WhatCarAwards banner - desktop

In association with MotorEasy

Car of the Year Awards 2021: Family Car of the Year

There are several types of family car, but here we’re looking at traditional hatchbacks: large enough to be practical, yet compact enough to be easy and enjoyable to drive...

WINNER: Family Car of the Year

Seat Leon 1.5 TSI 130 Evo FR

What Car? Car of the Year 2021 logo with sponsor

Against such talented family hatchback rivals as the BMW 1 Series, Ford Focus and Skoda Scala, a car has to be really quite special to come out on top. And the latest Seat Leon is just that.

For starters, it gets the basics right by offering a big boot and even more room for rear seat passengers than the Skoda Octavia. In addition, it’s very well priced, while the punchy turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine that we recommend won’t pinch too much of your cash at the pumps.

Don’t go thinking that the Leon feels even remotely hairshirt, though. It’s every bit as smart as the more expensive Volkswagen Golf inside, while its infotainment system is more user-friendly and it comes laden with standard equipment.

2020 Seat Leon dashboard

The Leon is terrific to drive, too, with lively handling that makes every journey enjoyable, yet without the uncomfortable ride that you might reasonably expect as a trade-off.

All of this adds up to an incredible all-rounder – one that excels as a family car and serves up a very welcome slice of fun at the same time, all while costing less than you’d think. No wonder it’s our winner.

We like

> Smart, spacious interior
> Great to drive
> Punchy yet frugal engine

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read about more Car of the Year 2021 winners >>