Cupra Born review - Engines, performance and drive

With brisk rather than seriously rapid EV performance, the Born has just enough punch for a sporty hatchback

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.0 out of 5

Representative Example - Personal Contract Purchase: Cash Price £10,000.00, Deposit £1500.00, borrowing £8,500.00 over 4 years at 7.4% Representative APR (fixed). 47 monthly payments of £132.04 followed by a final payment of £4127.50. Total cost of credit £1833.38. Total amount payable £11,833.38. Based on 8,000 miles per annum. Excess mileage charges apply if exceeded. Finance subject to status 18+ only.

The Born shares the same MEB platform that underpins various all-electric models across the Volkswagen Group, with the Audi Q4 e-tron, Skoda Enyaq iV and VW’s ID-badged lineup all sharing the same common design components.

With Cupra being the performance sub-brand of SEAT, it’s tasked with making the Born feel more sporty and fun to drive - certainly when compared with the closely related Volkswagen ID.3. Both cars have to bear the extra weight that comes from their batteries; the lightest 58kWh Born version is still more than 1,800kg, while the 77kWh V3 model tops the scales at over two tonnes - pretty hefty for a five-door hatchback.

The result of Cupra’s approach is that the Born actually feels pretty settled through the corners, with its lower centre of gravity helping it to hunker down nicely as it changes direction. Dial in the Cupra driving mode and you’ll notice the extra weight to the steering, although a little more feedback would be welcome, as would firmer brakes if the Born is to be viewed as a true sporting hatch.

Acceleration off the mark is typically lively for an EV and it helps to make the Born quite fun in and around town, while it's pretty responsive at higher motorway speeds, too.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The entry 58kWh Born model delivers 201bhp and covers the 0-62mph benchmark in a reasonable 7.3 seconds. For more straight line speed you’ll need to upgrade to the 58kWh 227bhp version which brings the sprint time down to 6.6 seconds.

Cupra also offers a Born variant with a bigger 77kWh battery - providing increased range and rattling off 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds flat. All models have the same 310Nm torque figure and 99mph maximum speed, while Cupra’s e-Boost function, which provides an extra 30bhp on kickdown, is available as an option on 58kWh and standard on 77kWh models.

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