My 3rd Car: Seat Leon 1.6 Sport (2002)

Call Sign: “Burt”, “Slug”

Now this car was neither love at first sight, nor a car that I ever really learned to love during my time with it. The Leon was a means to an end that I had to put up with.

In fact when I imagine an old man being ressurrected as a car, this would be it. Most cars tend to be referred to as female but not this car. No no no. This car was most certainly an old man who was fondly named “Burt”. Let me tell you the story of Burt.

Seat Leon

Burt was slow at everything. Slow at accellerating, slow at cornering, slow at filling up with petrol and slow at earning love from me as its owner. The mere tag of “sport” being attached to Burt did nothing more than humour him as a dying old man.

Burt came about from my desire to buy a house. This meant I had to sell the dream car of my youth, a Honda Civic Type-R, part exchanging it to pick up the cheapest semi-decent car I could get my hands on. Now don’t get me wrong, Burt wasn’t a BAD car, it was just a LAME car having just parted ways with a Type-R. It was a large, far too sensible, 5 door car which was just ridiculously slow by comparison. Quite the anti-climax from what I’d owned previously.

The beginning of the end

In July 2012 Sarah and I decided to go camping in the Peak District for a week. It rained. It rained a lot. In fact it rained SO much that Burt flooded resulting in far too many jokes about old man Burt pissing himself.

Seat Leon in the Peak District
The Peak District – the beginning of the end for Burt

Ever since the rain in the Peak District Burt went downhill fast. Despite repeated attempts to dry him out, the window seals had gone meaning that any new rain would re-fill him with water which sloshed around in the footwells. Most mornings on my arrival to work I would have soaking wet jeans on the back of my ankles from the water seeping into them. I looked at getting all 4 doors re-sealed but the cost for this went into the hundreds of pounds which I just wasn’t prepared to spend. Instead I ended up with a constant smell of mould and what seemed to be an endless supply of tiny flies emerging from the carpets each day to hover on the tip of my face.

The Leon was just disappointing in every way. From being slow and heavy around corners to the steering wheel being far too big an unsporty on a “sport” badged car, it was just rubbish. The air conditioning blew warm air, the dashboard buttons were cheap and plasticy and the stereo would randomly alter its volume setting as it saw fit!

Eventually engine warning lights started to appear along with various other dashboard lights. With my feet sitting in a stagnating pool of chassis water this was to be the end of Burt.

What car came next?

After owning the Leon and having saved up a bit of cash for a while after buying a house it was nice to be able to start looking at sporty cars again that weren’t flooded, leading me to my next purchase and current car…

Seat Ibiza FR 1.4 TSi DSG 2013 White
My current car, a Seat Ibiza FR

Read about my experience of owning my current car, a Seat Ibiza FR here.

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