The interior layout, fit and finish
The Leon’s driving position is fundamentally great, with pedals that line up neatly with the steering wheel and driver’s seat, which is comfy on long journeys and really supportive through corners.
The digital instruments behind the steering wheel are great and can be set up in a number of styles. However, the Leon doesn’t have proper buttons and switches on its dashboard, and instead it has touch-sensitive pads like the latest VW Golf GTI. You can’t find these by feel, so you have to look away from the road to check you’re not just pressing a random bit of the dashboard – and that’s distracting at 30mph, let alone 70mph.
You also get a natural voice control function. You wake it up by saying “Hola, Hola”, and then things like “I’m cold” and it’ll turn up the heater. It doesn’t always work, though, and talking to it might also make your passengers think you’ve gone a bit weird.
The Leon certainly has a plusher-looking interior than the Ford Focus ST or Honda Civic Type R – although the latter is just as solidly built. You’ll find squidgy, dense-feeling plastic on the top of the dashboard and lots of Cupra flourishes dotted about. It still doesn’t look or feel as posh inside as a BMW M135i, but it’s pretty much as good as the Golf GTI.