Our Favourite Affordable Performance Cars - SEAT Leon Cupra

By: Lisa Harper

Next in our line-up of our favourite affordable performance cars is the;

SEAT Leon Cupra

Vital Statistics:
- 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 296bhp
- 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds
- Top Speed 154.7mph
- Approximately 42.8mpg
- 154g/km of CO2

SEAT is on a roll at the moment producing cars that people actually want to drive and the SEAT Leon Cupra should undoubtedly be at the top of your list.

SEAT Leon Cupra 300

Hop behind the wheel of a SEAT Leon Cupra to experience the thrills of true hot hatch performance. From the outside it might not be the most extravagant of racers, but don’t underestimate the power offered by this punchy little powerhouse.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is available with two power outputs, so you can choose between either 261bhp or 286bhp. Opt for the 290 version and you’ll quickly discover the joys of an engine that has been honed to peak 258lb ft torque at between 1750 to 5300rpm. All of which is delivered via a sleek shifting six-speed manual gearbox, although an optional automatic DSG dual-clutch is available. Either way, you will find yourself quickly cruising from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds. With the power being delivered in an impressive crescendo of turbo boost with no sudden torque. However it’s not just about pure power, the SEAT Leon Cupra is as civilised and comfortable pottering along as it is tearing up the track.

Tuned for the track, the SEAT Leon Cupra’s ride is firm but not unforgiving. The sharp sophisticated steering, good levels of grip to the road and balanced cornering ensure it can put in a worthy performance on the track. Plus as the Electronic Stability Programme is fully switchable, you can enjoy all that the Leon Cupra offers for a truly thrilling lap.

Aerodynamically designed the SEAT Leon Cupra has a streamlined, dynamic and contemporary shape, which we think is as enjoyable to look at as it is to drive. The distinctly detailed grille adds dominant assertiveness, while the CUPRA badge looks stylish and identifies the sporty nature of Cupra. New feature LED headlamps improve visibility and safety while also adding flair to the front aspect of the car. While the understated rear spoiler adds a nod to the performance within.

SEAT Leon Cupra infotainment

The interior has been ergonomically designed for driver comfort so you can enjoy every aspect of the road. Optional bucket seats provide an optimum driving position, making every journey more enjoyable. While the addition of an ambient lighting set up allows you to turn up the heat, or keep things calm and collected in the cabin, depending on your mood.

The high-resolution crystal clear digital instrument cluster is on par with systems found in more premium marques. It puts vital driving information right in front of you, so you can keep our eyes firmly placed on the track, or road in front of you.

Like many of its competitors the SEAT Leon Cupra allows you to enjoy driving as much on the road as you do on the track as there are multiple modes. Sport, Comfort and Individual modes ensure you get the perfect setting for every road surface. While for added practicality and great day-to-day driveability the SEAT Leon Cupra comes with a rear view camera, so you’ll never have any woes about parking up again.

SEAT Leon Cupra interior

Just because you want a sportier model doesn’t mean you should miss out on key technology that makes every day driving more convenient. Luckily the SEAT Leon Cupra comes as equipped as its less sporty sibling. This includes the option of wireless phone charger and KESSY keyless system. Plus as it is compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto you can even make the most of your mobile phone on the go.

The 380-litre boot capacity ensures there is space for all of your kit. However if that’s not enough you can fold the rear seats forward to increase the load area further, giving you space to carry larger, bulkier items.

The combined 40.9mpg will be achievable if you are gentle on the pedal, however push your foot firmly to the floor and you’ll find it less efficient. Still it’s far less greedy than a Ford Focus RS.

SEAT Leon Cupra rear view

The SEAT Leon Cupra is also ready for those times when your loved ones are travelling with you, as it comes with a five-star Euro NCAP rating. The state-of-the-art safety systems offer added peace of mind. It includes the likes of pedestrian protection, traffic jam assist and tiredness recognition, so you can always feel safe. 

So if you’re looking for a dynamic drive experience with all the thrills of a true hot hatch but the practicality of a family car then why not take the SEAT Leon Cupra for a test drive!

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