SEAT collected an incredible three awards at the Auto Express New Car Awards 2014. The Leon scooped the ‘Small Family Car’ awards, Leon ST the ‘Best Estate Car’ award and Leon Cupra the ‘Best Hot Hatch’ award.
The awards ceremony was held in London and collecting the awards was SEAT’s UK director Neil Williamson, who said, “We’re already on a roll, with our UK sales up over 20 per cent in the first half of this year compared with 2013. But, to see our models winning over knowledgeable industry pundits like the Auto Express team is an impressive achievement in its own right. This trio of awards is not just testament to the great work which our team in Martorell, Spain, put into developing the Leon range, but also another great endorsement for our best-selling model.”
The hat-trick of awards was an impressive haul, even by the Awards standards. Auto Express Editor-in-Chief Steve Fowler said, “This is an unprecedented hat-trick for the Leon – last year’s overall Car of the Year. The Leon hatch remains our pick of the compact family car class with its blend of quality, kit, efficiency, great drive and style.
It’s joined in the winners’ circle by the Leon ST, taking all that’s great about the hatch and adding a spacious and cleverly thought-out boot – it’s easily the best estate car you can buy. Then there’s the Leon Cupra – a brilliant hot hatch that provides old-school thrills with the latest tech to make it a seriously quick and fun car to drive, that looks a million dollars yet costs anything but.”
The dynamic, sleek hatchback was awarded Small Family Car of the year. Auto Express commented, “SEAT’s success in last year’s awards was clearly no flash in the pan, because the Leon has scooped our compact family car crown once again. Over the past 12 months, this sleek hatch has seen off a host of talented newcomers to maintain its grip on the top spot. So why is it still our number one?
For starters, it looks great, with the versatile five-door, rakish SC and spacious ST estate each featuring the same distinctive blend of curves and creases. It’s just as good inside, where the combination of slick design and superb build quality helps create an upmarket ambience.”
The spacious, stylish, high tech estate car was awarded Estate Car of the Year. Auto Express commented, "If you thought all estate cars were spacious, but just a little bit too sensible, think again. The Leon ST combines the style, sparkling driving experience and hi-tech kit of the hatchback with an extra dose of family-friendly practicality.
While the boot’s 587-litre carrying capacity isn’t the largest in its class, it’s more than big enough for most needs. Better still, the luggage area is well shaped, features a low loading lip and, with the rear bench folded flat, will accommodate a van-like 1,470 litres."
0-62mph in under 6 seconds makes the Leon Cupra a worth winner of the Hot Hatch of the year. Auto Express commented, "Hot hatch fans have never had it so good, with almost every manufacturer offering a fun and feisty pocket rocket. So a car that takes the honours in this category has to be extremely special indeed – and the Leon Cupra fits the bill perfectly.
What makes the sleek Spanish flyer such a hot hatch hit? For starters it’s fast, with a muscular 276bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine firing it from 0-62mph in just five seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph.”