SEAT is kicking off 2017 in style after driving off with two accolades at the What Car? Awards 2017, ‘Best Small SUV’ for Ateca, plus, a ‘Best Buy’ victory for New Leon, one month ahead of the car even launching in UK showrooms.

Ateca, SEAT’s in-demand first SUV wowed the judges across the board. Among its talents singled out for praise were its value for money, impressive driving experience and top-notch infotainment systems.

Steve Huntingford, What Car? Editor, commented, “SEAT has managed to price its Ateca keenly enough to appeal to a wide range of buyers looking for their ideal car. Not only does it have space and practicality in abundance, its robust interior should stand the test of time, and you get lots of kit. That you can also have a fuel-sipping petrol engine with impressive, yet quiet, performance for this money is a massive achievement.”

Its preferred version of the Barcelona-based brand’s high-selling Ateca, SE 1.4 EcoTSI 150, earned a ‘Best Buy £15,000-£25,000’ win initially, before fending off every other shortlisted SUV in its category, to secure the overall Small SUV title.

What Car? continued, “It’s extremely good fun to drive, with excellent body control and one of the best steering set-ups of the class. It’s genuinely agile, which is a rare thing for a small SUV.

“With our favoured 1.4 turbo petrol engine fitted, it has strong performance to match its sweet handling, but this is balanced with clever cylinder shut-off technology that helps deliver great fuel economy and low CO2emissions. Inside, a family will have room to stretch out, particularly in the back, where leg room – even for adults – is generous. The large boot is easily accessible and a practical shape, too. Mid-range SE trim has all you’ll need too: 17-inch alloys, cruise and climate control, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and USB port.”

Sharing the limelight on the night was the New Leon. Recently updated ahead of its UK showroom launch next month, SEAT’s best-selling model earned a ‘Best Buy’ in the Family Car for the £18,000-£20,000 category.

Outlining the reasons behind the success of their favoured SEAT Leon version, SE Technology 1.0 TSI 115 Ecomotive, the What Car? team added,“…under the bonnet there’s a new 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine…with just enough punch to let you enjoy the Leon’s agile handling. The new 1.0 TSI engine is available in only one trim level: SE Technology. Fortunately, that rounds up most of the equipment you’re likely to want, including sat-nav, a DAB radio, air-con, alloy wheels and cruise control.”

Commenting on the brand’s success at the prestigious bash at the Grosvenor Hotel on London’s Park Lane last night, SEAT UK’s Head of Marketing, Andrew Tracey, added, “After What Car?’s own five-star review of the Ateca, we were quietly confident about its chances in this year’s awards. It offers everything a compact SUV buyer could ever need, with plenty of space, style, technology, quality, not to mention engines, transmissions and four-wheel-drive, to suit every conceivable need. So, naturally, I’m delighted that its breadth of talents has been recognised. For New Leon to collect a Best Buy win too, before it even arrives in UK showrooms, is the icing on the cake and gives us a fantastic platform upon which to build early success in 2017.”

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SEAT Leon WhatCar? Best Buy 2017