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Car Review

Cupra Born review

£36,420 - £43,680
Published: 04 Jul 2022


What is it like on the inside?

Here’s perhaps the biggest difference between the Cupra and its Volkswagen twin. In pictures the two cabins look remarkably similar, and yes the Cupra does get the same minimalist, button-free layout (argh!), but the materials used feel much more premium. There are more soft-touch surfaces than scratchy plastics and the funky little 3D patterns are everywhere you look.

Sadly the touch sensitive ‘buttons’ on the steering wheel are just as annoying as in the Volkswagen and you’ll clip them almost every time you turn a corner, but the seats are absolutely excellent. Bucket seats are standard, with base spec versions made from upcycled marine plastics whilst the heated, massaging optional units use a fabric called Dinamica. The latter is made from old T-shirts and plastic bottles and feels a little like suede. It's very nice and probably worth the £185 upgrade as a talking point alone. 

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Tell me about screens.

The central screen measures 12 inches across no matter what spec you go for, and – as we’ve found in other cars using this new VW system – does glitch occasionally and can take a moment or two to react to inputs. This is annoying since it controls every function from active safety bits to climate control too, so a more responsive and trustworthy unit would be preferable. E-Boost-equipped cars get a drive mode shortcut on the steering wheel. 

How’s the practicality?

It’s tall inside, which means plenty of headroom, but means it feels more like an MPV than the hunkered down hot hatch Cupra is claiming. At least the abundance of glass gives the Born an airy feel. Rear seat passengers sit higher but there’s enough legroom back there, whilst the boot can swallow 385-litres of luggage. For reference, the current Seat Leon gets a 380-litre boot.

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