2004 Seat Leon Cupra R 1.8 turbo - petrol from UK and Ireland


For those considering a performance car, pay serious attention to this machine


So far nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

Having previously owned a chipped 1.8t Leon, i was amazed to discover just how ferociously fast the Cupra R is.

Even in standard 225Bhp form it is awesome, the Bhp figure just does not tell the whole story. Its the huge torque available in every gear at any revs which makes you grin like a loony.

Overtake six cars and a lorry? no problem. Leave that pesky Saxo/Nova/Astra/Impreza for dead? no problem.

The ride is firm but not as crashy as earlier models, even allowing for the low profile 18 inch tyres.

The brakes are real eye candy, being bright red four-piston Brembo items.

The feel and power of these brakes has to be experienced.

Whilst the build quality might be less than perfect compared to a BMW or an Audi, its still a thousand times better than anything French or Italian. Think VW with a few cost saving bits here and there and you are close.

Under the bonnet though you see where your money has gone. Carbon fibre detailing, huge turbo pipes and an Audi S3 engine with two intercoolers awaits your inspection.

Add to all this the fact that you can take a boot load of equipment and 5 adults to Scotland with ease and at 40Mpg on the motorway, as well as turning the head of every group of youths you pass and you have the car which does it all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2004

19th Sep 2004, 07:36

I know that they are fast and yes I want one, they won't leave an impreza.

5th Oct 2004, 07:38

Certainly no Imprezza beater, and I've never seen anyone stare at a SEAT in Envy sorry.

Still good quick cars for ££££, mind you so are RS Skodas!

10th Oct 2004, 13:46

... and I'm sorry, it just hasn't got the looks or style of, say, an Alfa 147 (Italian) (but granted,it is much quicker)

2004 Seat Leon 1.8 VT 1.8 turbo from Spain


Great turbo (when it works)


The back seats rattle from the moment I bought the car. I have fixed that myself, stuffing some foam in the gap behind them.

There is another rattle from the steering wheel. It seems to come from the articulated plastic part which covers the adjustable column.

At about 2000 Km, the car started to loose acceleration. It is most noticeable when I'm on third gear. It goes fine up to more or less 3000 rpm, but at that point it drastically loses acceleration. It sometimes regains acceleration at higher revolutions. I can hear a hissing noise when the car looses acceleration. I think that there is a problem with the turbo. I'll take the car to the dealer this week, I hope that they can tackle this problem properly. If anyone knows of this problem, please post a comment.

General Comments:

Good handling.

Four wheel drive is good traction-wise. The problem is that suspensions are so stiff that it would be insane to go offroad.

The leather seats are great, and now they come with electric control.

It is fast if you take it to the red zone, but the engine does not give low-rev response. If you want excellent full range power, go for a normally aspirated variable timing VANOS BMW engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st April, 2004

13th Oct 2004, 12:33

I currently own a '53 reg cupra 20 vt. My vehicle has done roughly 15.000 miles and my husband has noticed it is loosing power when accelerating. We have also had the car back 3 times for the back seat rattle. It has never been cured! from owning a ford Escort before a can honestly say it is the best thrill on four wheels I have ever owned.

17th Mar 2005, 08:05

I have a Seat Leon 20VT Cupra, it's a great car for what you pay, but, yes, I agree with what has been said so far.

A great forum for Seat Cupra's is at www.seatcupra.net. It's a good site to air views and share experiences, and to talk to other Seat owners.