The 2014 Auto Express awards were held last night and the results are in.. LeonOC expected the new Leon to do well and it did us proud.
SEAT UK staff attended the awards to collect the prizes.
2014 New car awards – best hot hatch:
SEAT Leon Cupra 280
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 SEAT Leon Cupra fits the bill perfectly.
2014 New car awards – best estate car
SEAT Leon ST
If you thought all estate cars were spacious, but just a little bit too sensible, think again. The SEAT Leon ST combines the style, sparkling driving experience and hi-tech kit of the hatchback with an extra dose of family-friendly practicality.
2014 New car awards – best small family car
SEAT’s success in last year’s awards was clearly no flash in the pan, because the SEAT 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?
The UK’s appetite for SEAT’s multi-award-winning cars continues to grow, with sales up over 20% already compared to last year. And it seems the media aren’t immune to their charms either, as the Spanish brand drove off with an three impressive awards at last night’s Auto Express New Car Awards 2014.
The titles, judged and awarded by the industry’s highest-selling weekly car title, are always closely fought battles. But in each of the Compact Family, Estate and Hot Hatch categories, SEAT’s high-selling Leon came out on top.
It’s the second year on the bounce that the sleek Leon has triumphed in the all-important Compact Family class. Finishing well ahead of two top tier challengers, the five-door hatch triumphed over the Mazda3 Fastback and VW Golf, simply through the breadth of its talents, ranging from its quality to overall driving experience.
Making it a double celebration on the night was the new Leon ST, which, only launched in UK showrooms in January this year, impressively fought off its sister brand, Skoda’s load-lugging Octavia and even the BMW 5-Series Touring.
SEAT’s flagship, the Leon Cupra, also got in on the act, winning the Hot Hatch category, to make it a resounding triple success. Rounding off the brand’s cava celebrations, the fire-breathing halo model blew away stiff competition in the form of the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI. Available in both 265 and 280PS guise, and a choice of either three-door SC (Sport Coupé) or five-door hatch, the potent pocket rocket already held the acclaimed five-star road test rating from Auto Express’ esteemed road test team earlier this year, when it was hailed as a “real hot hatch hit”.
Commenting on the Leon’s impressive triple award haul, Auto Express Editor-in-Chief Steve Fowler said, “This is an unprecedented hat-trick for the SEAT 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.”
Collecting the trophies at the glittering ceremony in London, SEAT UK Director, Neil Williamson, said, “We’re already on a roll, with our UK sales up over 20% in the first half of this year compared to 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 three-model Leon range, one of the broadest in its class, offers something for everyone. Whether it’s driving thrills in the sporty SC, practicality allied to style in the recently launched ST, or the driver focused enjoyment of the twin version Cupra range, including SEAT’s most powerful series production car ever, the Cupra 280, SEAT has every base covered.
The Leon line-up starts at £15,815 for the three-door SC, £16,115 for the 5-door Leon and only £17,110 for the new ST.
Rounding off its awards fiesta, SEAT’s all-conquering Alhambra also took home a Highly Commended in the ultra-competitive MPV category. For full details on the Leon, as well as the rest of the SEAT range, including the Mii, Ibiza, Toledo, Altea and Alhambra, see www.seat.co.uk