SEAT Leon Cupra review - design

Still a sharp-looking car even this close to its end date. Top-spec Cupra R models somehow defy the questionable copper accoutrements

Evo rating
  • Underlying technical make-up impressive; excellent engine, brakes and chassis tune
  • Feeling its age inside; still not the most playful of hot hatchbacks

If the interior reveals the Leon’s age, its exterior design by contrast has aged remarkably well. The crisp, confident lines remain from its original form in 2012, but they’re now augmented with up-to-date LED graphics, aggressive detailing and an overriding sense of good proportions.

Arch-filling wheels and tyres go a long way to lending the Leon Cupra its aggressive looks, and we’re a real fan of the ST estate in particular – it has a low, lean look to it that makes a Golf R estate look rather dull. We'd go for bright colours, though – while some may enjoy the subtlety of the Leon line-up, SEAT does offer some striking shades that really bring out the slashes and cuts in the bodywork.

​This is all especially impressive considering its successor, the all-new fourth-generation Leon has already been revealed, and looks no more contemporary or premium despite its even crisper LED lighting graphics and new proportions.

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