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Driven: Seat Leon Cupra R



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The Leon Cupra R is one of the highest priced cars in Seat’s current range.

Its price puts it in contention with a five-door Volkswagen Golf GTi or a Renaultsport Megane 250.

But, it’s worth the spend.

With official figures of a 6.2 seconds 0-62mph sprint and 155mph restricted top speed, it has the potential to attract buyers seeking to exit their thirstier, more costly Subaru Impreza STIs or Mitsubishi Evos yet still enjoy a thrilling drive.

This Leon benefits from the solidity of build and quality of materials now expected of any VW product.

In fact, to get a direct rival from its Germanic partner, the buyer would need to shell out another £5,000 for the similarly powered Golf R, as the 208bhp Golf GTi all-rounder is outgunned by the Leon.

Rival Mazda3 MPS delivers similar performance and is £2,800 cheaper but the Leon is a better drive and promises lower running costs through better economy, emissions and residuals.

It comes with enough kit and details to satisfy the driving enthusiast too.

Up front, leather-clad bucket seats with ‘R’ logos emphasise its sporting bias.

However, the rear seats are still practical enough to hold child seats, and parking sensors and auto wipers further indicate the car’s sensible side.

Outside, its 19in alloys, sports suspension and exclusive bodykit give it a youthful, assertive stance and its twin centre-exit exhausts and black rear diffuser leave following drivers in no doubt as to its sporting purpose.

For the customer quietly harbouring racing-driver dreams beneath their family-focused exterior, the Leon Cupra R is a compelling proposition.

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