CUPRA Leon Sportstourer
An exotic estate with the right amount of visual aggression and power, the Cupra Leon Sportstourer is not a conventional head-jerker. Building on the undeniable Leon hatchback, this wagon boasts an even better 2.0-litre drivetrain producing 306bhp and 400Nm of torque, proving that more space doesn't mean less speed or fun. You don't have to sell your kidneys too; it's the cheapest nominee, and by a lot. But all that subtlety? Priceless.
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About 1000km in now, and enjoying this comfortable and cheeky family wagon. Indeed a sleeper, because CUPRA is still rel... -  Read More
CUPRA, the recently independent performance offshoot of German-owned Spanish carmaker, SEAT, is on one hell of a victory lap. Every single one of its offerings - the Leon hatchback, the Ateca compact crossover, and its larger brother, the Formentor coupe-SUV - has been a knockout thus far.

The Leon Sportstourer is no exception to this rule. Absolutely demolishing the misconception that highly practical vehicles can't have a wild side, the car takes to corners like a fish takes to water, sometimes even sticking its tail out playfully when you push it hard. Power, and delivery of said power, are both fantastic thanks to a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit tuned to 306bhp with 400Nm of torque, and paired to a quick-shifting 7-speed DSG gearbox.

Speaking of practicality, the Sportstourer's dimensions mean that this is also a family car if you want it to be. A 620-litre boot will swallow anything you throw at it, while the lack of a gimmicky sloping roofline gives rear passengers all the headroom that they need. Meanwhile, the sheer amount of glass ensures that in spite of the dark interior, the cabin never veers into claustrophobic territory, while all-round visibility is outstanding.

Stacked against our two other nominees in this category, there's no denying that the Leon Sportstourer isn't as powerful nor as well-established. But it is perhaps within its underdog status that its charm squarely lies. One doesn't have to be the fastest off the line (not that it's slow, with a 4.9sec century sprint) nor the most recognised to win hearts - just tremendous fun to drive.