New 2021 Cupra Leon: prices and specifications

The Cupra Leon is available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain or a 296bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine; prices start from £31,555

The Cupra Leon hot hatchback is on sale in the UK now. Prices start from £31,555 for the entry-level model, which is more than £2,000 cheaper than the Volkswagen Golf GTI with which it shares its mechanical make-up.

The cheapest Cupra Leon is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 242bhp and 370Nm of torque for a claimed 0-62mph time of 6.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

However, where the Volkswagen Golf GTI comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, the Cupra Leon is only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Opt for the 242bhp 2.0 TSI and there’s a choice of two trim-levels, called VZ1 and VZ2. The most affordable model comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, an aggressive body kit, a twin-exit exhaust, black brake calipers and Cupra’s trademark copper-coloured trim highlights.

Inside, there’s a pair of sports seats, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, three-zone climate control, illuminated treadplates and a customisable ambient lighting system. Buyers also get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment system, with a rear-view camera.

VZ2 models feature equipment upgrades that include 19-inch alloy wheels and adaptive dampers, which can be customised using Cupra’s Dynamic Chassis Control system via the infotainment screen. Prices start from £32,790.

Cupra is also offering the Leon with its e-Hybrid plug-in powertrain. It’s priced from £35,205 and is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, and a 13kWh battery that feeds an electric motor. Combined, the system has an output of 242bhp and 400Nm of torque.

Drive goes through a six-speed automatic gearbox to the front wheels, but despite the PHEV’s extra torque, the extra weight also means that the 0-62mph time drops to 6.7 seconds. Top speed stands at 140mph. 

More importantly, the engine will return up to 217.3mpg on the WLTP cycle, with emissions as low as 30g/km of CO2. The Cupra Leon e-Hybrid’s battery pack also allows for up to 32 miles of electric-only travel. When connected to a wallbox charger, the unit will recover a full charge in around four hours.

The fastest model in the Cupra Leon hatchback’s line-up is the 2.0 TSI 300. It’s powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the Golf GTI Clubsport, which produces 296bhp and 400Nm of torque. Like itsVW cousin, the Leon is front-wheel drive and only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Cupra says the 296bhp unit gives the Leon a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. The engine also offers decent efficiency given its performance figures, with the brand claiming up to 37.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 171g/km. Prices start from £35,125 for the 2.0 TSI 300 VZ2.

Buyers can pay an extra £1,635 to have the 296bhp car in Cupra’s flagship VZ3 specification. The extra cash brings a few equipment upgrades, such as a unique set of 19-inch alloys, heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat and a wireless smartphone charger.

Cupra’s VZ3 trim is also available on the PHEV Leon e-Hybrid, priced from £36,840. Both cars can be specified with a couple of optional extras, too, such as petrol blue Nappa leather upholstery, a panoramic roof and a choice of seven paint finishes.

For those after a little more performance, Cupra also offers a more potent version of its 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine on the Leon Estate. Here, the unit has 306bhp and, thanks in part to the addition of four-wheel drive, it’ll propel the car from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds. Prices start from £40,535.

New 2021 Cupra Leon: design and interior

The new Cupra Leon was designed, engineered and assembled at the firm’s purpose built facility in Martorell near Barcelona. It will face rivals like the Hyundai i30 N and Ford Focus ST, as well as competition from within the Volkswagen Group, including the Skoda Octavia vRS and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

From the outside, the Cupra Leon certainly sports a more menacing look than its SEAT relative – and not just because of the two unique matte paint finishes available. The front bumper has a large open air dam, plus a new copper-coloured logo on its grille.

There’s a distinctive full-width rear light bar on both the five-door hatchback and estate models, which is complemented by a rear bumper that houses a pair of copper-trimmed tailpipes and a deep rear diffuser. According to Cupra, the changes also improve the Leon’s aerodynamic performance, with this latest model offering eight per cent more aerodynamic efficiency than the previous version.

The car’s ride height has been dropped by 25mm at the front and 20mm at the rear over the standard SEAT Leon, while an adaptive damping system can adjust the rate of suspension response based on the car’s driving mode.

There’s a new electric power steering system, too, which Cupra says is its “most progressive yet,” and Brembo has supplied a larger set of 370mm disc brakes for the hot hatchback’s front axle, which are gripped by black calipers.

Inside, the copper theme continues, with highlights on the seat stitching (there’s two types of sports seats to choose from), air vent surrounds, and the steering wheel. The wheel itself is similar in design to the SEAT Leon’s, but gains two new switches – a starter button, and a toggle switch to swap between the car’s four drive modes.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument panel is also fitted, albeit with a new “Sport” menu view, which places the rev counter prominently to the centre of the driver’s view, while showing power, torque, G-force and turbo boost readouts.

Now check out all the latest news on the upcoming all-electric Cupra Tavascan

Recommended

New 2022 Ford Fiesta ST facelift gets fresh face and more torque
Ford Fiesta ST
Ford Fiesta ST Hatchback

New 2022 Ford Fiesta ST facelift gets fresh face and more torque

Ford has treated its peppy little Fiesta ST hot hatchback to a new front end, a few interior revisions and an extra 30Nm of torque
16 Sep 2021
Ford Fiesta ST review
Ford Fiesta ST
Ford Fiesta ST Hatchback

Ford Fiesta ST review

Ford’s Fiesta ST has grown up, but it’s still a vibrant, exhilarating hot hatch to drive
15 Sep 2021
Best used hot hatchbacks 2021
Best used hot hatchbacks - header
Best cars & vans

Best used hot hatchbacks 2021

Our picks for the best used hot hatchbacks in the UK for 2021
18 Aug 2021
Mountune releases 360bhp power upgrade kit for Ford Focus ST
Mountune Ford Focus ST
Ford Focus ST Hatchback

Mountune releases 360bhp power upgrade kit for Ford Focus ST

Performance specialist Mountune reveals m365 package for Focus ST, offering 30 per cent power increase
10 Aug 2021

Most Popular

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released
Number plates
News

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released

Latest DVLA list of banned UK registrations reveals which 71-plates are too rude for the road
21 Sep 2021
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80

Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES

The Genesis G80 looks to make an impact in the executive saloon class as we pitch it against the Mercedes E-Class and Lexus ES
18 Sep 2021
'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021