The Cupra Leon is one of the cheaper hot hatches on sale | Top Gear
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Hot Hatch

The Cupra Leon is one of the cheaper hot hatches on sale

New 242bhp petrol version opens the range four grand below an equivalent Golf

Published: 07 May 2021
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Keen to buy a grey’n’copper Golf GTI, aka a Cupra Leon? Well, things just got a little more complex. As well as the 242bhp hybrid and 306bhp Golf R-chaser, there’s now a 242bhp petrol.

It’s no surprise, mind. Like the VW group’s other multifarious hot hatch – the Skoda Octavia vRS – the Leon nabs all possible powertrains to ensure it’s armed against every possible rival.

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This might just be The One You Want, too. Even if Cupra only fits it with a DSG auto, where that Golf and Octavia offer a manual as standard. It’s very good value, though, priced from £31,460. A Golf GTI DSG is £35k, while other front-drive performance heroes – Hyundai i30N, BMW 128ti, Renault Megane RS – all currently have prices starting with a 33. Given Cupra’s going for a posher, more upmarket feel, it’s a pleasant surprise the entry petrol Leon is one of the very cheapest big hot hatches on sale.

This particular Cupra Leon hits 62mph in 6.4secs, a 155mph top speed and offers up near-40mpg fuel economy. Claimed, of course. You get 18in alloys as standard or 19s with a £1,235 options pack.

And if that’s all not enough? The same 2.0-litre engine boosted up to 306bhp powers the Cupra Leon estate, driving all four wheels and dipping under the five-seconds-to-62 marker in the process. Prices for that start at £38,475, and sneak over 40 grand if you want all the chintz.

Would you go Cupra over GTI? Or, indeed, vRS, i30N, 128ti, RS or ST?

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