Used buying guide: Seat Leon Cupra Car News

Inevitably, everything from Seat will be found compared to its contemporary Volkswagen and so does this one, the Seat Leon Cupra Mk2, whose closest relative to VW is the brilliant Golf GTI Mk5. The two share the same platform and when the new ones were on sale at the same time, although the Leon lasted a bit longer. They are each powered by a 2.0-liter engine, although a 237 hp TFSI in the Leon and a 197 hp FSI in the Golf.

No prize for guessing which one is faster, with the Leon speeding 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds and the Golf 7.4 seconds. In fact, the Cupra’s solid performance allows it to reach the tails of the Mk5 Golf R32, whose 3.2-liter V6 produces 247 hp. However, in all other respects this model is very different from the Cupra and examples with reasonable mileage are much more expensive.

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So first round to the Leon Cupra, except that, as always when it comes to a Golf GTI, things are not that simple. In short, the Golf is much better to drive than the Cupra – more gripping, more courageous and more engaging. It’s also more expensive, with overall £ 5,995 to buy a 2007 GTI with 100,000 miles but a 2009 Cupra with 70,000 miles. There are exceptions, of course.

For someone looking to buy a used hot hatch, it’s that price advantage and, at least on paper, higher performance that gives the Cupra the edge over the GTI. The Leon is also a nice car and relatively rare too. Rarer still is the 2008 Cupra K1 Special Edition, although prices for this model vary wildly. Meanwhile, if you like the tuning, the Cupra can go through some heavy power upgrades. How about a reliable 350bhp from a Revo Stage 2 upgrade? It uses all standard internals with the addition of an induction kit, upgraded catalytic converter and intercooler, and associated software. It sounds like fun, but here we’re looking at the standard Cupras and why not, since a factory model is always an entertaining hot hatch.

It was launched in 2006 and sits on top of its brother Leon FR hatch. The FR uses the same 197 hp 2.0 FSI engine as the Golf GTI and is arguably VW’s closest rival. It’s better value for money than the two cars, but the Cupra’s extra oomph is a bit more appealing. The standard kit on the Cupra includes 18-inch alloy wheels, black side mirrors, grippy sport seats and white dials. Under the car, the steering knuckles and rear A-arm presses are made of alloy rather than steel, which saves 7.5kg in unsprung weight.

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This notice was published: 2021-08-30 05:01:23

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