Like most other family hatches, the Seat Leon line-up has a super-frugal ace up its sleeve. The Ecomotive ticks all the usual eco boxes, including stop-start and aerodynamic tweaks to help keep fuel bills down, with the results being claimed combined economy of 74.3 and tax-friendly CO2 emissions of 99g/km. Drive this model within its comfort zone, and 60mpg-plus will easily be achieved.

In the 1.2 TSI model, we rarely achieved above 35mpg on our test route, which included everything from two long motorway runs, country lanes, city centres and heavy traffic. Official economy figures aren’t usually to be trusted, but the distance from the official 52.3mpg figure is a long way off even allowing for this.

The glove box is disappointingly small, and the cover feels especially cheap

One thing that all Leons offer is excellent value, particularly if you go for the Copa trim. Available from under £16,500 for the 1.2 TSI, Copa Leons offer a sat-nav and multimedia system, rear parking sensors, special Copa upholstery, dual zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers and leather trim for the steering wheel as standard.

There’s more value to be had with FR+ models, too. Over the FR model it recently replaced, the FR+ gets fresh 18-inch five-spoke alloys, bi-xenon, self-adjusting headlamps, and an extensive media pack. Purchased off the options list, these upgrades would have cost around £2500 on the old FR, but the FR+ commands a premium of just over £1000.

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The standard non-turbo 1.4 petrol model offers the cheapest entry point to Leon ownership, costing a very reasonable £14,885. It’s cheap to insure, too, in group eight, but we’d recommend beginning your consideration from the 1.2 TSI Copa model upwards given the better engine, equipment levels and desirability, with much improved economy and CO2 thrown in too. 

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