SEAT Leon crowned 2013 Auto Express Car of the Year
/ SEAT Leon takes the coveted Car of the Year 2013 prize at the Auto Express New Car Awards
/ Leon also wins the Best Compact Family Car award
/ Five-door hatchback acclaimed for its style, quality, equipment levels and low running costs
/ SEAT Alhambra wins Best MPV for the third year in a row – the 13th UK award for this outstanding people carrier
The SEAT Leon has won the prestigious Car of the Year 2013 prize at the annual Auto Express New Car Awards.
During a ceremony in London’s Grand Connaught Rooms last night (2 July 2013), Auto Express Editor-in-Chief Steve Fowler handed the coveted award to new SEAT Chairman Jürgen Stackmann.
The Leon scooped a double win, also picking up the Best Compact Family Car award, while there was yet more cause for celebration at the SEAT table as the Alhambra won the Best MPV award – for the third year in a row.
But it was the Leon’s night overall, with the Auto Express judging panel giving it the nod for Car of the Year ahead of some very strong competition.
Explaining why the Leon was crowned the year’s best car by the UK’s best-selling motoring weekly, Auto Express Editor-in-Chief Steve Fowler said: “We love its style, the way it drives, the quality and the kit. Best of all, you get all that at a bargain price, while running costs will be ultra-low, too.
“The SEAT Leon has beaten some superb cars to be crowned Car of the Year – it’s that good,” he concluded.
Jürgen Stackmann thanked the Auto Express jury for choosing the Leon as Car of the Year. “The new Leon is the best vehicle in SEAT’s history. It is a perfect embodiment of SEAT’s transformation and shows the direction we will be taking over the next few years. We are very pleased with the reception customers have given the Leon. Since its launch we have sold 45,000 units of the five-door Leon, and this is just the beginning. The Leon SC was launched just a few weeks ago, and we will present the estate version at the Frankfurt Motor Show,” said the SEAT Chairman.
SEAT UK Director Neil Williamson said: “It’s wonderful to receive an award like this, and it’s confirmation of what we suspected from the day we first unveiled the Leon – here is a car that’s truly top of the pile.
“Credit has to go to the team in Martorell, who’ve created a family hatchback that’s appealing whichever way you view it: the Leon is outstanding to drive, beautiful to look at, as practical as could be, and it doesn’t cost the earth to buy and run. That’s engineering at its very best, and we hope that this is the first of many accolades for this wonderful car.”
The new SEAT Leon was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and hit UK showrooms in March 2013. Priced from just £15,670, it offers truly class-leading technology; at launch the Leon became the first family hatchback in the world to offer full-LED headlights, and remains the only one to do so.
This week sees the showroom introduction of the Leon SC (7 July 2013), the first ever three-door Leon and the second member of a model family that will shortly also include the Leon ST estate.
Prices for the Leon SC – Sport Coupé – begin at £15,370, rising to £22,075 for an FR-specification car with a powerful 184 PS 2.0 TDI engine.
While the Leon will justifiably grab the headlines in the aftermath of the Auto Express Awards 2013, it was a night in which the Alhambra cemented its place as the most highly decorated car in SEAT’s history. This latest Best MPV prize is its third in a row from Auto Express, and its 13th award overall, having taken prizes from other motoring media heavyweights including What Car?, Fleet News, Fleet World, Diesel Car and Car Buyer.
“When it comes to moving large families around, nothing does it better than the SEAT Alhambra. It’s built for an easy life with loads of space and clever features that make every family outing a joy. And unlike so many other MPVs, it offers executive levels of quality and refinement, and it’s great to drive, too,” said Steve Fowler.
The Alhambra is priced from £25,040, with every version including alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, sliding rear doors, front- and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth hands-free system with voice control, and a tiredness recognition system. Two engine choices are available, both 2.0 TDI units but with either 140 PS or 177 PS power outputs and both with Start/Stop and Energy Recovery as standard, to help keep running costs low.