2023 Cupra Leon review | CarExpert


It’s laborious to go far with out tripping over a Volkswagen Golf GTI or Golf R in 2022. The Cupra Leon is right here to supply another.

Below the pores and skin, the Cupra Leon is a hotted-up model of the Seat Leon – itself a Spanish tackle the Volkswagen Golf.

It shares its powertrains with elements of the Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf ranges, and the cabin options the most recent know-how the Volkswagen Group has to supply.

It’s removed from a carbon copy, although. Outdoors, the Leon is clothed in a pointy Spanish go well with that’s eye-catching in individual, particularly within the hero matte blue with copper accents, and the automobile is being offered on-line or via retail-style Cupra Storage areas as a substitute of standard sellers.

There’s no correct entry-level model, both. Even the least highly effective Leon packs 30kW greater than a base Golf, and the plug-in hybrid VZe packs a powertrain not provided elsewhere within the Volkswagen, Skoda, or Audi stables domestically.

Cupra is pitching itself as a “tribe” to Australians, and the Leon is aimed squarely at individuals who need the efficiency and polish of a Volkswagen scorching hatch, however don’t to be part of the Golf membership.

How a lot does the Cupra Leon VZx value?

The Leon has already been given a worth tweak for 2023. Any inventory that’s on the bottom could have the value and gear outlined right here, any new orders will likely be on the pricing listed under and have the gear outlined right here.

The Leon VZx we examined has a sticker of $65,490 drive-away, placing it above the Hyundai i30 N Premium DCT with sunroof (~$58,500 D/A) and roughly in step with a fully-optioned Volkswagen Golf GTI (~$65,500 D/A).

It undercuts the Golf R ($65,990) and Audi S3 ($70,700) with which it shares an engine.

2023 Cupra Leon pricing:

  • Cupra Leon V: $43,990 (D/A TBC)
  • Cupra Leon VZ: $52,990 ($57,490 D/A)
  • Cupra Leon VZe: $60,490 (D/A costs fluctuate, full checklist right here)
  • Cupra Leon VZx: $61,490 ($65,490 D/A)

All costs exclude on-road prices until specified

What’s the Cupra Leon VZx like on the within?

The Leon is basically a Spanish cousin to the Golf, and it feels it behind the wheel. That’s to not say it’s a carbon copy, although.

With distinctive bronze highlights and beautiful petrol blue leather-based trim, to not point out the wheel and its supercar-style begin button, the Leon VZx appears to be like and feels a bit extra particular than its demure German relative.

Even the bottom Leon V on present on the Cupra launch occasion seemed and felt particular inside, albeit with out among the posher supplies you get within the VZx.

The basics are glorious. Driver and passenger sit in sporty seats with loads of bolstering, and tall drivers received’t have hassle getting snug.

It’d be good if the seats dropped decrease to actually ship a sporty really feel, however in any other case there isn’t a lot to complain about.

As you’d anticipate of a contemporary Volkswagen Group cabin, screens are the showpiece right here.

The touchscreen is a 12-inch unit operating Cupra’s tackle the software program rolled out throughout the Golf and Octavia ranges, together with the identical contact sliders under for quantity and temperature management.

Factors to Cupra for permitting homeowners to drop a widget on the house display to manage fan velocity for the air-con, and for making shortcut buttons outstanding – it’s simpler to leap across the system than within the Golf – however it’s fiddly at occasions.

The digital cockpit is good-looking, and options distinctive graphics in line with Cupra’s sportier remit. The steering wheel itself feels nice in your palms, and has correct buttons as a substitute of the contact controls rolling out elsewhere.

Choosing the VZx will get you a begin/cease button and drive mode controller on the wheel; different fashions bury their drive modes within the touchscreen. The very fact you want to dive via a display for Sport mode in most variations is tough to know.

Rear seat house is about par for the category. The chunky seats with their one-piece backrests block ahead visibility, however youngsters will have the ability to get snug again there with out an excessive amount of stress.

Common-sized adults will have the ability to slot again there as nicely, though the larger Formentor or Ateca are higher choices in case you’re lugging folks round repeatedly.

Twin ISOFIX factors and three top-tether factors for youngster seats function again there, together with a fold-down central armrest, air vents, and twin USB-C factors.

Boot house varies based mostly on which model you select. The VZe has simply 270 litres due to the PHEV battery {hardware}, whereas the VZ and VZx up that to 380L.

What’s below the bonnet?

Every of the 4 Cupra Leon variants has a distinct powertrain. We drove the VZx, and element its outputs under – for a breakdown of the broader vary, try our full worth and specs.

The VZx is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 221kW of energy and 400Nm of torque, despatched solely to the entrance wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The identical tune is utilized to the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport in Europe, and sits between the Golf GTI (180kW) and R (235kW) in Australia.

Claimed gasoline financial system is 6.8 litres per 100km on the mixed cycle. The Leon VZx calls for 98 RON premium unleaded.

How does the Cupra Leon VZx drive?

The Leon VZx places a twist on a formulation that’s received the Volkswagen Golf GTI and R so many followers.

Each these vehicles function variations of the identical engine, so we all know efficiency isn’t an issue, however the Leon is front-wheel slightly than all-wheel drive.

On dry roads it places its energy down nicely, given you’re channeling 221kW and 400Nm to on the entrance axle, however it’s going to spin its wheels in case you’re grasping with the throttle within the decrease gears, and there’s a little bit of tug from the steering wheel on roads with some camber.

The two.0-litre EA888 engine is a identified amount by now. There’s only a trace of lag down low, earlier than it squeezes you again in your seat and drop kicks you down the highway. The 100km/h dash takes a claimed 5.7 seconds, however the quickest Leon feels sooner than that in-gear.

After all if that’s not sufficient, the Audi RS3 or Mercedes-AMG A45 S could be extra your velocity. Be ready to dig deeper into your piggybank for the privilege, although.

The engine is louder and extra aggressive within the Leon than different purposes, with a loud consumption whoosh and laborious bark that feels genuine in a method the faux sound piped into another Volkswagen Group efficiency vehicles isn’t.

Serving to hold issues in examine is an electrically-controlled limited-slip differential, which you’ll really feel dragging you out of corners whenever you dive into the throttle’s journey.

I’d have an interest to see the way it works within the moist, however on dry roads the differential is spectacular, and actually performs into the automobile’s billing as a extra aggressive different to the Golf R.

The seven-speed DSG is lightning fast via the gears, though it’d be good if Cupra fitted greater, metallic shift paddles rather than the cheap-feeling ones you get right here.

The entrance finish feels properly dialled in, and the automobile feels rock stable when you’re right into a nook. It’s laborious to know if it’s extra adjustable than one thing like a Golf GTI based mostly on our first drive; a correct hot-hatch shootout with Chris Atkinson behind the wheel beckons.

Even within the raciest Cupra mode the Leon received’t shake your fillings unfastened. Mid-corner bumps don’t deflect it, though sharper bumps thump into the cabin such as you’d anticipate of a small automobile on massive wheels.

Just like the Golf R, the Leon rides on dampers that may be flicked via 15 completely different settings. You’re capable of make them extra relaxed than even the usual Consolation setting, or firmer than Cupra mode, so there’s no scarcity of choices for drivers eager to customize precisely how the automobile rides.

The power to play two roles – relaxed on the commute, participating on the weekend – is a core a part of the Volkswagen Group’s pitch to consumers with its scorching hatches, and our launch drive suggests it’s current within the Leon as nicely.

There’s a wholesome serving of tyre roar on nation highways, however a full suite of lively driver assists is readily available to maintain a spot to the car in entrance, hold you between the white strains, and warn of hidden obstacles in your blind-spot.

What do you get?

Leon V highlights:

  • 18-inch black-and-silver alloy wheels
  • 18-inch space-saver spare wheel
  • Heated, energy folding aspect mirrors
  • LED headlights
  • LED daytime operating lights
  • Fog lights with cornering perform
  • LED tail lights with static indicators
  • Computerized headlights
  • Computerized high-beam
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Rear tinted home windows
  • 12-inch touchscreen infotainment show
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Wi-fi cellphone charger
  • 4 USB-C ports
  • Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters
  • Inside ambient lighting
  • Black headliner
  • Fabric sports activities bucket seats
  • Driver profile choice
  • Dynamic Chassis Management
  • Progressive steering
  • Keyless entry and begin
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Three-zone local weather management
  • Illuminated sill panels
  • Aluminium pedals
  • Semi-autonomous parking help

Leon VZ provides:

  • 19-inch black-and-silver alloy wheels

Leon VZe provides:

  • Tyre restore equipment (in lieu of space-saver spare wheel)

Leon VZx provides:

  • 19-inch black-and-copper alloy wheels
  • Facet skirts
  • Quad-tipped exhaust
  • Heated ‘supersports’ leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Petrol Blue dashboard
  • Petrol Blue leather-based entrance bucket seats
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Energy driver’s seat with reminiscence
  • Reminiscence mirrors
  • 9-speaker Beats sound system

Out there choices embrace:

  • Energy sunroof: $1800 (all fashions)
  • Brembo brake package deal: $3600 (VZx)
  • Leather-based and Sound package deal: $2450 (V, VZ)
    • Leather-based upholstery
    • Heated entrance seats
    • Energy driver’s seat with reminiscence
    • Mirror reminiscence
    • Dashboard with copper-coloured stitching
    • 9-speaker Beats sound system
  • Leather-based package deal: $2050 (VZe)
    • Leather-based upholstery
    • Heated entrance seats
    • Energy driver’s seat with reminiscence
    • Mirror reminiscence
    • Dashboard with copper-coloured stitching

Is the Cupra Leon VZx secure?

The Cupra Leon wears a five-star ANCAP security ranking, which is predicated on Euro NCAP testing performed in 2020 on the associated Seat Leon.

It acquired an grownup occupant safety ranking of 91 per cent, a baby occupant safety ranking of 88 per cent, a susceptible highway consumer safety ranking of 71 per cent, and a security help ranking of 80 per cent.

Commonplace security gear consists of:

  • 10 airbags
  • AEB with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection
  • Adaptive cruise management
  • Lane-keep help with freeway lane-centring
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Secure exit warning
  • Driver fatigue monitoring
  • Reversing digital camera

How a lot does the Cupra Leon VZx value to run?

The Cupra Leon is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Cupra additionally consists of three years of free servicing.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Cupra Leon VZx

There’s loads of selection within the Leon vary.

On the backside finish of the vary, the upcoming Leon V shapes as a well-specced different to a VW Golf R Line or perhaps a base Audi A3, whereas the Leon VZe plug-in hybrid fills one of many only a few empty niches elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group Australia world.

The actual pleasure for lovers lies within the VZx, although. It possesses virtually all of the polish of a Golf R or Audi S3, however options an additional dose of mongrel because of its front-wheel drive setup.

We’ll know extra after we spend extra time with the automobile, however based mostly on our first highway drive it’s going to be an attention-grabbing addition to the already crowded scorching hatch market in Australia.

Click on the photographs for the complete gallery

MORE: The whole lot Cupra Leon


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