Seat Leon FRMy son asked me recently if we could have a ‘nature pond’ in our garden to help support the many small insects in our outside world.

He had been doing a nature subject at his school and his teacher had given him plenty of ideas of what he could do and how to do it.

This is great idea I said, so off we went to our local garden centre. On arrival at the aquatic centre I grabbed the attention of one of the shop assistants to help us with our purchases. I simply asked for help with selecting items to build a small pond. What I got was a personal shopper in the art of spending many pounds of my hard earned cash.

I mean, you have no idea what is needed to install even the simplest of ponds. I am going to start off with some of the basic items that I was told I would need to complete my nature pond. Below is a small selection of the items you will need, let me know when you get bored.

Pond underlay, pond liner, rocks, slabs, aquatic compost, plant baskets, water treatments, electric pump & filter, snails, aquatic plants for the borders, marginal plants, deep water plants. Bored yet? Well the list never stopped growing either.

So, what’s the point to all this? Well, The next time your child comes home asking to build a ‘nature pond’ in your garden, the best advice I can give you is firstly go to see your bank and ask to re-mortgage your home, because you will need the extra cash injection just for the basics. To be honest, I would have been just as happy with a bird feeder.

This brings me neatly onto this month’s road test of the brilliant Seat Leon FR 184ps.

Seat Leon FR Seat Leon FR

I have an Ibiza FR myself, so it was no surprise to me that the Leon is a great car. My test car was painted in ‘Alor Blue’, a wonderful colour that suits it really well. My test car was also fitted with the Leon Sports Styling Kit which includes a new front bumper including revised fog lamps, side sills, roof spoiler, and a rear bumper that includes a contrasting black ‘diffuser’ and incorporates twin sports exhaust pipes.

In addition, the kit is complemented beautifully by a set of 19-inch Sports wheels in black which give the Leon FR one of the best looks I have seen in a long time. Visually the kit lowers the car, giving it a more aggressive stance from any angle. I think you will agree it’s a stunning looking car.

On the road, the Leon FR is a peach to drive, there is plenty of feedback through the wheel, and with those 19” wheels, keeps it glued firmly to the road without impacting ride comfort or overall refinement, this superb road holding is mainly due to the multi-link rear suspension setup instead of a rear torsion beam setup.

Now, let’s talk about the Leon’s party piece, that wonderful 2.0 TDI 184ps engine, which many of my motoring friends also happen to agree with. Could I go as far as to say it’s properly one of the best diesel hot hatches around?

The 2.0 TDI 184 PS offers you with true hot hatch performance, and in return it will give you an awarding 67.3 mpg* combined fuel consumption rating and CO2 emissions pegged at just 109 g/km. Amazing I know, but it doesn’t stop there either.

Let me give you an example of the amount of torque the Leon produces. A Porsche Cayman R I am told produces 370 Nm @ 4,750. The Leon produces 380 Nm @ 1,750 rpm, so there you have it, a resounding winner all round.

Let’s not forget some of the standard equipment that is included within the FR specification level. Some of the features include, LED tail lights, dark tinted windows, twin chrome exhaust pipes, sports suspension (lowered by 15 mm from standard), dual-zone climate control, front sports seats, SEAT Easy Connect media system including full colour touch screen interface, Bluetooth audio streaming and eight speakers, and SEAT Drive Profile. By altering the throttle management, steering feel and gearbox settings (in DSG-equipped cars) between three modes, SEAT Drive Profile allows significant alteration of the feel of the driving experience.

Verdict, The Leon FR 184ps is an outstanding car that I would happily buy and enjoy. 5 stars from me Seat.

Cubic Capacity: 2.0 litre TDI
Torque: 380Nm @ 1750 – 3000rpm
Power: 184ps
Top Speed: 142 mph
0-62: 7.5 sec
Combined: 67.3 mpg
CO² Emissions: 109 g/km
Price: from £22,820  By Anthony Yates

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