Cupra is off to a hot start in Australia.
The Spanish brand, spun off from SEAT under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group, is on track to deliver more than 1000 cars this year after officially opening orders in mid-2022 and is holding enough orders. to make 500 more.
Beneath the crust, VZ shares its oils with one of the world’s most famous hot hatches: Volkswagen Golf GTI.
It is not a carbon copy. Along with a more angular exterior, the Leon has an interior that’s unique compared to its more dignified German cousin, and engineers at Cupra HQ in Barcelona say they’ve delivered a more dynamic, personal ride. slightly.
The Leon is also considerably cheaper than the Golf. It sounds delicious.
Leon VZ has a driving price is $57,490 nationwideand the list price of $52,990 before circulation.
It’s $6000 cheaper than the VZe plug-in hybrid and $8000 cheaper than the flagship VZx. It undercuts the Volkswagen Golf GTI ($54,990, excluding the $3900 Premium Package) with which it shares the platform and powertrain.
It also undertakes Hyundai i30 Hatch N DCT ($49,200). The Ford Focus ST disappeared from Australia, Renault Megane RS on the way out, and CHEAP Honda Civic is a more serious beast, with a manual transmission and prices starting at number seven.
Price of Cupra Leon VZ 2023:
- Cupra Leon V: $43,990 ($47,990 driving)
- Cupra Leon VZ: $52,990 ($57,490 in drive away)
- Cupra Leon VZe: $60,490 (varies by state)
- Cupra Leon VZx: $61,490 ($65,490 driving)
Price does not include road costs
The Leon is essentially Spain’s cousin to the Golf, and it has the feel of being behind the wheel. However, that does not mean it is a carbon copy.
The fundamentals are great. The driver and passenger sit in sports seats with plenty of cushion, and tall riders will have no trouble sitting comfortably.
While the standard seats are decked out in quality fabric, our testers had soft leather trim and heating thanks to the Leather and Sound Pack.
It’s a box worth ticking, because with nicer seats and a sound system, it gives the Leon the feel of a rather premium small hatchback.
It would have been nice if the seats were lowered to really give it a sporty feel, but otherwise there’s not much to complain about.
As you would expect of a modern Volkswagen Group cabin, the display is the showpiece here. The touchscreen is a 12-inch device running Cupra’s software that’s rolled out worldwide. VW Golf and Skoda Octavia range, along with the same touch-sensitive sliders below for volume and temperature controls.
Point out Cupra for allowing owners to drop a widget on the home screen to control the air conditioner’s fan speed and to highlight off buttons – it’s easier to navigate around the system than in Golf – but sometimes it’s a bit unwieldy.
Changing the driving mode is also more difficult than it actually is. You need to flip through the sub-menus in the mid-range VZ to find Sport or Cupra, which seems an odd oversight for a brand that wants to sport openly.
We’d love to have a prominent button on the dashboard or a permanent shortcut on the touchscreen so you can switch to Sports more easily.
The sleek digital cockpit and unique graphics match the Cupra’s sportier style. The steering wheel itself feels great in the hand and has proper buttons instead of the touch controls that roll out elsewhere.
It will all feel familiar to anyone who has played Golf before, but it has a distinct flavor unique to Cupra.
Rear seat space is on par for the class. The sturdy seats with monolithic backrests obscure the forward view, but children will be able to comfortably sit back without too much stress.
Dual ISOFIX points and three top tether points for child seats are there, along with a fold-down center armrest, air vents and dual USB-C points.
The power in Leon VZ comes from a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine (EA888 engine used in Volkswagen Group) 180kW and 370Nm.
It is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 100 km/h sprint has been declared 6.4 seconds.
Fuel economy is claimed as 6.7 liters/100km on the combined cycle, we saw 8.1L/100km on the highway with a healthy dose of mental driving thrown in.
95 RON premium unleaded fuel is required as a minimum and the fuel tank contains 50 liters.
The Leon VZ is a unique balance based on the hot hatch formula.
Locked in Comfort mode, it’s a capable everyday driver. Ride quality is better than you’d expect on pitted roads, and the turbocharged engine has plenty of torque.
You can move around without getting too deep into the throttle travel, and it has enough force to keep up with traffic without ever really feeling stressed.
The dual-clutch transmission operates smoothly and shifts gears smoothly through the gears during travel. As has been the case with the Volkswagen Group’s hot hatchbacks for a long time, performance doesn’t really come with any compromises for day-to-day work.
It has light, direct steering and good visibility that makes it easy to squeeze into tight spaces, and the camera and sensor suite means there’s no reason to shave those pretty wheels. there.
With that said, Leon fell into a familiar trap on the Australian highway. With travel set to 100 km/h, the 19-inch wheels give off a lot of road roar, forcing you to turn up the stereo to drown out that noise.
A full suite of active driver-assist features is available to keep your distance from the vehicle ahead, keep you between white lines and warn of obstacles hidden in your blind spot at high speeds. speed, all intelligently calibrated.
Cupra gives you Sport and Cupra modes, but you can also configure the car using Personal mode.
The adaptive dampers can be switched through a variety of tones, from more comfortable in Comfort mode to more powerful in the most powerful Cupra mode; while the steering, engine and exhaust are all configurable.
On the bumpy roads between Melbourne and the Haunted Hills, everything locked into the most aggressive Cupra mode expects the suspension, placed somewhere between Comfort and Sport, to be the right combination.
Such a setup Leon is a fun, fast way to cover the ground. The front end is easy to rotate, the bodywork is well controlled even with the adaptive dampers set to focus on compliance.
The steering is precise and direct, so it’s easy to get the car where you want it, and there’s plenty of torque at the touch to pull you out of corners from the low end of the rev range.
It’s still not as lively as the Focus ST, but it feels more adjustable than the GTI.
The rear end is more active when braking or when you lift the gas, but it still feels approachable – it’s tight but offers more playtime. It’s a good space to occupy.
Shifting from the seven-speed gearbox is sharp in Cupra mode, and pulling the plastic paddles behind the wheel creates an immediate response. When you take charge of the paddle, the car will actually be in the one you chose unless it’s completely impossible.
Cupra has tuned the in-car dummy sound a little differently from what you get elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group, and it has a character of its own.
Highlights of Leon V:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- LED headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- Fog lights with cornering function
- LED tail lights
- automatic headlights
- Automatic headlights
- Rain sensor wiper
- Rear tinted window
- 10.25-inch digital cockpit cluster
- 12-inch touchscreen infotainment screen
- Apple CarPlay Wireless, Android Auto
- Wireless phone charger
- 4 USB-C ports
- Leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel
- Heated rearview mirror, electric folding
- Gearshift paddles
- Configurable ambient light
- black headlights
- Black sport fabric bucket chair
- Driver Profile Selection
- Dynamic Chassis Control
- progressive direction
- Keyless entry and start
- Automatic anti-glare rearview mirror
- 3 zone climate control
- Illuminated door sill
- Aluminum pedal
- Semi-automatic parking assistance
Leon VZ adds:
- 19-inch black and silver alloy wheels
Power sunroof: $1800 (all models)
Skin and Sound Pack: $2450 (V, VZ)
- leather cover
- Front heated seats
- Electric driver’s seat with memory
- Mirror memory
- Panel with copper stitching
- Beats 9-speaker sound system
Cupra Leon wears a Five-star safety rating ANCAPbased on Euro NCAP testing conducted on SEAT Leon in 2020.
It received an adult occupant protection rating of 91%, a child occupant protection rating of 88%, a vulnerable pedestrian protection rating of 71% and a Safety support is 80%.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- 10 airbags included. front center, driver’s knee
- AEB includes Pedestrian, Bicyclist Detection
- Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
- Blind spot monitoring
- Rear traffic warning
- Monitor driver fatigue
- Lane keeping assist
- Proactively protect passengers (cash)
- Reverse camera
- Safe exit warning
- Travel assist (adaptive cruise + lane centering)
Cupra Leon is covered by a 5 year unlimited km warranty.
Cupra also does three years of additional scheduled maintenance on all models, which saves around $1,200-1500 based on what Skoda and Volkswagen charge.
Leon VZ fulfilled the promise set forth by Cupra.
It takes the tried and tested Volkswagen Group bones and adds a bit of spice, with the added bonus of lowering its cousins in price. The fact is that it’s a sleek alternative to the mainstream with a nicely furnished interior and it’s easy to notice the appeal.
While it doesn’t have the same hybrid feel as the VZx we drove earlier in 2022, the VZ still has enough edge to appeal to interested drivers without sacrificing everyday drivability. it.
Should you cancel that Golf GTI order and head to your local Cupra Garage? If you want to stand out from the crowd, there’s no harm in having a look.
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THAN: Everything Cupra Leon