SEAT is giving its Leon compact model a facelift, but you'll have a hard time noticing the changes.

With the mid-cycle refresh prepared for its best-selling model, Seat is playing a game of spot the differences. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since the pre-facelift model was pretty nice to begin with, and this refresh builds open the sharp styling and welcomes some discreet cosmetic tweaks to keep the model fresh and competitive in the challenging compact car segment.

Seat has changed the headlight and taillight graphics and it has also sharpened up the bumpers, while the front grille is now 40 millimeters wider than before and makes more extensive use of chrome to give the Leon a more premium flair. All three body styles (coupe, hatchback, wagon) are available with optional full LED headlights, taillights, turn signals, and fog lights, while on the inside there’s ambient lighting also making use of LEDs.

Speaking of the cabin, a new eight-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system has eliminated some of the physical buttons previously mounted on the center console. Borrowed from the Ateca is the Traffic Jam Assist functionality working together with the Lane Assist system and Adaptive Cruise Control to provide semi-autonomous driving at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 km/h). Another novelty brought by the 2017MY is the wireless smartphone charging support in the center console if you go for the optional Connectivity Box.

2017 Seat Leon facelift
2017 Seat Leon facelift

Besides the usual Reference, Style, and FR trims, the facelifted Leon will also be available in a new Xcellence guise with a plushier look granted by the extra chrome on the outside and different bumper design. It’s going to be offered at the same price as the FR version and will bring an assortment of updates on the inside as well, including different door step design, LED multi-color ambient lighting, and standard keyless entry.

More importantly, the Leon facelift will be offered with a broader engine lineup thanks to the addition of a turbodiesel 1.6-liter with 115 horsepower (85 kW). A turbocharged 1.0-liter, three-cylinder gasoline mill also with 115 hp will be available from now on to serve as the entry-level unit. In addition, Seat has announced the more practical Leon ST has received a seven-speed DSG for the all-wheel-drive 2.0 TDI configuration.

The range-topping Cupra version will be revealed in the near future, and Seat has made the promise it will come with its “own surprises.” It remains to be seen what that means, but our money is on a more powerful version to sit above the current Cupra 290 model. Perhaps something to match the 310-hp VW Golf GTI Clubsport S?

Seat says it will begin taking orders for the Leon facelift before the year's end and will kick off customer deliveries early 2017.

Source: Seat

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