But that only counts in a drag race at the lights. On the track, in the hands of Auto Express, the Leon actually set the faster lap because it was lighter and more responsive. Now another British publication has paired the hot hatches in an attempt to definitively solve the conundrum.
In Autocar’s hands, the Golf R is actually faster at first, which could either be down to the “bravery” and skill of the driver or the longer high-speed corners of Cadwell Park, where the Golf R’s 20 extra horsepower give it an advantage. However, once Steve Sutcliffe jumps into the Spanish car, he immediately realizes it has better brakes and a more planted front end, thanks to the limited slip differential. A victory for the cheaper, lighter car? Yes, but in the end it’s all a matter of personal taste.
You can’t get the same level of luxury in the SEAT and it almost looks too discrete for its own good. While the Golf R comes with massive 19-inch wheels and huge air vents on the front, the Leon’s body kit is almost like an afterthought. But don't think the Golf R comes standard with al the goodies – DSG, leather seats with electric adjustment, parking sensors and larger alloys are just some of the things you Volkswagen charges you extra for.