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Seat Leon Cupra: seriously quick hatchback

The Seat Leon Cupra is one of the most exciting – and understated – hatchbacks around. Andrew Frankel takes one for a spin

Seat Leon 2.0 TSI Cupra

This model from £28,210

We all know the Volkswagen Golf GTI. But how many of us know about another car that offers the same structure, a far more powerful version of the same engine and arguably better looks for an indisputably lower price? That is the pitch of this new Seat Leon Cupra 280, one of the most capable and entertaining hot hatchbacks around.

Just don’t mistake it for an impractical weekend warrior. Beneath that pugnacious appearance lurks a practical hatchback with a competitively spacious interior and a big boot. Despite its uncompromising wheels and tyres, the Leon is admirably quiet and comfortable over long distances, too. And, given the Leon has more power than a Porsche Boxster or Cayman, the fact it will return over 40mpg with a light foot is also commendable. In short, the Leon may not have a posh name, but in all other respects it adds up to an effective family car and a terrific driving machine.


  • Engine: 1984cc, 280bhp
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Top speed: 155mph
  • 0-60mph acceleration: 5.8sec


  • Claimed economy: 42.8mpg
  • VED: Group G
  • Insurance Group: 30 (1=low, 50=high)

RAC Drive Verdict

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