Primary Navigation Mobile

Cupra Leon review

2020 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 54.0
” Sharp handling, but entry-level model not special enough “

At a glance

Price new £33,705 - £45,290
Used prices £16,552 - £32,065
Road tax cost £180 - £600
Insurance group 20 - 31
Get an insurance quote with Mustard logo
Fuel economy 35.8 - 47.9 mpg
Miles per pound 5.2 - 7.0
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Alternative fuel

Pros & cons

  • 300hp flagship offers lots of thrills
  • Sharp handling and quick steering
  • PHEV eHybrid model is tax efficient
  • Plenty of talented rivals
  • eHybrid model not that exciting to drive
  • Touch-sensitive controls are frustrating

Written by Luke Wilkinson Published: 29 January 2024 Updated: 14 May 2024


The Cupra Leon is the replacement for the old SEAT Leon Cupra but, rather than wearing a SEAT badge, it was rebranded under the Spanish company’s performance-focused offshoot brand, Cupra, back in 2020.

The Cupra Leon looks very similar to the SEAT Leon on which it’s closely based, but it features a few tweaks to set it apart from its standard sibling. Revisions include a more aggressive body kit, a lower ride height, some sports seats and Cupra’s trademark copper trim accents. Underneath, the more potent versions are near-enough identical to the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R.

Buyers have a number of engines to choose from. Things start with an economical 150hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol with a six-speed manual gearbox or mild-hybrid enhanced seven-speed auto. Want more speed? There’s three 2.0-litre petrols with 190, 245 or 300hp. However, the Cupra Leon Estate gets an even punchier 310hp and four-wheel drive, too.

There’s also a plug-in hybrid option, which uses the same powertrain found in the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTE and Skoda Octavia vRS iV. The setup comprises a turbocharged 1.4- litre four-cylinder petrol engine, a 12.8kWh battery pack and a 116hp electric motor, offering a combined output of 245hp and 370Nm of torque.

Rivals are plentiful, with three coming from within the Volkswagen Group alone. The various versions of the Golf GTI and Octavia vRS are the obvious choices, but the 310hp Audi S3 can also compete with the most potent versions of the Cupra Leon.

Outside of the Volkswagen Group, there’s the Ford Focus ST, the Hyundai i30 N, the outgoing Honda Civic Type R and the Mercedes-AMG A 35. If you’re prepared to downsize a little, you can get your hands on the utterly excellent Toyota GR Yaris for the same sort of money as the Cupra Leon, bagging yourself a rally-bred four-wheel drive system in the process.

Given how crowded the market is, our biggest question is whether the Cupra Leon can bring something fresh to the space and drag buyers away from the established competition. Over the next few pages, we’ll review every aspect of the car, considering its practicality, comfort, running costs and driving experience before offering our final verdict.