Would you believe Iíve actually taken the SEAT Leon ST to a famous Swedish furniture store this month? Not just to fulfil a motoring journo trope, I promise. After filling my garage with more and more car cleaning and maintenance products, bicycles in various states of repair, and a suite of tools, it was becoming difficult to get from one end to the other without tripping up.
Positive Feng Shui has been restored thanks to a wall of DIY wooden shelving, with logistics courtesy of the SEAT. In fact, the 171 centimetre long Henje end posts were a snug fit when positioned lengthways in the Leonís boot with the seats folded flat. Loading the heavy shelves was also a breeze thanks to the low loading height, and itís handy to be able to pull the levers in the boot to remotely flip down the rear seats. If youíre like me though, youíll have to train yourself not to leave a coat on the back seat, as this will get flattened in the process.
The Leonís most notable excursion this month, other than Ikea of course, was a day out to the Lake District, stopping off at Beatrix Potterís house, and then on to Coniston Water for a cruise aboard a restored Victorian steam yacht gondola. Despite unseasonably heavy rain, even for Cumbria, the trip went smoothly and reaffirmed my liking for Android Auto. Using Google Maps navigation, Iíve got into the habit of looking up the destination on my phone before heading off. Do so, and when you plug your smartphone into the car, Android Auto will magically assume thatís where youíre heading and prompt you to begin navigation. If you forget, simply hit the microphone icon and say ìnavigate to Coniston Waterî and it will spring into action. I didnít want to cross Windermere on the Ferry, so I ticked the box to avoid it and zoomed out to have a quick look at the route before heading off, just to check it looked logical. Three car loads of family made the trip, yet despite setting off last, we were surprised to arrive ahead of the pack, thanks to the excellent route Google Maps managed to come up with.
A word of warning though, planning a route only works if you have a strong mobile signal, and that wasnít the case when we got in the car to leave. After staring at a spinning wheel on the screen, it was time to revert back to the SEATís built-in navigation. Increasingly, the quality of any carís infotainment system is becoming a real selling point, and I think SEAT has really nailed it. SE Dynamic Technology specification might be one of the lower-rung trim levels, but it doesnít feel like it thanks to the eight-inch system. As you can probably guess, Iím a strong advocate of the Full Link smartphone connectivity system, which adds Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink for £150. If you listen to music on Spotify, it also makes the interface easy, slick and allows you to play music via simple voice commands.
Date arrived 10th May 2017
Fuel economy 67.3mpg (combined) 50.7mpg (on test)
Android Auto allows you to search for Spotify music and destinations with voice commands.
But, if you live somewhere like Cumbria, you might be faced with an irritating loading icon.