2021 Cupra Leon Estate 310 VZ3 4Drive review UK Car News

As you might expect, Cupra Mode turns everything into a full wick, including the increased motor note, which takes on an almost V8-like woofle. That alone gives the station wagon a different character than the sedan, but it’s the combined extra weight of the wagon body and the all-wheel drive system that has the biggest impact on the road.

There’s great traction, even in bad weather, and high levels of grip give a lot of confidence in faster corners, but it doesn’t feel as responsive and maneuverable as the hatchback when you push down on it. Steering is quick, and maybe a little light, even in the sportiest driving modes, but it has a point-and-shoot precision you won’t find in the Ford Focus ST and its more springy steering rack. .

A 4.9-second 0-62mph sprint is dispatched in a frowning fashion, putting the Leon on a par with the more expensive Mercedes-AMG A35 Shooting Brake for a straight-line pace. That power comes early in the rev range, and hard, although when left on its own the gearbox vibrates quickly through successive cogs in a professional manner. It’ll happily hook up at gears when the foot meets the ground, but the engine note isn’t particularly stirring as you approach the upper end of the rev range. Steering wheel-mounted paddles are also frustrating, as they are barely within reach.

Comfort is the driving mode of choice for general cruising, but even then the suspension can knock on bad road surfaces. There is little that the adaptive shocks can do to compensate for the 19-inch alloy rims and the 1640 kg curb weight. Switch to sports and things get noticeably more brittle, while Cupra mode takes it a step further to the point that it’s worth avoiding once you exit smoother surfaces and head towards B roads. An individual drive mode at least lets you choose between engine, steering and chassis settings for the best parts of each.

Once you find the right mix, the Leon is at its most enjoyable, although even then it has something of a point-and-shoot vibe: it can certainly get around corners but left me without much sense of dynamic flourishing.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-10 08:01:23

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