2002 Seat Leon Cupra R 1.8 20VT 210bhp from UK and Ireland


Barcelona's Bullet!


Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

Having owned a SEAT Leon Cupra from December 2001, I had no notion of changing it until I test drove the Leon Cupra R.

The immediate noticeable difference was the R's handling, the old cliche "as if on rails" springs to mind! I was hooked!

The extra 30bhp is more noticeable in the middle gears where the acceleration is awesome although the huge torque from low-revs makes downshifts unnecessary during normal overtaking.

The huge front discs and Brembo 4-pots stop this monster with ease, aided by the huge 225/40/18" tyres, although these do make the steering slightly heavy during fast tight corners.

The car's looks are animal. Deep front and back spoilers and side-skirts together with the beautiful 18" OZ twin 5 spokes give the R awesome road presence and the R turns heads everywhere I drive!

The interior is very neat being all black with red stitching on the seats and trim. The standard sports seats are very comfortable, but leg support tilt is sadly missing.

One of the most satisfying features of the car is it's rarity value due to only 250 R's coming to the UK in 2002 and only 500 planned for 2003. I have only seen one other on the road in the past 5 months!

All in all, at only £17,000, the Leon Cupra R must be the best value hot hatch on sale today.

Drive one and I'm sure, like me, you'll be hooked!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2002

9th Dec 2002, 05:41

You are probably a sorry Seat sales person who has to push a couple of cars before the end of the year.

11th Dec 2002, 05:22

Nice 210 bhp is a Leon, what is also nice is 450 bhp in an Audi A6 en over 600 bhp in a Lambo.

Al these super fast car brands are owned by VW, great!

But who pays for this bhp madness, yes we, the ordinary customers who buy the mass products and make up for 95% of VW's turnover.

So why are they investing so much in super fast cars and taking money away from the 'normal' production cars so we end up with an expensive poor quality product?

4 years ago a VW product was much better built than it is now, the only thing that remained is the name and the high price, now wonder VW sales world wide are slumping and there is worst to come, a lot of first time buyers will never ever buy a VW product again.

Especially the sales of the Leon dropped like a brick this year, first people bought one because they liked the product, than they found out that it was even worse than owning a Fiat Ritmo, so they sell them very quickly and buy a Japanese or French car instead.

So in the end everything will be alright, but in the meanwhile the person who buys a VW product will be ripped off.

2002 Seat Leon Cupra 20V T from UK and Ireland


Despite my best efforts to find fault, it's actually a damn fine set of wheels


Scratch on front bumper when the dealer manoeuvred out of the showroom - efficiently fixed by dealer.

Glove-box catch dropped off - seems to be glued in place.

General Comments:

I thought I'd be desperately disappointed with a family hatch after my TVR (you can't get 4 people and bits of furniture to the South of France in a two-seat roadster) but the Cupra has proved surprising in many respects.

It's as fast, comfortable, capacious, reliable and 'fit for purpose' as any car needs to be.

Low geared steering and too much compliance in the suspension makes it feel a bit soft and indirect in handling on minor roads, but makes motorway driving a lot easier than the 'white knuckle' experience of the TVR - I was amazed at how easy it was to make Paris-Calais in just over an hour and a half. 18 inch wheels with lower profile tyres and a tighter steering rack - as in the new 'R' - would probably sharpen it up nicely.

I'm not sure the six speed box is a great advantage - the ratios seems too closely stacked. A longer final drive would make sense, but then it wouldn't post such impressive 0-60 times.

Rear three quarter view - bad when reversing or parking - and visibility of minor instruments with the wheel in a comfortable position are other gripes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2002