SEAT Leon Cupra 300 review - More excitement than a Golf GTI? - SEAT Leon Cupra performance and 0-60 time

Easily the match of its rivals on paper, and entertaining to drive, but less exciting than some rivals

Evo rating
Price
from £30,140
  • Serious pace and ability for sub-Golf GTI money
  • Lacks a little excitement

The fastest model in the Cupra 300 range is the all-wheel drive ST 4Drive with the DSG gearbox, hitting 62mph from rest in 4.9 seconds, helped by launch control. It'll top out at a limited 155mph too, which seems plenty from a practical estate car. The extra traction makes this a quick car in the real world too, and even on loose or slippery surfaces - a recent drive of the Cupra 4Drive on a frozen lake in Finland, admittedly on studded tyres, revealed it feels plenty fast even when you're not pointing in a straight line.

Regular Cupra 300s are quick too, of course - a DSG-equipped Cupra SC hits 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds, while the manual version covers the same sprint in six seconds flat. Top speed here too is 155mph.

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Either way, it’s the quickest and most powerful road-going car the company has ever made. Despite its power, the 300 is anything but a garrulous show-off – much more the shy guy who's handy in a fight. Superfast DSG paddle-actuated gearshifts suit the engine beautifully but, on balance, the snickety precision of six-speed manual is more satisfying still.

We've long wondered whether the old Cupra models were making a little more power than suggested by their outputs, and the 300 feels as brisk as ever. What it isn't is particularly dramatic - perhaps the impression that it’s never having to try that hard saps some of the enjoyment. Some similarly-powerful rivals, even those that feel a little slower outright, deliver their urge in a more dramatic and more enthralling fashion.

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