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FleetPoint Test Drive The SEAT Leon ST Cupra 280
by Neil Thomason
June 12, 2015
VERDICT: If your main priority is a driver’s car that has some degree of practicality, then you can probably look elsewhere and spend a little less coin.
FLEETPOINT RATING: Five star rating
PRICE: £ 28,505
Serious pace and practicality, comfortable and refined Golf R Estate even more tempting

Max Power:
Max torque:
Top speed:
6.1 sec
The Leon ST Cupra 280 is the latest chapter in SEAT’s successful range of performance cars, looking to not only outperform others in the superfast estate segment such as the Ford Focus ST and the Golf R Estate but also show that practicality never has to come at the expense of fun.
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First things first, with a 2 litre turbo charged engine at its disposal the ST Cupra is very, very quick and responsive. With a variety of driving profiles, you can manipulate the throttle, transmission and steering response across a whole host of styles.

If you're in town, then Comfort-mode is the one but if you get a nice stretch of country road to open up then Cupra-mode locks the trick limited-slip diff in its most aggressive setting and allows you to carry a huge amount of speed into corners without the fear of understeering. The excellent body control, weighted steering and responsive braking give you the confidence to maneuver the ST round every twist and turn.

Once the revs climb past 3,000rpm, the turbo erupts and the engine gets louder and angrier. Suddenly I feel like I'm in the latest Mad Max film.
Though its looks might to be for everyone, this is as good as an estate can look in my opinion.

The boot space comes in at a whopping 587 litres and if you fold the back seats flat that rises further to 1,470 litres. On top of this there are storage pockets on either side of the main load deck, plus an adjustable floor that can be raised to give a separate storage compartment beneath and a flat load deck when the rear seats are down.

With a decent driving position, an easy to use infotainment system, and a very polite sat-nav, any long distance drive melts away and seems half as long. Although the 5.8in touchscreen seems somewhat small by today’s standards it does the trick due to the positioning.
Running Cost
When you look at the size and potential performance of the ST Cupra, your instinct will tell you that this car must be a real gas guzzler. You couldn't be further from the truth.

With a smooth and accurate six-speed manual gearbox, you're looking at 42.2mpg on average with CO2 figures coming out at 157g/km. Pretty impressive figures with everything taken into account.
What are you looking for? That's what this all boils down to.

If your main priority is a driver’s car that has some degree of practicality, then you can probably look elsewhere and spend a little less coin.

But if you want space and practicality, combined with some serious pace, then the SEAT is your new best friend. It's fast, handsome, hugely practical and just plain fun.
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