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SEAT leon 1.6 TDi CR Ecomotive

Price: £16,840, CO2 emissions: 99g/km

While SEAT’s Ibiza Ecomotive is compromised, the new green Leon is anything but. With its eye-catching looks, entertaining driving dynamics and flawless eco credentials, the five-door is a strong contender for class honours. Adding to the appeal is the £16,840 price – it’s £1,525 less than a VW Golf BlueMotion.

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Yet Leon buyers get the same punchy, refined 1.6-litre diesel engine, smooth stop/start and slick five-speed gearbox as those who choose the VW. That means the SEAT puts out only 99g/km of CO2, and returns nearly 75mpg.

Better still, the eco tweaks don’t affect the bold styling. And while the cabin can’t match the Golf’s for quality, it is well equipped. Spend £1,300 more on the SE, and you get climate control, an iPod link and tyre pressure monitor. Finishing off the package is an agile chassis, with accurate steering. The ride is firm, but not uncomfortable.

Rating: *****

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