Category winner

FROM OUR INITIAL list of class winners, some cars stood out particularly as contenders for our overall Used Car of the Year award: the Ford Fiesta, for example, with its fantastic driving dynamics, grown-up ride quality and low price; the Nissan Qashqai, whose clever design and versatility have led to its immense popularity; or maybe the BMW 3 Series, so talented in every area that it’s worth the premium its badge incurs. But of them all, one car stood out above the rest.

The Seat Leon isn’t your ordinary family car. Its sharp looks, smart interior and involving drive make it truly desirable. And yet it’s also practical and spacious enough for most families’ needs. Whether you pick a frugal diesel engine, an easy-going petrol or something a little spicier, there’s a model out there for everyone. Quality is high, too; our reliability survey results show that the Leon is a dependable choice. But what the Leon really has going for it as a used buy is value.

Given all that it offers, you might think the Leon would fall at the pricier end of the used hatchback spectrum – but the opposite is true. It’s one of the cheapest. The good news doesn’t end there, either. To take advantage, you don’t have to live with a spartan, entry-level model. Solid mid-range versions with impressive equipment levels and desirable engine options are plentiful and barely more expensive than the most basic cars.

It takes a special car to stand out in the hugely crowded used family car market. But the Leon does so while also offering the sort of value for money that causes you to do a double take. For that reason, it is our Used Car of the Year for 2018.

Read full review Buy this car