Cupra Born Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Car Review

Cupra Born

£ N/A
Published: 13 Oct 2021


What is it like to drive?

We’ve only had the chance to drive a single version of the Born so far on smooth Spanish roads, but first impressions are good – although you’d need to be a real hotshoe that’d just jumped out of an ID.3 to tell much of a difference between the Cupra and its German sibling. They’re remarkably similar. 

It’s not that sporty then?

To be fair to the Born, we’ve only tested the mid-spec 201bhp model with its 58kWh battery and without the optional DCC. When lacking its party-piece 30-second e-Boost to call on it’s a long way from a hot hatch – there’s no drama to the power delivery and no playfulness in twisty stuff. It’s certainly not sluggish – 0-62mph only takes 7.3 seconds with this setup and all versions get the same 229lb ft of torque, but the brake pedal is spongy (those with e-Boost will get bigger brakes) and it’s so quiet and composed that it doesn’t quite meet Cupra’s claims of “electrifying performance” or an “emotional driving experience”.

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That doesn’t sound too bad, though?

Not at all – as an everyday hatch the Born is right up there. The rear-wheel drive layout and low-mounted battery pack means it turns in sharply, gets a neat little turning circle and limits bodyroll well. Rather frustrating that you don’t get a full ‘one-pedal’ driving mode, though – even in Brake mode there could be more immediate regen. 

We’re yet to test it on UK roads, but when equipped with the larger wheel options that lower suspension doesn’t seem to make things too firm. Like in the Mk8 Golf, the optional DCC offers 15 different levels of suspension firmness. Crikey.

Talk to me about refinement…

Like the ID.3, the Born repels road noise well. Even at motorway speeds you’ll only really notice a touch of wind noise. 

Is it efficient?

Very good question. With a drag coefficient of 0.27 the Born is fairly slippery despite its height, and we managed over 3.0miles per kWh with a mix of town and country driving in warm weather. Not bad. 

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