Cupra Leon Estate

Can our Cupra redeem itself by excelling at day-to-day tasks?

- Sam Jenkins (@evosamj)

FIVE MONTHS AND 5000 MILES IN, opinions haven’t shifted on our Cupra Leon Estate 310. There’s no doubt that it’s a highly capable machine, but it fails to deliver the edge required to make it a true driver’s car.

It certainly offers plenty of practicali­ty, though. I recently slid a tall, cumbersome kitchen cabinet behind its front seats without an issue. Coming to the Cupra from my ageing C63 AMG Estate I’ve found features such as Apple Carplay and the (admittedly dim-witted) Adaptive Cruise Control to be welcome additions too. And then just when you think the Leon Estate might be a car you could recommend for everyday use, cracks appear…

I’ve covered hundreds of miles in ours in the past few weeks and can confirm the cabin noise on long journeys becomes tiresome, drowning out the mediocre sound system on certain surfaces. Meanwhile in a back-to-back test solely on cruise control, the Cupra extracted just 6mpg more than my C63 – the one with a naturally aspirated V8 with over three times the displaceme­nt…

Having spent little time in a latest-generation VW Group product before, the poor HMI was also an eye-opener. Adjusting the climate control is something I’ve now learned to do before setting off, as I find it legitimate­ly dangerous to do it while on the move. Operating the optional electronic sunroof is just as infuriatin­g – a roof-mounted touch panel requires swipe gestures, but they’re only recognised about ten per cent of the time in my case. Not ideal in a sudden downpour.

At £41,675 our top-spec Leon is cheaper than its Golf R Estate counterpar­t in its most basic form, and boasts a more plush interior to boot. Neverthele­ss, I feel my cash would go elsewhere.

Date acquired February 2022 Total mileage 5112 Mileage this month 746 Cost this month £0 mpg this month 32.9

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