The Seat Leon can take full credit for the brand’s revival back in 2012 when Seat face-lifted the Leon. It has since had a refresh in 2017 with an updated 1.6 litre diesel and a new turbocharged 1.0 litre petrol, including some new safety features, infotainment and convenience technology.
It’s no secret, the Leon is closely related to the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf, underneath all that bodywork. Some would even compare the Leon to more distant rivals such as the Ford Focus or the Vauxhall Astra.
The Seat Leon comes with 13 different trim levels, yes I said it, 13. It might be a little overwhelming to look at when you approach their website and leaves you wondering, “But why do they all look the same?” The long and short to this is yes, they do however, it’s what goes on underneath that really counts!
So with all that boring stuff aside, let’s take a look at why we’re really here. What made you come here in the first place? Ah, yes. The Seat Leon CUPRA.
Seat started working on its Cupra performance models from 1999 and within that year came the original Leon and the second generation Ibiza. They both achieved a 177bhp. Since 2016, engines have boosted up to a 287bhp and then a further 297bhp.
Unfortunately the front wheel drive Cupra 300 will be no longer. A seat spokesperson mentioned to Auto Express, “In the context of new homologations, there are adaptions for the exhaust-gas-treatment and for the power output. From now on, all front wheel drive 2.0 TSI Cupra will feature a 290PS engine, while the 4-wheel drive will feature a 300PS engine.” It is yet to be confirmed if the Leon Cupra’s performance and fuel economy may be affected.
The Seat Leon Cupra shares the same 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine as the Golf GTI, this is because the Leon uses the VW Group’s underpinnings.
[SEE: Latest Seat Leon Car Leasing Offers]
Comfort and Normal modes are available in the Seat Leon Cupra. The Cupra also comes with Dynamic Chassis Control where the stiffness is adjusted and outer limits are set through the Cupra Drive Profile. It’s a fancy setting that will allow the engine to rev a little higher in each gear and decreases steering assistance levels. Fun!
The Cupra comes with a front limited slip differential as standard and three stage adaptive dampers. This means the Cupra will have evenly distributed power on all wheels, it also means the suspension is likely to make quite the smooth ride.
Seat decided to boot the shorter drivetrain, 3 door SC model due to the decline of The five-door hatchback is the standard selection for the Seat Leon Cupra. It has enough space inside to qualify as a family car, plus boot space is impressive. You can choose an ST Cupra estate, too. If you’re looking for a speedy and practical car with a lot of interior space (a 587 litre boot) then this will certainly fit your bill. Each one of these models are offered with either the standard or black trim. Just before we move on, the best had to be saved for last. The top of the range model is the highly anticipated Seat Leon Cupra R. The range-topping model is the fastest of the bunch, but that’s not all it has in store. The Cupra R comes with extra kit and a copper trim topped with some pretty good looking copper alloys, too. For the £34,995 price tag, you’d be gutted to know the vehicle sold out in the UK in a matter of weeks. I mean, there were only 24 available to sell. Although, you could wait a little longer for the release of the estate version, if you feel you may have missed out.
The Cupra has a premium, solid feel inside. This places it in a much higher position than most of its rivals. LED lighting on the doors which change in colour depending on your selected driving profile. That being said, you also feel like it may still be a little too closely related to the standard Leon, which may put you off if you're wanting a hot hatch with super-sporty interior.
You do benefit from some Cupra logos, white stitching on the steering wheel, plus a metal finish for the pedals.
The FullLink infotainment system has some nifty features like a sat-nav and MirrorLink functions for smartphones such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The standard Leon models come with a five inch touch screen sat-nav, whereas the Cupra comes with a much bigger 6.6 inch system bringing you live trafic updates and 3D mapping. You can choose an eight-inch screen too.
A reversing camera and steering wheel controls help make driving thr Cupra that much easier. A practical interior includes plenty storage space including door bins, cubby holes and large glove box.
Opting for a Leon Cupra means you get some attractive 19 inch alloy wheels, LED daytime/headlights, unique Alcantara upholstery and the Cupra Drive profile system. Touchscreen navigation and adaptive cruise control with emergency brake assist and lane assist comes standard. If you chose the Black model, you’d benefit from multi-spoke alloys and deep bucket seats along with some unique black line trim features.
Although the Cupra is marked as Seat’s performance range, the Leon Cupra doesn’t look all that different to the standard Leon. The bodywork still shares that sharp, sporty look which makes the Leon a desirable hatchback. The Leon Cupra offers you a couple more enhancements such as the 19 inch polished alloys and bright red brake callipers. The LED headlights are standard on the Leon, so naturally it has been carried over to the Cupra. A subtle chequered flag badge sits nicely on the grille and some gloss black accents have been added behind the number plate. You also get the Cupra lettering across the tailgate.
The Seat Leon uses Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, so it shares its running gear with the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia. However, it’s arguable that the Seat Leon is better looking.
The Seat Leon Cupra 290 has a maximum speed of 155mph, covering 0-62 in 5.8 seconds. It doesn’t do too badly either with its fuel consumption 42.2mpg combined. All colour options are standard and come in either Mediterranean Blue, Mystery Blue, Desire Red, Magnetic Grey, Midnight Black, Nevada White or Urban Silver.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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