Superb engine and performance, wonderful styling, precise handling, refined ride
Some hard interior plastics
At the top of the Leon range is the performance Cupra model. Unlike the similarly sporty FR version, the Cupra only comes with a petrol engine, but the 2.0-litre turbocharged unit boasts 240bhp making it one of the most powerful hot hatches around. It's also quick with a 0-62mph time of 6.4 seconds while fuel economy is a reasonable 35mpg. It's based on the 2005 Volkswagen Golf GTI which means it handles superbly with responsive steering and great grip.
Oddly, it actually has a smoother ride than the less powerful FR and feels that little bit more special, helped by unique Cupra badging on the tailgate. A K1 version is available which boasts an extreme bodykit while in mid 2009 the Cupra was facelifted with slight exterior tweaks and a more upmarket cabin.