Cupra Leon 310 Estate

It’s talented, but hard to love

- Adam Towler

AS OUR TIME WITH THE LEON WAGON continues, so its limitation­s are beginning to show. The perennial issue with kit such as the Cupra is that while its speed, grip and traction are never in doubt, it’s the less tangible, empirical stuff that’s missing; qualities much harder to explain when you’re asked, ‘What’s it like?’

You could say it’s a practical estate car that will blast past 150mph with ease, would surely run rings around an old Subaru Impreza Turbo in poor conditions, and features all the modern convenienc­e tech anyone could desire. At that point non-car people just wouldn’t get the grievances. But that’s the point of evo, isn’t it? To look beyond mere numbers and to drill down into what makes one car genuinely appealing to the point you might spend almost your last penny on it, while another, if you never drove it again, would hardly raise a glimmer of regret. I don’t suppose I need to tell you which camp the Leon falls into.

That’s such a shame, but as an example its primary controls lack fidelity and precision. You can simply tell there’s been little love lavished on the car during its gestation, as if the VW Group’s focus has already shifted to the terrifying cash drain that is EV developmen­t. On a more practical note, I’m also finding the Cupra surprising­ly unrefined, chiefly because there’s an awful lot of road noise in the cabin. Maybe this is a peculiarit­y of the Hankook tyres, or of the more open estate interior, but it’s really noisy, and many passengers have picked up on this. Thankfully the strange blast of cold air that appeared in the footwell during hard cornering from time to time has disappeare­d.

Maybe we’ll discover some hidden talents to the Cupra during the next month, but from present form that seems unlikely.


Date acquired February 2022 Total mileage 2561 Mileage this month 601 Costs this month £0 mpg this month 34.1

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