SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI (184) FR manual, 51.8%

The compact family hatchback class is a tough battleground, but the latest models from the VW Group have taken it by the scruff of the neck.

SEAT Leon

The compact family hatchback class is a tough battleground, but the latest models from the VW Group have taken it by the scruff of the neck.

While the MkVII VW Golf initially led the way, the SEAT Leon saw off its sister car on its Auto Express road test debut, before going on to be crowned our Car of the Year 2013. And the Leon is a winner in the depreciation race, too.

Figures across the range are on par with those of the Golf, but the potent 182bhp 2.0 TDI diesel FR flagship is the residuals champ. It holds on to 51.8 per cent of its new price – one per cent more than the five-door Golf GTD, which has a similar engine but is much more expensive.

The sharp lines of the Leon are proving more popular than the restrained Golf’s, while the SEAT offers similar kit and slightly sharper responses. Elsewhere in the range, the three-door SC and new ST estate mirror the VWs with lower residuals than the five-doors, but the SEATs have the edge.

Price now: £22,375

Value after three years: £11,590

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