The Cupra Leon Estate is somewhat of a wolf in sheep’s clothing as underneath its stylish body is an engine capable of matching most dedicated sports cars. On a recent short break in Wales, Jeremy Webb took the opportunity to put it through its paces.
Before we get into the meat of the review, I should point out that the car I am testing goes by two names. In the UK, it is known as the Estate model whilst overseas its name is the Sportstourer. As this review was performed in the UK, I’ll be referring to it by its British name.
It felt good being back in a sporty petrol car; the sensations are visceral with smells and noise you don’t get from Electric Vehicles. The Cupra Leon Estate I was driving bucks the trend of recent years, being fuelled by unleaded instead of diesel or powered as a Hybrid. Cupra, however, does make two Hybrid versions of the Leon estate labelled as the petrol models are VZ2 and VZ3.
The VZ2 and VZ3 options have some interior differences, but the petrol-powered car I drove has the same 2-litre Turbo engine, automatic gearbox, and four-wheel drive. The engine produces 310 PS power output with a blistering acceleration of 0-60 mph in 4.9 secs, and crikey it is thrilling to put your foot down in what can be a sedate family estate but would not be out of place on a track day.
I didn’t get to take the Cupra Leon Estate onto a track, but I did get on a friend’s private roads, which was superb. You get the full impact of fast acceleration, braking from speed, and acute changes of direction, which make driving fun. They show what the car can do on the road if you need to make emergency manoeuvres.
After enjoying myself, I then had to take the Cupra Leon Sportstourer across the country on a family trip. The car was impeccable on a five-hour journey featuring motorways and considerable mileage on A roads. Ergonomically the cockpit and Drivers’ display are ideal, enabling many functions to be operated from the steering wheel or easily to hand on the touch screen monitor.
I was comfortably relaxed and made the trip with one short comfort break and a fill-up of tea from my trusty flask. The seats supported my larger than I would like posterior, and if I had wanted, I could have had it heated along with my hands as it has both seats and the steering wheel heated.
The suspension copes with everything, smoothing out the harshest potholes yet maintaining a superb grip on the road to allow the tightest of corners to be taken rapidly.
As I mentioned, I pushed the Cupra Leon Estate hard on a private road, and it handled everything supremely well. You will be impressed with the road holding in any situation, and it allows you the confidence to enjoy the vehicle’s full potential.
The Cupra Leon Estate has all the safety technology expected of new cars, such as lane departure notification, blind-spot warning and braking alert. Tech lovers like me will love the choice of displays in the digital cockpit. You can have a minimal, clean display limiting only the essential information or various coloured and shaped presentations with all the bells and whistles.
I particularly like the orange light inside the vehicle, by the door mirrors, to notify you of anything approaching you from either side. Located in the door panel is a light strip that houses the warning light and lights that change colour to red when the doors open when the headlights are on.
The engine economy is super impressive, with the 55 litre, approximately 10-gallon petrol tank providing around 530 KM or 340 miles of driving at regular speeds. On full when the car was delivered, I drove the Cupra Leon Estate from the south coast to North Wales, a journey of 303 miles without refuelling.
All occupants will find plenty of room and comfortable seating in the standard five-passenger configuration. You will also appreciate the internal space, which offers a variety of arrangements, with rear seats being able to fold flat so a van-like area can be created if you need long items or large amounts of anything moved. You and your passengers will enjoy the Cupra Leon Estate’s infotainment system which provides all the necessary Apps and Media connections which are now a must.
If I had to drive one car permanently, I would be happy for the Cupra Leon Estate to be it. The performance allows you to push it along rapidly, eat away miles of motorway and A roads, and have great fun on the twisty B roads. The car’s handling matches the drive you get from the powerful 2-litre engine, soaking up the harshest surfaces providing grip in the tightest corners. You feel safe in the hugging, comfortable seats and with all the safety aids packed into what is a quite excellent car.
For more details about the Cupra Leon Estate, please visit www.cupraofficial.co.uk.
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