The Seat Leon has been a popular alternative to the ever-impressive Volkswagen Golf for some time now. Based on the same platform, it retains the German car’s excellent on-road characteristics but offers drivers a completely different look. We’ve taken a look at the Leon range and picked out three of the best trims for three different price points.

The smart choice for saving money – Seat Leon S

The ‘S’ model Leon sits at the bottom of the range, but still offers enough equipment to keep drivers happy. At just £18,480 it represents a good entry into the Seat range, as well as being an impressive choice for those looking to save money.

15-inch wheels mean that the Leon S has a comfortable and supple ride, ideal for around town or on long motorway stints. Equally, a 1.6-litre diesel engine suits the car down to the ground, providing flexible power that means it should be suited to any journey. With a combined fuel consumption of 70.6mpg and CO2 emissions of just 102g/km, it’s cheap to run, too.

Inside, drivers will find a multi-function steering wheel that gives access to stereo and Bluetooth connectivity controls, as well as 6 speakers for a clear sound.

Power windows and air conditioning are all included on this base car, meaning that it’s far from lacking in equipment.

The smart choice for those on a budget – Seat Leon FR

The FR takes things up a notch by offering even more technology alongside a more powerful petrol engine. Designed to look sportier, the FR is great for those who are happy to pay a little bit more, but get a decent amount more equipment for it.

The FR comes with a 1.4-litre petrol engine, linked to either a six-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. We’d go for the manual – it keeps the price of the car under £21,000 at £20,525. It still returns a respectable economy figure of 57.6mpg, as well as being faster than the Leon’s diesel engines.

Inside, the solid cabin is brightened up with aluminum door trims and a perforated leather sports steering wheel. It’s also an incredibly comfortable place to be, thanks to sports seats with adjustable lumbar control and manual height adjustment. There’s also eight speakers and an interface for plugging in smartphones – though Bluetooth connectivity is included too.

Outside, the FR is fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, body coloured door mirrors with LED indicators and sports suspension. There’s also front and rear parking sensors to make maneuvers easier, while a front cornering lamp gives the best visibility in even the worst conditions.

The smart choice for technophiles – Seat Leon Cupra 290

The Cupra is Seat’s fastest version of the Leon – think of as the Spanish firm’s Volkswagen GTI. With a 2.0-litre petrol engine it’s hugely fast, but thanks to clever technology it still returns a combined consumption figure of 42.2mpg. Although its base price of £29,250 is expensive, it represents a real opportunity to enter the hot hatch environment for much less than other rivals. It also means that all the bells and whistles that technophiles look for are included as part of the sporty package.

With a hot hatch, looks are a big deal. Thankfully, the Leon Cupra fits the bill admirably thanks to 19-inch alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. There’s also body-coloured door mirrors to finish off the look. At the rear there’s high-brightness LED tail lamps to make sure that you’re seen even when things get foggy.

Inside, there’s all manner of technology to look through. From cruise control and hill hold control to an integrated Bluetooth handsfree system, there’s plenty to keep button-pressers happy. You’ll also find front and rear parking sensors with an optical display, which gives a visual guidance when reversing.

One of the biggest advantages that the Cupra has over the rest of the range is the way it drives – something which should keep even the most hardened technophile happy.