The spacious, versatile and beautiful estate car, which goes on sale in the UK in October for January 2014 first deliveries, joins the Leon five-door hatchback as a five-star car.
The rating is the result of exceptional scores in all areas of the industry-standard Euro NCAP test, but particularly the adult occupant safety and child occupant safety sections, for which the Leon ST scored 94% and 92% respectively.
Features such as front passenger airbag deactivation, to facilitate installation of a rear-facing child seat, helped achieve the child occupant score, while extensive use of high strength and ultra-high strength steels in key areas of the chassis ensure that the Leon ST remains as stable as possible during a collision.
Alongside the five-star safety rating, the Leon ST has received two Euro NCAP Advanced awards, for its lane-keeping assistant and multi-collision brake systems; Euro NCAP Advanced was established in 2010 by Euro NCAP to reward ground-breaking emerging safety innovations.
“SEAT is committed to the highest levels of active and passive safety in all its models,” says Dr. Matthias Rabe, Executive Vice-President for Research and Development at SEAT S.A. “The thorough development work developed at our Technical Centre is now rewarded with the excellent classification achieved by both variants of the new Leon in the demanding Euro NCAP tests.
“We are also pleased with the two Euro NCAP Advanced rewards for the SEAT multi-collision brake system and the SEAT lane-keeping assistant in the new Leon. It is the new Leon family at the very top of the latest technology,” he adds.
Dr. Rabe accepted the two Euro NCAP Advanced certificates at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where the Leon ST made its world debut.
SEAT lane-keeping assistant (known as Lane Assist in the UK and available as part of the Leon’s optional Driver Assist Pack) uses a camera mounted behind the rear view mirror, which detects lane markings and helps the driver stay in lane. Working at speeds above 40 mph and linked to the power steering system, it applies a small amount of torque to the steering wheel intended to prompt the driver into taking corrective action should he or she begin to drift out of lane.
The multi-collision braking system (called Automatic Post-Collision Braking System in the UK, and standard fit) detects when the car has been involved in an accident – for example when the airbag has been fired – and automatically applies the brakes to prevent or mitigate a subsequent impact. It triggers both the hazard warning lights and the brake lights.
With a starting price of just £16,675 for a 1.2 TSI 105 PS model in S specification, the Leon ST represents amazing value. Every version comes with air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio, steering wheel-mounted controls, a colour touch-screen infotainment interface, front electric windows, roof rails and a double boot floor.
Thanks to a 587-litre boot that stretches to 1,470 litres with the rear seats folded flat, the Leon ST is one of the biggest estates in its class, while its £825 premium over an equivalent Leon five-door model is significantly lower than that of the majority of its direct competitors.