On the road with the Seat ST Cupra 280

Seat ST Cupra 280

Seat ST Cupra 280I am not a person who drives very fast anywhere really – because I am used to driving around in my wife’s Fiat 500X and that’s not fast at all.

So when Seat dropped me off what I can only describe as something you may find on the side of a race track, I suddenly came over all sweaty. For those of you who want to know then, the Seat Leon is not fast! It’s Biblically Fast!

On the Road: The Leon Cupra ST is available in two power outputs (265 PS and 280 PS), and two transmissions (six-speed manual and six-speed DSG) both engines produce sharp responsiveness with the added bonus of 350Nm of torque for both versions. The Cupra 280 DSG completes 0-62 mph sprint in just 5.7 seconds, yet returns a combined 42.8 mpg; whereas the 265PS will hit 62 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Also, CO2 emissions for both engines are as little as 154g/km.

As you would expect from a Cupra the handling is poised thanks to Seat’s active suspension which is controlled using a new DCC Dynamic Chassis Control system. The ride can be quite harsh, especially for those of you who wanted a softer approach; although the Curpa ST is a car you buy because you want it to do all things a normal estate can’t, with the added bonus of Seat’s electrically controlled mechanical front differential, which in turn will help you improve your high speed cornering response by keeping you firmly on the road ahead.

Road and wind noise are not a problem for the Cupra ST. Seat have refined it well to deal with additional noise from the onset. The only noise you will get is from that wonderful 2.0TSi engine and that burble of 280PS thundering down the road.

On the inside: As you would expect from Seat, the cabin materials are of a good quality and you can see that there has been no penny pinching on the interior. All round visibility is good, even with what I think are still oversize A pillars. Seating is a big plus point in the ST and it shows. A large family needs lots of rear leg room and the ST does not disappoint here either.

The Lean Cupra ST comes with a large amount of Tech and extras that you wouldn’t find in a normal estate. Below is just a small amount of what you can expect like; a 5.8inch colour touch screen which includes 3D map display, DAB radio, LED interior illumination pack, automatic headlights and rain sensing wipers. The standard equipment on the Leon is actually one of the longest I have seen for a while.

Space is king and the ST has a few tricks up its sleeve like the 587 litres of load capacity which offers a large family excellent versatility. With the rear seat backs folded the boot capacity then rises to 1,470 litres. The ST also has a twin-level boot floor which makes loading bulky items much easier. With all that in mind, you can see how the ST fits in nicely with people of a certain ‘lifestyle’ and their need to have a functional estate without all the rear seat folding drama.

Seat ST Cupra 280Seat ST Cupra 280Vehicle Safety: The Leon was awarded the maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP in its industry benchmark safety tests (5 door tested in 2012), scoring an especially impressive 94% and 92% scores for the adult occupant and child occupant elements respectively. The Leon also comes with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock braking system (ABS) standard alarm with perimeter- and interior monitoring, remote central locking and engine immobiliser.

Reliability & Cost: As with all Seat’s there will be very little to go wrong as reliability in general is very good. As Seat is part of the VW Group you can expect build quality to be good and Seat’s use of quality components and material is second to none

To sum up: Prices start at around £30,560 for the base 280PS model with a 6-speed DSG. If it was me I would opt for a manual gearbox as I think the Cupra is a car you would want to get more involved with. Residual prices are also good with the Cupra ST staying strong against some of its rivals. CO2 emissions of 154g/km also finish of a good all round experience.

Engine: 2.0 TSi
Power: 280PS @ 5600 – 6500 rpm
Torque 350 Nm @ 1700 – 5600 rpm
Gearbox: six speed DSG
0-62: 5.7 sec
Top Speed: 155 mph
Economy: 42.8 mpg (combined)
CO2 Emissions: 154 g/km
Price: from £30,560  By Anthony Yates

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