With a starting price of £33,100 for the Cupra Leon 245 TSI VZ1, it is currently the least expensive of the C-segment hot hatches, being nearly £1000 cheaper than a manual Hyundai i30 N and more than £3000 less than a manual Volkswagen Golf GTI, with automatic versions of those cars being even pricier.
VZ2, our test car’s trim, raises the price to £34,415 and adds adaptive dampers and larger wheels but still misses out on things you might expect like heated seats, a wireless phone charger and adaptive cruise control. VZ3 adds some of those, but is currently unavailable due to the chip shortage. There aren’t many optional extras – just premium paint options, driver assistance features and a glass sunroof.
Our test car came with the Safety and Driving Pack M, which adds high beam assist, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition. The advanced driver aids are much improved from earlier Volkswagen Group systems and the lane keeping assistance is relatively easy to turn off, but some usability issues remain. At one point, the traffic sign recognition indicated a 90mph speed limit and we had a few false warnings from the collision avoidance system.
As is typical for a relatively heavily boosted engine, fuel economy varies greatly depending on driving style, which explains the wide spread in our test figures. But high 30s are easily achievable during gentle motoring.