPG both times. I was really surprised. I don't work the car that hard so the MPG benefit is noticeable and nice to have if you're not used to it.

It took me 4 months to find a 184 that I liked. It's worth it, as it's got some uprated bits compared to the 150 version.
Thank you for that Brian, excellent information, Im in no rush, nothing wrong with the civic just bored with the lack of poke, will hold out for a 184
 

Brian Gordon-Stables

Active Member
Jan 16, 2020
368
134
Leicestershire, UK
Thanks, I have noticed a awful smell the past few days, and now the car is driven much often so every 200-300 kms I hear the fan spinning like stupid, so probably I should take it on some country roads and hold it in higher revs

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk
The car doesn't need to be driven hard to have an decent DPF regen - it just needs to be kept at constant revs to keep the temperature up.

2500 revs in 4th is about right.

You can take the car for a spirited drive if you want but it needs to be during a regen to benefit from it.

Getting an OBD dongle and VAG DPF app really helps you monitor it. Well worth the money.
 

Mr Pig

Active Member
Jun 17, 2015
1,906
585
We currently have an FR 150 2.0 TDi and an FR 150 1.4 TSi so I can give you a bit of insight.

Performance:

Neither car feels slow but the petrol does feel perkier and is almost certainly slightly faster. The diesel has a laid back feel to it, it's fine but the petrol is the nicer drive. Just feels more responsive and seems to be in the right gear at the right time more often.

Economy:

The diesel is used for longer trips, the petrol for short ones, often really short. It does about 3K miles a year and the diesel does closer to 15K. Understandably the diesel gets better MPG, not just because of the fuel type but because it's doing longer runs. Just last week I worked out the difference in fuel costs. I work out the MPG we get from each tank of fuel, I'm not going by what the computer says.

On typical driving you're going to see high 40 - low 50 from the diesel. More on a longer run. Same kind of driving will give you low 40s from the petrol, but the fuel is cheaper!

At current prices the difference in cost over 14K miles is about £350. In favor of the diesel obviously. That however is a worst case as it was worked out on the numbers for our cars which do not do the same kind of driving. If both cars were doing the same journeys the gap would be smaller. Maybe a few hundred quid a year? Which I don't think is significant.

DPF:

The petrol engine warms up a LOT quicker than the TDi. Both cars have oil temperature gauges that only show anything above 50 degrees. The petrol will get to that point after about five minutes, even in winter. I reckon the diesel takes at least twice as long to warm up and will probably just getting up to full temperature towards the end of your commute.

If you use the car for other longer runs I reckon the DPF will be fine. Yeah, it'll feck up eventually but our last one did 75K no problem. If you ONLY do short trips the DPF will not like it. It can't do regens unless it's up to full temperature and you'll end up getting the little yellow triangle on the dash. When it lights up you have no choice but to go for a run and hope it gets the regen done.

To me, the balance of pros and cons is in favor of the petrol just now. Fuel costs, the way the government are going with penalties on IC cars and the lockdown restricting driving. We're actually looking to sell the diesel and get another petrol.

My tuppence anyway ;0)
 
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Jan 9, 2021
6
2
More great info, its nice to hear it from real world drivers as opposed to reviews from someone who has the car for a day to make a youtube video. I think I need to get out and test drive a couple now, with the info you guys have given me Ill be able to make a much better decision, thanks again 👍
 
Jan 9, 2021
6
2
we bought my wifes car recently they just handed us keys, was the best test drive ever 😂

Our neighbour is a general manager for a large car sales firm and they are open, remarkably 👀
 

SuperV8

Active Member
May 30, 2019
150
55
Hey guys,

I'm seriously considering a 2016-2107 Leon FR ST. I currently drive a 65 plate civic with the 1.6 diesel lump in it, it's worth more than what I owe on it so thinking of getting something with a bit more punch. My only concern is how one of the 2.0 litre tdis will fare on my 14 mile each way commute, (11 miles of Motorway). Will I kill the DPF? I haven't even noticed the Civic do a regeneration in the 2 years Ive ran it let alone have a light come on.

I ran 2 Focus 1.6 ecoboosts 180 and 150 bhp varients (wrote the first off) and my driving style lead to 32 mpg in the 180 and 36mpg in the 150 in the civic I get around 55-60 mpg.

Ive heard great things about the 1.4 150 tsi but worry I'd be getting low to mid 30's again.

Any insight from you guys would be much appreciated
My experience with my Leon FR ST 184 is very positive. No car is perfect but for me I think it ticks the most boxes for my budget.
Cheap to run - £30 tax and I get 55-60 mpg on my commute to work at 25 miles each way which I would say is mixed driving with traffic and A roads. (Have seen 70mpg on a few gentle journeys)
Pulls like a train, feels like a powerful engine in a light body. It's no race car - but for an everyday commuter I would struggle to justify more power/torque per weight.
Big boot. (bigger than my previous Audi A4 B6 Avant)
Drives nice, slightly lacking steering feel and brakes are a little too assisted for my liking (but that's similar to most modern cars) and you get used to it.
Looks nice (to my eye - and it's growing on me) LED rear lights look ace, only ones which look better to me are the Volvo V60 rear lights.
I don't really notice DPF regens - seems to be about once a tank full. Sometimes when I stop the engine fans are whirring away (wish there was an idiot light telling you it was doing a regen) I normally do approx 600 miles to a tank which I think is arround £50/55 (from memory as now i'm mainly working from home i'm filling up very infrequently) By all accounts the DPF system is reliable - well as reliable as a DPF can be!

Only problem I have had is the heater matrix issue which is well documented on here - which could be expensive if you can't fix it your self, and i'm probably due some rear shocks at 95,000 miles (oil misting). Just done my timing belt which Diesels need at 5 years.

The 184 does have more than just a more powerful engine over the 150. Bigger brakes, better rear suspension (independent vs beam) bigger diameter dampers, bigger turbo, stronger clutch, alloy suspension knuckles (vs iron). For me and the 150 and 184 I was getting insurance quotes with less than a £5 difference! so it was a no-brainer.

Can't comment on the 1.4 tsi, except to say my parents-in-law have this engine in their TRoc and it seems very smooth and refined. They get 40-45mpg but only doing very short trips to work.

When I was looking for my next car (a couple of years ago) the only cars which came close to the Leon were the 320D touring and Volvo V60 D5, which were both more expensive and considerably smaller boots, and the BMW can have expensive timing chain issues. Glad I got the Leon looking back on my choice. The Leon is also 200 - 300kg lighter than those two! I would have had a golf GTD estate but the prices for those were crazy!
 
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