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Car Review

Cupra Leon review

£31,370 - £43,450
Published: 10 Jan 2024


What is it like on the inside?

It’s all very familiar inside the Cupra Leon – not just if you’ve been in a Seat Leon, but if you happen to have stopped by the inside of a Volkswagen Golf lately. The layout and controls are all fairly familiar.

It's still a tarted up Seat though, right?

Most of what you’re looking at is obvious from the Seat version of the Leon – same dashboard, same touchscreen, same misguided touch-sensitive climate controls. On the steering wheel you’ll note new buttons: an engine starter and a Cupra logo that switches between the car’s various driving modes. Best not to get them confused just as you’re about to join a motorway, or plunge onto a busy roundabout.

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The minimalist cabin causes problems across the board. Want to adjust the heated seats? Touchscreen sub-menu. Climate controls? Touchscreen sub-menu. Pretty much everything is controlled in there, unless you want to shout “Hola hola” at the voice assistant, like you’re in a lost episode of Fawlty Towers.

In the PHEV you have to visit a touchscreen sub-menu to toggle when you want the battery charge to be saved up. Annoying.

What's it like to sit in?

The Cupra seats are fantastic: handsome, supportive and comfy, although they’re not mounted very low – it barely feels lower than the Formentor crossover, in here. The cabin plastics are fine, general build quality is very good, and there are enough bronze highlights to lift the dour ambience.

In the back, the Leon puts its longer-than-a-Golf wheelbase to good use by being roomier than the VW. The boot’s a decent enough size in the pure petrol (380 litres), though the PHEV (270 litres) loses a considerable amount due to underfloor stowage being sacrificed for the battery pack.

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The estate meanwhile gets 620 litres as a petrol, and 470 litres as a plug-in hybrid.

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