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View all SEAT Leon reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

It doesn’t matter which model you buy, all SEAT Leon Cupra running costs are reasonable – not least the fuel economy. The seven-speed automatic achieves up to 44.1mpg and the six-speed manual 42.2mpg in ST 280 guise.

Of course you’re unlikely to replicate those figures in the rear world, but driven gently we’d expect over 32mpg to be eminently possible. It’s the SC 280 with DSG that is the least polluting though, and so the cheapest to tax.

Clearly insurance is going to be relatively high, but there’s no reason to choose the regular Cupra over the Cupra 280 as there’s no cost saving by doing so.

It’s clearly a performance car – hitting 62mph from rest in under six seconds guarantees so – which is why it’s so impressive that SEAT Leon Cupra emissions are all under 157g/km.

For the lowest possible polutions you’ll need to buy the SC 280 with DSG box, which emits 149g/km. All other examples, be they five door, three door, manual or DSG automatic pump out 154g/km, excepting the manual ST at 157g/km. All come with start/stop to reduce output and the exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head – that means that it warms up quicker and pollutes less.

The firm’s new favourite tagline reads “We are Spanish and German” so thanks to parent company VW, SEAT Leon Cupra reliability should be top-notch. Certainly there’s little questioning the shutlines or fit and finish of this car – inside and out.

Despite the high power output the engine’s a proven entity as well, used throughout the whole VW group range in various states of tune, and feels entirely robust in use.

We’d question how long the white trim in the interior (seat bolsters and door card sections) will remain clean and bright, although the rest of the cabin is standard Leon and should last fine. Interestingly the flap in front of the gearlever, which often failed to spring open on early cars, has been removed on the Cupra models – presumably for reliability issues.

Estimated fuel cost per year

Fuel type Pence per litre Estimated cost per year *
Unleaded 128p £1,353 - £1,419 *

* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.

Highest and lowest CO2 emissions

Engine CO2 emissions Road tax (12 months)
2.0 TSi (290bhp) Petrol g/km (Min) N/A
2.0 Petrol,
2.0 TSi (290bhp) Petrol
158 g/km (Max) £200

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £160 - £200
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 32 - 35
How much is it to insure?

Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.