SEAT is kicking off 2016 in cava style, having picked up yet another highly coveted trophy at the annual What Car? Awards. At a suitably glitzy ceremony held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel tonight, SEAT’s sleek three-door Leon fought off fierce competition from two rivals to land the Best Buy Coupé (less than £25,000) category for the third time on the bounce.
Wider and shorter than its five-door brother, the Leon SC (Sports Coupé) combines the head-turning looks and agile nature of a coupé, with the practicality of a hatchback. The winning version, Leon SC FR, is available from only £20,225 and comes comprehensively equipped, with 17-inch ‘Dynamic’ alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, exclusive FR sport styling inside and out, plus Technology Pack included (which comprises Navigation System with 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, DAB digital radio, full LED lights). The svelte three-door bodystyle of SEAT’s best-selling model is available with either a precise six-speed manual gearbox or slick-shifting seven-speed DSG auto, and comes with a choice of seven diesel and petrol engines, including the even more potent CUPRA 290.
Commenting on the Leon SC’s third consecutive victory, Haymarket’s Editorial Director, Jim Holder, said, “Is it a coupé or is it a three-door hatch? We think the Leon SC just qualifies as the former and there’s no question it’s a cracking buy. For a fraction more than £20,000 you’re getting a car that’s as fun to drive as many hot hatches and which is remarkably well equipped. The SC’s hatch roots make it practical; two adults will fit in the back seats easily enough and the boot is just as big as a five-door Leon’s. We’ve chosen the 148bhp 1.4 TSI petrol version, partly because it has enough performance to entertain (0-62mph takes less than eight seconds) but also because its CO2 emissions are a diesel-rivalling 114g/km. This efficiency is partly thanks to the engine’s clever trick of being able to shut down half of its cylinders when cruising to save fuel.
He continued, “The Leon SC had to fend off the similarly slinky Volkswagen Scirocco and the more focused Toyota GT-86. It did so easily, winning this price point for a third year on the trot.”
Speaking at the awards bash, SEAT UK’s Director, Richard Harrison, added, “After winning the same category for the last two years, we were quietly confident about our chances this time around. But to win it yet again, especially against such tough opposition, is testament to the Leon SC’s enticing, all-round qualities. It’s got real substance backing up its eye-catching style, with performance, quality and value-for-money in spades.”
Full details of the Leon range are available at the new-look www.seat.co.uk.
SEAT is the only company with the full-range capacity to design, develop, manufacture and market cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting more than 80% of its vehicles, and is present in 75 countries. In 2014 SEAT’s invoicing totalled almost 7.5 billion euros, the highest figure in its history, with worldwide sales of 390,500 units.
SEAT Group employs more than 14,000 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza and Leon. Additionally, the company produces the Alhambra in Portugal, the Mii in Slovakia and the Toledo in the Czech Republic.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015. This ‘knowledge hub’, bringing together close to 1,000 engineers, aims to be the driving force behind innovation for the number one industrial investor in R&D in Spain. In line with its declared commitment to environmental protection, SEAT undertakes and bases its activity on sustainability, namely reduction of CO2 emissions and energy efficiency.
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