4.2 out of 5 4.2
Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

“Sharp handling, but entry-level model leaves a little to be desired”

Cupra Leon Hatchback (20 on) - rated 4.2 out of 5
Enlarge 16 photos

At a glance

New price £33,100 - £40,485
Lease from new From £326 p/m View lease deals
Used price £25,195 - £35,970
Used monthly cost From £629 per month
Fuel Economy 35.8 - 217.3 mpg
Road tax cost £155 - £510
Insurance group 27 - 33 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • 300hp flagship offers lots of thrills
  • Sharp handling and quick steering
  • PHEV eHybrid model is tax efficient

CONS

  • Plenty of talented rivals
  • eHybrid model not that exciting to drive
  • No manual gearbox option

Cupra Leon Hatchback rivals

Written by Luke Wilkinson on

The Cupra Leon is the replacement for the old SEAT Leon Cupra but, rather than wearing a SEAT badge, it’s been rebranded under the Spanish company’s new performance-focussed offshoot brand, Cupra. We don’t understand the point of the exercise, but we’re not going to get hung up on the details.

The Cupra Leon looks very similar to the SEAT Leon on which it’s 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, it’s near-enough identical to the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Buyers have four engines to choose from. There are three pure-petrol options, all based on the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. The entry-level option produces 245hp and 370Nm of torque, while the flagship variant develops a stonking 300hp and 400Nm. The estate model has a more powerful version of the latter engine, with 310hp.

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.

Cupra Leon Hatchback rivals

Other Cupra Leon models: