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Review: The CUPRA Leon Estate

Review: The CUPRA Leon Estate

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The CUPRA grille, the bold headlights, the 19-inch alloys and the lowered ride height tell you that this is not a sales rep’s estate car, but one for enthusiasts

Whats Covered


What is it?

Cupra is for SEAT what DS is for Citroen. A close relation, but not the same brand. To ensure it has a USP, CUPRA has its own models – the Formentor and the soon-to-be-launched Born EV – but it still likes to tinker with and improve SEAT’s models from time-to-time. There’s the highly popular CUPRA Ateca, for example, and now this – the CUPRA Leon. Available as both a hatch and the exceedingly cool estate, which is what we have here. 


What’s new?

At first glance, the CUPRA looks like a Leon SW, but look closer and things get a lot more interesting. The CUPRA grille, the bold headlights, the 19-inch alloys and the lowered ride height tell you that this is not a sales rep’s estate car, but one for enthusiasts. Then there’s the paint scheme – a flat grey on our test car, unique to the CUPRA brand. It’s cool. Very cool. Then there are the front splitter and rear diffuser. They’re cool on both hatch and estate, but the wagon really pops. 


What’s under the bonnet?

The CUPRA Leon comes with a turbocharged TFSI 2.0-litre petrol engine with 306bhp and 400Nm of torque. It’s a popular engine across the Volkswagen Group, but you can understand why given its flexibility and – at up to 34.4mpg – its reasonable efficiency. With power sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG gearbox, the CUPRA Leon will accelerate from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds before carrying on to a limited top speed of 155mph. You can also opt for lower-powered versions of the Cupra Leon with 296bhp, while a plug-in hybrid variant is available too. 

Rear image of the CUPRA Leon Estate


What’s it like to drive?

One of the key features of the CUPRA Leon is its Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), which is adjustable between comfort or optimal dynamic performance, the latter of which makes it a real weapon if a little firm. Then there’s the performance on offer, which is more than enough for daily driving. Because of the all-wheel-drive system you can deploy the car’s power no matter the conditions, ensuring rapid progress at all times. It’s accompanied by a somewhat artificial engine nose, some of which is fed through the speakers, but it’s cool nonetheless. 


How does it look?

The Leon on which the CUPRA is based is an undeniably handsome car, so the additions made to it by CUPRA just make it better. The estate model is particularly appealing, with loads of cuts and angles ensuring that it stands out on the road, helped by quadruple sports exhausts. Additional CUPRA touches include black trim all over and large CUPRA badges front and rear, while the copper-coloured elements that define the brand are there, albeit subtly. 


What’s it like inside?

The cabin has a premium feel and features a lot of high-end in-car tech. The material quality is excellent, with plenty of soft-touch, top quality surfaces used throughout. Rear-seat space is good – there’s a decent amount of room for five in the Leon Estate – making it the perfect family performance car. When it comes to boot space, there’s an impressive 620 litres on offer which can be extended by folding the rear seats down. 

Interior image of the CUPRA Leon Estate


What’s the spec like?

Our test car came in VZ3 specification, which gets 19-inch alloy wheels, wireless phone charging and heated seats, as well as a panoramic sunroof – a welcome addition to brighten up the otherwise quite dark cabin. The infotainment system is focused on the 10-inch central display. There are no real physical buttons to speak of but most controls can be operated via icons on the touchscreen display.


Verdict

The CUPRA Leon is the perfect performance car for family owners. It has a great combination of space and practicality, coupled to a ridiculous turn of pace. If you need a car that’s as practical as they get but still get a lot of enjoyment out of performance thrills, it’s a difficult one to ignore. Great value and huge fun to drive.

Used CUPRA stock Used CUPRA Leon Estate stock