Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Reliable fuel consumption data for comparison purposes is not available for this model.

Fuel economy

A more stringent standard for fuel economy (WLTP) was introduced from September 2017, and this model was not required to undergo that test. Its fuel economy measured under the previous test system was 41 - 43 mpg. However these figures are less likely to be achievable in real world driving and so should never be compared to another car's mpg which was measured under the newer, more realistic WLTP system.

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.

SEAT Leon Cupra driving

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.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £180 - £220
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 32 - 35
How much is it to insure?