Cupra Leon Estate

2.0 TSI 4Drive VZ3

Cupra Leon Estate, 2023, front
Cupra Leon Estate, 2023, interior
Cupra Leon Estate, 2023, display screen
Cupra Leon Estate, 2023, gear lever

FEW cars have everything you want under a single roof. So it tends to be a bit of a compromise that becomes proportionately less drastic the more money you spend. A sad fact of life.

Then, occasionally, a model catches your eye that is just about everything you're looking for packed into one appealing bundle.

Such a car is the Cupra 2.0 TSI Estate 4Drive. A bit of a mouthful, but it happens to be something of a rarity that offers an enticing blend of high performance, space and elegance. And the price tag is well below £45,000.

Born a SEAT, and rebranded Cupra - the performance branch of the VW-owned Spanish marque - it has recently been restyled to give it greater cabin room and a more imposing appearance. The tidy-up works well, and while still being immediately recognisable, the lines flow more fluently and the passengers have greater legroom and space for their bags.

A quick glance at the specification reveals some familiar details more usually associated with top-drawer Golf GTIs and racy Audis. The four cylinder 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine punches out 307bhp, allowing it to polish off the 62mph dash in below five seconds. That's quick by most standards, and exceptional for an estate.

In line with its VW Group brethren, the engine is coupled to a seven speed, twin clutch automatic gearbox. The power is delivered to all four wheels, boosting adhesion and cutting out wheelspin.

Despite its increased girth, the Cupra feels trim and athletic to drive - not dissimilar to the Golf GTI, and that's praise indeed. The steering is meaty enough but does lack some feel, though precision is unquestionable.

Beefy low profile rubber on 19-inch alloys help ensure it stays firmly glued to the road. Ride is on the hard side of firm and cornering roll nearly non-existent. Pick up through the gears is of the neck-jerking variety and for those who wish to have maximum involvement, there are steering wheel paddles to switch cogs.

The cabin is neatly, if soberly, styled with plenty of black heavy duty plastic mouldings. Seats are well shaped for quick cornering and legroom front and rear is reasonably generous. The touchscreen works well enough but adjusting heating and air controls via the screen is far from easy on the move.

Rear luggage room is huge, with space for no less than 620litres of cargo before the rear seats are folded. Surprising, really, that the rear platform is so generously proportioned considering the car's rakish profile.

Quite a few of the VW Group's switchgear items can be identified and the style is sporty-sombre sprinkled with flashes of Cupra's trademark copper tint.

Despite the abundant power, it's fairly quiet mechanically bar the rorty - though manufactured - exhaust note. Tyre noise, however, is less pleasant and somewhat intrusive over some surfaces. There are four drive modes to choose from, according to mood and conditions.

With 300+bhp on tap and emissions of 186g/km, it's hardly surprising that economy isn't its forte. But our average of 29mpg didn't seem excessive considering the power.

FAST FACTS

Cupra Leon Estate 2.0 TSI 4Drive VZ3

Price: £43,090

Mechanical: 2.0-litre, 307bhp, 4 cyl petrol engine driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 4.9sec

Combined MPG: 32.8

Insurance Group: 33

C02 emissions: 186g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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