Seat Leon ST Cupra 2019 RHD rear seat

Seat Leon Cupra review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£33,395
What Car? Target Price£31,075
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

If you're a cash buyer, the Leon Cupra slots into the middle of the hot hatch pack in terms of list price. The hatchback, for example, is pricier than a Hyundai i30 N or entry-level Megane RS but cheaper than a Ford Focus ST, Golf R or Civic Type R. Its resale values are much weaker relative to the Civic Type R and Golf R, though, and this tends to impact on PCP finance deals. If you're buying on finance, make sure you head to our deals page to check out the best monthly figures on the Cupra and its rivals.  

It won't be ultra-cheap to run but, relatively speaking, its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are competitive – officially up to 38.7mpg for the hatchback. That said, the Civic Type R managed 35.1mpg in our real-world True MPG tests; that's seriously impressive. Seat as a manufacturer didn’t do too badly in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing in 15th position – above Volkswagen and Vauxhall but behind Ford, Honda and Hyundai. 

The Cupra does come well equipped; its feature tally encompasses LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, 19in alloy wheels, adaptive suspension and front and rear parking sensors, plus the limited-slip differential we mentioned earlier.  

The Leon received the maximum five stars in its Euro NCAP safety tests back in 2012. The tests it went through then weren't as strenuous as they are now, though, so it's reasonable to say that newer cars in the class, such as the Ford Focus (which achieved five stars more recently), could offer better crash avoidance and protection. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection is included, while the Driver Assistance Pack on the Cupra Lux yields lane-keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, a driver tiredness monitoring system and seatbelt reminders for the rear seats. There's no blindspot monitoring, though – something that many of the Leon's rivals offer. 

Security experts at Thatcham Research awarded the car a maximum five stars for resistance to theft and four stars out of five for guarding against being broken into.

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Seat Leon ST Cupra 2019 RHD infotainment
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Verdict

The Seat Leon Cupra is a very rapid hot hatch (more so the more powerful, four-wheel-drive Estate version), but it's not as precise or as much fun to drive as the best rivals, whether that's the cheaper Renault Megane RS or the slightly pricier Honda Civic Type R.

  • Flexible and powerful engine
  • Good standard equipment
  • Practical estate option
  • Not that cheap to buy
  • Not as involving to drive as the best rivals
  • Interior feels a bit cheap in places