CUPRA’s Leon SportsTourer would quite literally change the way you look at station wagons. This isn’t merely a large, practical estate that solely exists to excite the hypothalamus of the aged family man.
It is much more than that. With a feisty powerplant under the bonnet, and sticky tyres on all four corners, it oozes attitude, pairing practicality and performance in an almost Jekyll and Hyde sort of fashion.
The “Jekyll” Bit Of The Equation
This spacious wagon is adept at transporting even the largest and bulkiest of items. The cavernous 620 litres of cargo space means that it will comfortably swallow just about anything you can buy on an impromptu trip to your nearest flat-pack furniture store.And this luxury of space is also extended to its human passengers, with ample head and knee room in the back row for anyone that falls within Singapore’s average height spectrum. Front row occupants will also be able to make themselves comfortable, though the semi-bucket seats may be a little too body-hugging for the more generously-proportioned amongst us.
But those seats are more than just for show - it hints at the CUPRA Leon SportsTourer’s more sinister side.
Pace On Tap
It’s when you are unleashing the “Hyde'' in the car that you’ll really appreciate those front seats. Whilst they do add a certain sporty flair to the cabin, they aren’t there strictly for show only. Their purpose is to keep you nicely held in place, as you let the EA888’s 310bhp and 400Nm of torque loose.With power being sent to all four wheels, the CUPRA Leon SportsTourer feels more intense than its front-wheel-drive CUPRA Leon sibling. Tractability is then further enhanced as the car comes shod in some sticky, track-focused tyres. This also means that there will always be an avenue for all of the torques to find their way onto the tarmac - if you enjoy the sounds and sensation of frantic wheelspin, this isn’t the car for you.The century sprint is dispatched in 4.9 seconds, but it really isn’t the firepower under the bonnet that you’d be most impressed with - that accolade goes to its chassis. For some context, the EA888 it comes with is certainly no slouch, being an impressively competent and versatile motor. With that in mind, and as you actually start driving-driving the CUPRA Leon SportsTourer, you’ll start to appreciate just how capable the hotted-up MQB Evo platform is in this application.For an unsullied experience of the car’s mechanical grip, you’ll have to leave the car in its sportiest settings, and turn off all the electronic nannies. We also suggest you be at a driving road of your choice. Trust us when we say this, but you can really not proceed with caution - just send it.
For you’d figure that the car feels perfectly at home even being hurtled through the tightest and twistiest of roads, at some truly hair-raising speeds. Whilst more could be done to improve the steering feel, there’s no denying that the wheel is weighted appropriately, and the chassis is sharp enough that you can literally point the car in the direction and trajectory of choice, bury your foot into the firewall, and to then enjoy the resulting frenzied surge.What you’d also notice very quickly is that the car has more mechanical capability than most drivers have skill.
Grip For Days
We carried what we thought was the most amount of pace we could into the corner, only us to find out that there’s actually even more traction on offer. Continue upping the ante and you’d eventually find, and possibly stray over, the limits of the car. But even as the rear end starts to lose grip, the car is composed (we’d even go as far as saying that it was calm!), leaving you plenty of mental processing power to work out the inputs you need to right the car.It’s almost as though the CUPRA Leon SportsTourer actively tries to tease you. The car feels like it constantly eggs you on to drive harder and faster, a trait that if taken advantage of, can be used to rotate more quickly on a tighter corner. Appropriately stabilise the car with your left foot, throwing the car in knowing that you may have to live with some oversteer, stomp on the loud pedal and hang on as you’re hurtled at the horizon!
Build Quality And Materials
Automotive panacea this most probably is. Typically, some compromise has to be made to keep production costs at a sensible level. Most manufacturers would resort to opting to liberally employ hard plastics throughout the cabin.As CUPRA has access to VAG’s expansive catalogue of competent bits, costs can be kept down, without sacrificing any quality or mechanical capability. Hard plastics are really only used in areas that take a hard battering daily.
Elsewhere, soft-touch materials, nappa Leather and even suede have been skillfully employed to create a sporty, but quasi-luxurious experience. The equipment list is also generous - the car comes fitted with the excellent VAG Park Assist, BEATS Audio and interior ambient lights that you’d typically find fitted to other VAG products costing significantly more!Ergonomically, most of the switchgear is within comfortable reach, and the screens for both the gauge cluster and the infotainment screen are high-res, with a user interface that is capable of disseminating information in an efficient and less gimmick-riddled way.
In fact, with no legacy to worry about, you can even say that the interior experience, with its simulated brushed metal trim pieces and bronze highlights, far exceeds what other marques under the VW-Audi umbrella would have been able to create.
The CUPRA Leon SportsTourer has some truly impressive headline figures. These numbers alone are impressive enough to sway even the most brand-loyal hot hatch enthusiasts to forgo their typical bias and buy into the CUPRA lifestyle.Trust us when we say this - do test drive not only the Leon SportsTourer, but any car from the CUPRA catalogue and you’ll see why these vehicles practically sell themselves!
The CUPRA Leon SP will set you back $259,499, and an additional $20,000 showroom discount. You will also get to enjoy a promotional 1.65% interest rate, and a dollar-for-dollar COE rebate. Buyers are also entitled to one free year's worth of petrol vouchers!
This article was sponsored by CUPRA Singapore.
Photo Credit: ACube Creative (@weareacube)
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