New Volkswagen Golf R Estate vs Cupra Leon Estate: costs
These two fast freighters combine power with practicality, but which is the better buy?...
Buying and owning
Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security
As a cash buy, the Cupra Leon Estate is a fair chunk cheaper than the VW Golf R Estate, and you can wangle a handy discount off that price if you’re prepared to haggle – or if you make use of our free online New Car Deals service. No discounts were available on the Golf at the time of writing.
However, despite the Golf’s higher price, it’ll actually cost you almost £3000 less to own over three years than the Leon. This is mostly due to the Golf’s slower predicted depreciation, but its slightly cheaper insurance also helps. Okay, it loses out to the Leon on real-world fuel economy, but the difference is so small (32.1mpg versus 32.7mpg in our True MPG tests) that you’ll barely notice. The Golf’s superior retained values also explain why it’s slightly cheaper on monthly PCP finance than the Leon.
On the other hand, neither makes for a good company car choice; both sit in the highest (37%) benefit-in-kind tax band. Such buyers would be much better off opting for the plug-in hybrid version of the Cupra Leon; it’s nowhere near as good to drive, but its lower CO2 emissions mean much lower company car tax.
The Leon has the upper hand when it comes to standard equipment, though, with leather trim, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and wireless phone charging all thrown in. Speccing a Golf to match the Leon VZ3 would add more than £5000 to its price. In fact, it’s worth noting that if you can live without these comforts, the VZ2 offers the same fancy adaptive suspension while saving you more than £2500.
The Leon (even the cheaper VZ2) comes with more safety tech as standard than the Golf, too, including blind-spot monitoring and exit assist to warn of approaching cars and bikes when opening the door.
Like the Golf, the Leon has a five-star (out of five) Euro NCAP safety rating, but because it was tested under the more stringent regime that began in 2020, exact comparisons with the Golf’s 2019 rating are tricky.
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