SX models and above have EDS (electronic differential system) and TCS (traction control).
SX models and above have EDS (electronic differential system) and TCS (traction control). EDS corrects loss of traction in the front wheels by ‘listening’ to the ABS system’s wheel sensors, and increasing the braking pressure to the spinning wheel. The wheel with greater traction receives more power to get the car moving smoothly. TCS cuts in when one or both front wheels lose traction under acceleration, again detected by the ABS wheel sensors, engine speed and accelerator position. A message is then sent to the engine control unit to close the throttle and reduce the torque being sent to the driving axle. The Cupra R additionally gains ESP (electronic stability program) and EBA (emergency brake assist).
The steering is well weighted and gives good positive feedback. We didn't find the TCS/ESP intrusive, although it does cut in a little bit too early, but it is better to be safe than sorry. You can of course switch it off, but we would not recommend that on the public highway.
Overall the Cupra R is about having fun and it does not disappoint. We always had smiles on our faces after driving the car and there were battles over who would drive it. So we are going to award it 4 stars for ride and handling.
Ease of Use
The SEAT Leon Cupra R is a very easy car to drive, park and manoeuvre. Visibility is very good with large windows offering superb forward and side vision however, rear vision was a little restricted. The dashboard is ergonomically laid out, simple and uncluttered. All the controls are tactile and stylish with everything to hand. We did find the climate control and stereo a little fiddly to use, but nothing to worrying.
What makes the Cupra R so appealing is how easy it is to use, you can transport a family of 4-5 in comfort with their luggage, safely tucked up in the boot. You can potter around in the car or if you wish or you can have a jolly good time, enjoying the car on some good ‘B’ roads.
Should you need to you can lower the split fold rear seats and then the Leon, becomes a competent load carrier. The luggage capacity is 340 litres with the rear seats up and a parcel shelf installed, or 656 litres with the seats folded and packed to window level, or 1050 litres with the seats folded and loaded to the ceiling.
As the Leon Cupra R is such as versatile 'hot hatch' we are going to award it 4 stars for ease of use.
Safety and Security
Security features include remote central locking with deadlocks, locking wheel bolts, anti-theft roof antenna, remote release fuel flap, visible VIN, immobiliser with cryptocode, driver and front passenger airbags, passenger airbag de-activation, front side airbags, ISOFIX child-seat mounting points and front fog lamps.
All models except the S are fitted with a Thatcham 1 volumetric alarm and the Leon Cupra R is also fitted with Tracker Retrieve, an electronic device, which enables the police to locate a vehicle if they are informed that it has been stolen. One year’s subscription to tracker is included within the purchase price; this will help to reduce your insurance premiums. It is good to see that SEAT has fitted Tracker as standard, although we would like to see 3 years cover as standard. The car also features remote door locking with deadlocks.
SEAT Leon Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||SEAT Leon Cupra R|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Platinum Grey Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||150 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||42.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year or 60,000 mile (whichever comes first) warranty from date of first registration|
|Price (when tested on the 06/03/05)||£18,055 OTR |
Car as tested £18,380 including £325 for Metallic paint