From time to time a car comes along that, figuratively, has ‘fleet’ written all over it. This is exactly the case with the Seat Leon ST Ecomotive.

Firstly, it is a better looking and better value hatch than the VW Golf on which it’s based. And because we’ve opted for the estate version – or in Seat language, ST – it has a massive boot. To top things off, we’ve gone for the new 110hp 1.6 TDI engine, which means the car produces just 87g/km of CO2 with an official fuel figure of 85.6mpg.

To show how good the Seat Leon ST is, it replaces the Mazda 6 estate on the BusinessCar fleet. The Seat is more than 20mpg more efficient, has a much larger boot (which has already been put to good use [1]) and costs more than £5000 less. To be fair, the Mazda is quicker and more powerful at 150hp, so more than a second faster to 60mph, and has more rear leg room. But it proves a point: you don’t need a big car on the outside to have room and equipment on the inside.

And talking of equipment, the SE trim doesn’t short-change the driver. Standard kit includes niceties such as powered, heated door mirrors, alloy wheels, front fog lights, aircon, cargo net, satnav, digital radio, USB and aux sockets, and halogen headlights.

But best of all, it has standard cruise control [2]. Go any further up the trim levels and you get clever adaptive cruise control, which, at least for this driver, is very annoying.

Our car is also equipped with a few options – some we’d have and some we wouldn’t. For instance, the family pack (which adds rear window sunblinds [3] and rear tray-tables) and winter pack (heated seats and heated screen wash nozzles) are very welcome. But the convenience pack (auto wipers and auto-dimming rear-view mirror) and safety pack (seat belt reminder and tiredness sensor) are areas where we’d save the money. One final option that could prove a boon is a folding front passenger seat, which should really add to the versatility of this estate.

So far we’ve driven 600 miles (mostly up and down the M1 in stop-start traffic) and averaged 63.2mpg. For a box-fresh engine with no eco-driving, that’s not bad at all. We can only hope things will get even better as the miles pile on.

Mileage 906
Claimed combined consumption 85.6mpg
Our average consumption 63.2mpg
P11D price (excl. options) £20,430
Model price range £16,675-£24,630
CO2 (tax) 87g/km (14%)
BIK 20/40% per month £47/£95
Service interval 20,000mls
Insurance group 14E
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 587/1470 litres
Engine size/power 1598cc/110hp
Top speed/0-62mph 122mph/10.4sec