The all-new Seat Leon is proof that a tight budget is no barrier to getting yourself a great family hatchback.
For starters, it has some serious pedigree. It shares the same mechanicals as the new versions of the VW Golf and Audi A3, so it's no surprise that it's good to drive. Tight body control and well-weighted steering mean it handles sharply, and although the ride can be a touch firm on poor surfaces, it stays comfortable most of the time. The turbocharged petrol engine also gives you decent performance, while keeping running costs and purchase prices low.
Those prices are seriously low, too, especially when compared with the Leon's Audi and VW stablemates; the Seat costs thousands less, rather than hundreds. Sure, the Leon's interior doesn't have the swankiness of its sister cars', but it's still a reasonably classy environment.
Entry-level S trim brings air-con, electric front windows, Bluetooth, a USB socket and steering wheel controls. That's exceptional.