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Cupra Leon VZ 2023 review: snapshot

The Cupra Leon VZ is the second-from-base model in the range.
EXPERT RATING
8.5
The Cupra Leon VZ is the second model up the hatchback range, and it has plenty going for it.

The Cupra Leon VZ is the second-step up the Spanish hatchback model range, and it competes directly against the likes of the VW Golf GTI and less expensive versions of the Audi A3.

The list price for the Cupra Leon VZ is $52,990 (plus on-road costs), or $57,490 drive-away, which means it’s not going to be for everyone, but it comes very handsomely equipped for the money.

Standard equipment for this grade comprises 19-inch alloy wheels (with a temporary spare), tyre-pressure monitoring, LED headlights and daytime running lights, auto high-beam lights, fog-lights with cornering function, LED tail-lights, heated folding mirrors, tinted rear windows, and a rear spoiler.

Inside there is a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, a 12.0-inch touchscreen with sat nav (for MY23 models - MY22 versions came with a 10.0-inch touchscreen, but cost $500 less), wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging, four USB-C ports (2x front, 2x rear), a leather steering wheel with heating, ambient lighting, keyless entry and push-button start, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, three-zone climate control and more.

Safety spec is good, with 10 airbags fitted (dual front, front side, driver’s knee, front centre, rear side and full-length curtains), plus there is AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring, parking assistance, auto lights and auto wipers, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

Options for this grade include the Leather and Sound Package ($2450), which incorporates a nine-speaker Beats stereo with subwoofer, part-leather seat trim, electric driver’s seat adjustment and memory settings, and front seat heating. There’s also an electric sunroof option, at $1800.

  • The Leon VZ has 19-inch alloy wheels. (Image: Matt Campbell) The Leon VZ has 19-inch alloy wheels. (Image: Matt Campbell)
  • Standard features of the Leon VZ include LED headlights and daytime running lights. (Image: Matt Campbell) Standard features of the Leon VZ include LED headlights and daytime running lights. (Image: Matt Campbell)
  • Up front is a leather steering wheel with heating. (Image: Matt Campbell) Up front is a leather steering wheel with heating. (Image: Matt Campbell)
  • The VZ has a 10.25-inch digital instrument display. (Image: Matt Campbell) The VZ has a 10.25-inch digital instrument display. (Image: Matt Campbell)
  • Inside is a a 12.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Image: Matt Campbell) Inside is a a 12.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Image: Matt Campbell)
  • There are two USB-C ports for the back seat passengers. (Image: Matt Campbell) There are two USB-C ports for the back seat passengers. (Image: Matt Campbell)
  • Boot space is measured at 380L (VDA). (Image: Matt Campbell) Boot space is measured at 380L (VDA). (Image: Matt Campbell)
  • The VZ comes with a temporary spare tyre. (Image: Matt Campbell) The VZ comes with a temporary spare tyre. (Image: Matt Campbell)
  • The VZ runs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. (Image: Matt Campbell) The VZ runs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Colour choices at no extra cost include the metallic hues Midnight Black, Magnetic Tech (dark grey) and Nevada White, while the premium paint options add $475, and they are Graphene Grey and Desire Red (as seen here).

The Leon VZ runs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, producing 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque. It has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle-shifters, and is front-wheel drive. Official combined cycle fuel consumption is 6.7L/100km, and it requires premium unleaded petrol (95RON or higher).

It certainly is aimed at a more enthusiastic new-car buyer, with that engine offering decent levels of power and torque for the class, and there’s also multiple drive modes (Driving profile selection), plus the suspension features the brand’s Dynamic Chassis Control to adjust the dampers based on the drive mode, and it also has the company’s Progressive Steering system to make it feel more involving at pace yet easy when parking.

Verdict

If you want a semi-premium sporty hatch that isn't a VW Golf GTI or Audi A3, it could be the right car for you.

Pricing guides

$41,989
Based on 19 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$39,490
Highest Price
$47,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
V 2.0L, —, 7 SP AUTO $40,260 – 47,300 2023 Cupra Leon 2023 V Pricing and Specs
VZE Phev 1.4L, —, 6 SP $56,540 – 65,010 2023 Cupra Leon 2023 VZE Phev Pricing and Specs
VZ 2.0L, —, 7 SP AUTO $49,610 – 56,980 2023 Cupra Leon 2023 VZ Pricing and Specs
VZX 2.0L, —, 7 SP AUTO $57,530 – 66,110 2023 Cupra Leon 2023 VZX Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8.5
Matt Campbell
Managing Editor - Head of Video

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