You don’t have to give up on a sense of style just because you’re towing, as the Seat Leon SC proves.
Not only does the three-door Leon SC look great, it drives well, too. Forget any concern that the 1.4 TSI engine is too small for towing; thanks to turbocharging, this four-cylinder petrol packs a surprising punch. Towing a caravan weighted to 85% of its kerbweight, the Leon SC was actually 0.2 seconds quicker from 30-60mph than the class-winning Skoda Octavia.
For such a small car, stability was excellent at the legal limit and beyond, although in the emergency lane-change test, the back of the car was pulled around slightly by the caravan on high-speed runs.
A really firm pull on the handbrake was needed to stop the Leon and its caravan rolling backwards on a 1-in-6 slope, but otherwise the Seat coped well. Reversing up the hill was more of a challenge, though, and left the clutch smelling.
As a solo drive, the Leon delivers sharp cornering and a firm but well-controlled ride. It is also keenly priced and well equipped.
In terms of practicality, the Leon SC loses points for not taking every item from our typical luggage load; it also has an awkward towball installation. But we can forgive the Seat when it looks so good and tows so well.