The Hyundai i30 has challenged the Seat Leon to a game of chess.

The Hyundai i30 has challenged the Seat Leon to a game of chess. This looks set to be an epic battle, as both these small family cars perform beyond expectation. The i30 opens proceedings by propelling its knight to the centre of the board. This attacking move is justified as it is one the most complete cars the Korean manufacturer has produced. As such it handles nicely, has a decent 340-litre boot, robust construction, and plenty of toys.

The Seat Leon cannot take this lightly. It returns fire by moving a pawn then forcing its Queen forwards to attack the Hyundai's knight. This can be done with confidence, as the Leon has robust Volkswagen underpinnings and bodywork so striking it can melt chess pieces. The handling is sportier than the i30 too, so its opponent loses a knight. The sleek Leon maintains the pressure as its luggage space and equipment specification are similar.

The following chess moves focus on environmental credentials. The Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi Classic is the most efficient in the range, so it averages a bishop-busting 67.3mpg. Its emissions are 110g/km, which equates to road tax band B/£20. By contrast, the least polluting Seat Leon is the 1.6 TDI Ecomotive. This manages a castle-wrecking 74.3mpg and its emissions are only 99g/km. As such twelve months road tax costs precisely zero.

The Leon has now taken most of the Hyundai's chess pieces. The i30's five year warranty and lower asking price temporarily protect its King, but at the end of the day - checkmate. Prices for the Hyundai i30 start at £13,580. The Seat Leon costs from £14,545.