Cupra Born long-term test: report 10

When we first tested the Cupra Born we were so impressed that we named it Small Electric Car of the Year. But does it continue to impress when you live with it every day?...

Cupra Born 20mph

The car Cupra Born 58kWh V3 150kW Run by James Tute, senior sub-editor

Why we’re running it To see if our Small Electric Car of the Year still makes sense as commuter and leisure transport if you don't have access to a home charger 

Needs to Deliver on the promise of a fun driving experience, low running costs and good practicality, while having enough range for weekend getaways

Mileage 5354 List price £38,390 Target Price £38,390 Price as tested £38,390 Official range 250 miles Test range 215 miles

12 December 2022 – Computer says go: Part II 

Crunching the numbers. Scanning the stats. Totting up the totals. Whatever you choose to call it, I’ve become obsessed with it during 5000 miles and counting with my Cupra Born.

A lot of that has been to do with the practicalities of running an electric car, but there are plenty more digits to digest. Here are a few of them…

The official top speed of the Cupra Born is just over 99mph, but my average speed over the past 1847 miles has been 26mph.

And if there were some way of settling the wager, I’d be willing to bet good money that for at least 1500 of those miles, it was the Born choosing when to speed up or slow down with the adaptive cruise control (ACC) I gushed about in a previous report.

Cupra Born ACC

It’s included with all three Born trim levels (V1, V2 and V3) and works with the head-up display that projects the speed limit and other info on the windscreen, plus, if you choose, a ‘!’ warning if you go over it by 0mph, 3mph or 5mph.

So when I discovered an ACC setting I’d overlooked – a ‘Response to speed limit’ toggle on a page of the infotainment screen – I was eager to test it out.

Switching it on tells the Born that rather than sticking to the speed you’ve set with the steering wheel controls, you want it to drive at the speed limit (its cameras ‘read’ road signs to work that out).

Can it be trusted, though? The honest answer is: ‘Mostly, but not consistently enough for me to keep it on.’

I’d already clocked that the dashboard and head-up display occasionally show 30mph when the speed limit is 20mph. When I’m in charge of the target cruising speed, that’s no great problem, but when the Born accelerates based on its identified speed, it could be.

The ACC as a whole is still a fab stress-easing gadget, but when it comes to giving it that extra level of responsibility, I’m holding out for the software update that lifts its roadcraft to the next level.

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