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Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI: More torque than a Porsche yet cheaper to run

Diesels are rarely the ‘cool’ choice, but the Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI is designed to challenge that pre-conception. The 2013 version of the oil-burning hot hatch promises performance and efficiency in a practical package.

The new engine manages an improvement of 11.9mpg on the outgoing model, taking fuel efficiency to an impressive 67.3mpg ─ if you drive sensibly. Power is also increased from 170PS to 184PS, bringing the 0 to 62mph time down by 0.7 seconds to 7.5 seconds.

Fast AND frugal? That'll be the leon FR.
Fast AND frugal? That’ll be the leon FR.

Okay, so it’s not lightning quick but 380Nm of torque at a mere 1,750rpm makes it slightly more eager to spring into action than even a Porsche Cayman R, which has access to 370Nm at 4,750rpm. And despite that grunt, the Leon FR 2.0 TDI has CO2 emissions of just 109g/km, making it cheap to tax.

The turbocharged Leon FR comes with direct injection and Stop/Start technology as standard so it won’t sit there wasting fuel when the car is at a standstill. Seat claims fuel economy of 67.3mpg, which is hugely impressive given this car’s outright pace.

The Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI is bedecked in FR badges and a generous serving of extras including LED tail lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows, twin chrome exhaust pipes, front sport seats, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, sporty front and rear bumpers and Seat’s Easy Connect media system with a colour touch screen.

There’s also Seat Drive Profile to play with in case you want to adjust how the car feels (throttle response and steering feel is altered depending on the chosen setting) and multi-link rear suspension instead of the usual rear torsion beam, improving handling potential in the bends.

To get your mitts on a Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI you will need to part with £22,075 (the exact same amount as the older model) for the three-door SC or £22,375 for the more practical five-door version. Deliveries are expected to arrive in September, 2013.

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