The SEAT Leon has become a popular choice in the family hatchback class thanks to its sharp styling, wide range of engines and competitive pricing. Thanks to being based on a Volkswagen Golf, it has all the practicality and quality buyers in this class expect.
In many ways it can compete with the class leaders, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any alternatives that bring something different to the table. If you’re considering a Leon, be sure to check out these rivals, too.
Not convinced by any of these options? Spec up a SEAT Leon in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.
While the sporty Leon Cupra offers plenty of excitement, further down the range it doesn’t quite deliver on the fun handling the sporty looks imply. The Mazda 3, on the other hand, boasts both.
Many testers suggest it’s the most fun to drive in the class, thanks to accurate steering, fine balance and strong grip. These qualities don’t come at the expense of ride quality, either – the 3 still manages to remain composed and comfortable over bumpy surfaces.
Though the engine lineup is fairly limited compared to the SEAT, the petrol and diesels are very strong and are capable of returning strong real-world fuel economy figures – during our time with the Fastback powered by a 2.2-litre diesel, we averaged 62mpg.
Choose your ideal Mazda 3 in our car configurator to see the discounts offered.
Many buyers are drawn to the Leon for the range it offers – three body styles, 10 engines and six trim levels offer something for almost anyone. The ever-popular Ford Focus, however, provides a similar wealth of choice. A total of 15 separate drivetrain options – including a commuter-friendly all-electric model – can power the Ford.
Performance fans are catered for with the ST, which sends 247hp through the front wheels for scintillating performance, while a diesel alternative sacrifices some speed for more economy. There’s even an estate for those needing a little extra space. It arguably tops the SEAT for value for money, too – the entry-level Studio trim undercuts the cheapest Leon by over £2,000.
Pick your favourite Ford Focus in our car configurator to see what reductions can be had.
If you like the Leon’s driving experience, but need just a little extra space? The Skoda Octavia might be the perfect choice. Under the skin the pair are very similar, each shares a platform also used by the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3. While the Leon focusses on style, the Octavia prioritises practicality.
Cabin space is marginally better in the Skoda, but it’s in the boot where the benefits really start to show – the Leon’s (still reasonable) 380-litre load bay is trounced by the 590 litres offered by the Octavia.
Spec up a Skoda Octavia in our car configurator to see the savings offered.
The Leon is one of few cars in this class that’s available as a three-door, which – though it sacrifices practicality – helps it look sportier making it more desirable to younger buyers. The Kia Cee’d offers the same – the Pro_cee’d looks suitably athletic, and distinctive enough to not be mistaken for anything else.
Inside, cabin quality is on a par with the Leon with most surfaces constructed from soft-touch plastics, and all screwed together impressively. Factor in Kia’s industry-leading seven year warranty, and the cee’d offers a level of peace of mind few rivals can compete with.
Pick your perfect Kia Cee’d in our car configurator to see the deals offered.
The latest Vauxhall Astra has received praise from all angles of the UK motoring press thanks to driving dynamics that take it towards the very top of the class. Not only is it now among the most fun to drive in this class, but it’s also one of the most refined, too – low aerodynamic drag helps to reduce wind noise, while the engines are well-hushed from within the cabin.
It should be cheap to run, too, thanks to a frugal range of engines. The star of the show is the EcoFlex diesel. Claiming to achieve 91.1mpg, it returns 5.5mpg more than the similarly eco-conscious Leon Ecomotive.
The cabin is well-designed, solidly-built and spacious, there’s a wealth of safety tech on offer, and a huge network of dealers ensures you’ll always be offered a fantastic price through our deal checker.
Select your perfect Vauxhall Astra in our car configurator to see the discounts available.
Find out more
Put any of the cars featured here in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you still need help picking your next car, check out our car chooser.