Cupra Born Review & Prices
The Cupra Born is a spacious electric hatchback with a practical interior and strong electric performance. For a supposedly sporty car it isn’t a huge amount of fun to drive, though
Find out more about the Cupra Born
The Cupra Born is an electric family hatchback that promises a bit of a sporting edge. With a maximum range of up to 335 miles it’ll give the likes of the Tesla Model 3 something to worry about, but in reality it’s more likely an alternative to the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Kia Niro EV and the Volkswagen ID3.
In a way, you could think of the two cars as being siblings. The Volkswagen is the sensible, mature older brother, while the Cupra is the young upstart that’s a bit edgy and has a tendency to get up to some good-natured mischief.
Up front it has a much sharper face than the ID3, and there are some striking copper-coloured badges and trim inserts for a bit of extra wow factor. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 20 inches, and round the back there’s a sharp-looking LED light bar that stretches across its tailgate.
The cabin is pretty athletic looking, too. In the place of leather you can get sporty synthetic suede upholstery that’s made from recycled ocean plastic; and the sports seats are comfy and hold you snugly in place (although it’d be nice if you could bring the steering wheel in a bit closer to your chest). You won’t have any trouble seeing out the front, but the rear window is a bit on the small side.
You get a 12-inch touchscreen on the dash, which packs sharp looking graphics and plenty of tech including satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s a pity it has a tendency to lag and crash, though. The lack of proper physical controls for the air conditioning is also a pain.
The Cupra Born is the sportier looking sibling of the practical Volkswagen ID.3. The 58kWh battery with the 204hp motor offers the best blend of range and performance
Still, there’s a tonne of space in the rear for back seat passengers, and the spacious 385-litre boot is identical to that of its Volkswagen relation.
There will eventually be three different battery sizes to choose from, lending the Born an electric range of as little as 211 miles and as high as 335 miles. Our test car had the mid-level battery with a range of 263 miles, and a 204hp electric motor.
Plugged into a 7kW home wallbox charger, you’d be able to top this car’s battery up overnight easily enough. The Born can charge at up to 170kW, so if you find a fast enough publicly-accessible DC rapid charger you’ll go from 10% to 80% capacity in around 30 minutes.
The Cupra is easily quick enough for ducking and darting in and out of slow moving traffic, and for swift overtaking on faster roads. On its lowered sports suspension it handles pretty tidily too, with accurate steering and decent grip. The brakes are lifeless though, and despite its athletic looks it certainly doesn’t feel like a fun-loving electric hot hatchback. It’s a bit too sensible for that.
That said, despite a bit of tetchiness over the odd lump or bump, it’s comfy enough, and on the motorway it settles down nicely. There’s a bit of road and wind noise, but this is no dealbreaker.
So there’s plenty to like here. The Born is practical, spacious, easy to drive and has more than enough electric range. But given the fact it wears the Cupra badge (Cupra is the performance offshoot of SEAT) it’s just a pity it isn’t a bit more fun and engaging to drive.
If you like the look of the Cupra Born, or other models from the Spanish brand, check out our Cupra Born deals to see if you could save a lot of money. With used options also available, you can find the best Cupra used models on carwow too.
The Cupra Born has a RRP range of £36,475 to £43,735. However, with carwow you can save on average £500. Prices start at £35,975 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £339. The price of a used Cupra Born on carwow starts at £23,620.
Our most popular versions of the Cupra Born are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|150kW V1 58kWh 5dr Auto||£35,975||Compare offers|
Electric vehicles are seen as the future, but they do come at a price, with a hefty premium over the internal combustion engined models very common. The starting price for the Cupra Born comes in at just under that of its sister car, the Volkswagen ID.3 as well as the new Kia Niro EV. It is also well under that of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 whose starting price is close to the range-topping Born.
Across the three grades of Born – V1, V2 and V3 – there is roughly a £2,000 increase at every level, with the top-of-the-range model with the biggest battery costing around £7,000 more than the base spec.
The Cupra Born is more fun to drive than the ID3, but it would benefit from one-pedal braking to conserve as much energy as possible
While the Cupra Born shares the majority of its components with the Volkswagen ID3, it has a sportier setup, making it more fun to drive. As a consequence, the suspension has been stiffened up a little and feels a bit on the firm side, so bumps are more obvious.
It’s easy to increase the amount of regenerative braking; simply twist the high-mounted gear lever to the ‘B’ position and the car will come to an (almost) stop when you lift off the accelerator. It doesn’t quite bring the car to a standstill, which rules out pure one-pedal driving, but it comes pretty close.
Driving in town is helped by good visibility, including an extra piece of glass close to the front pillar, which is sometimes blanked off by trim in some models. Out of the back window, the view is not too bad either.
Other features that make the Born very urban-friendly are the steering, which is light – but with the right amount of feel – and a turning circle of 10.2m. The latter point means it is relatively easy to navigate tight spaces and negotiate mini roundabouts with ease.
On the motorway
The Born is equally at home on faster roads because the comfort actually increases with speed – things settle down a bit and the bumps are not as noticeable as at lower speeds. The seats are supportive and use high quality materials, adding to the sporty feel of the car.
There is a bit of wind noise around the pillars, which isn’t uncommon, but it's something to be aware of if you'll be making regular long journeys in the Born.
Acceleration is rapid, as people will come to expect in electric cars – a great attribute to have when needing to complete quick overtaking moves.
On a twisty road
Electric vehicles have long had the tag of not being fun to drive, but the latest breed of products are doing their utmost to change that. Certainly, in the case of the Cupra Born, it has a slight effect, because the ‘sporty’ prowess is noticeable over other models in the segment. Despite sharing the majority of the same components with the Volkswagen ID3, the Born is certainly sharper to drive and feels more stable than the Volkswagen.
Granted, it’s no hot-hatch in the true sense of the term – the brakes, which seem a bit lifeless, are one area that let it down – but the Born will put a smile on your face when going through the corners. The steering is good and there is plenty of grip, but many drivers may feel like they need or want more performance from their EV, especially when it looks like the Born.
The minimalist appearance in the Born will be welcomed by many, however the door-mounted controls for the windows and wing mirror are truly terrible
Cupra has gone for a fairly minimalistic approach to the interior of the Born, but that is not to the detriment to practicality.
There’s a large central storage unit between the two front seats and behind that an additional space that is covered by a padded armrest that moves in all four directions. However it can’t be fixed, which means it can get left in the way when driving and then knocked down flat again.
There is a handy space for a mobile phone in the front of that section, which can be neatly covered. That means there is no distraction to look at your device while on the move. Finally in that space there are two USB ports.
The main central area closer to the dash contains two cupholders, another storage area that could fit keys, a wallet or any other reasonably-sized item. The door bins are decent and will quite easily accommodate large bottles.
The sports seats are comfortable and provide plenty of support when going around corners, while the material used to cover them is good quality.
One frustrating feature of the Born is the window operation from the front seat. To operate the rear windows, you have to specifically press a toggle button for them – they don’t have an assigned button themselves. Meanwhile, don’t expect much from the glovebox – it’s tiny!
Space in the back seats
Move to the back of the Born and there is plenty of room, whether it is for your head or legs. The seats are comfortable and the floor is flat, which adds to the spacious feel of the car. Your feet can easily stretch out to fit under the front seats, meaning you won’t feel cramped during a long journey in the Born.
The Cupra can fit three people across the back relatively easily, although not if you have the 77kW battery version because the extra batteries eat into rear seat practicality. The middle seat is comfortable, but if it’s three adults in the back, it could be a bit of a squeeze – especially for those on the outside who might get pushed towards the doors and their heads might be impacted by the edge of the roof.
There’s a large rear armrest with space for two cupholders and through-loading is available by pulling down the panel behind the aforementioned armrest. There are Isofix child seat points on board and enough room for one of the more chunky baby seats that face rearwards.
Other plus points are large door bins, ample storage on the seat backs and two USB ports for charging mobile devices.
The capacity of the boot is 385 litres, which is decent enough and it’s a nice space, making loading and unloading straightforward. For those people looking for more room, consider a Hyundai Ioniq 5, which offers 527 litres of space.
There is a big drop down into the boot, which could present a problem when loading or unloading large or heavy items. There’s another obstruction too, when the rear seats are folded, so there is no chance of creating a large fully flat space. However the boot has been designed with a lip integrated into it all the way around because it can accommodate an optional false floor that brings the height up to a more manageable or convenient level.
The head-up display is one of the best on the market, but the rest of the infotainment system is often frustrating to use
Step inside the Born and it might be familiar to anyone who has seen a Volkswagen ID3. There’s the same central touchscreen, which operates the vast majority of the car’s main functions.
Like the ID3, there’s no physical buttons, which will be frustrating to some as things like changing the heating via the sliding switches is much more of a faff than a traditional button or dial would be. Those elements aren't backlit either, which makes using them at night a bit of a challenge.
The infotainment system itself is OK to use, if not ideal. In the test car used during a carwow evaluation, it seemed to perform better than the one in the Volkswagen sister car. Some users might wish to use either their Apple CarPlay or Android Auto system, which both connect seamlessly and wirelessly to the Born’s system.
The digital driver’s display is small, which means the amount of information it displays is somewhat limited. There’s enough for the main bits of data that drivers will want to see – speed, driving data, etc – but it feels like it could’ve been a bit bigger to make it more user-friendly.
As it is mounted on the steering column, the display will move when you adjust the wheel, which is a good thing because it means your view of it will never be blocked. The same cannot be said about the gear selector, which is effectively hidden on a large stalk behind the steering wheel rim. Further back there is a haptic panel that controls the lights – remember, no physical buttons in this car – but that is also blocked by the steering wheel.
The head-up display on V2 and V3 trim levels is superb and draws lines on the road to ensure you are going in the right direction and don’t miss a turning.
Overall, the design of the interior is preferable to that of the ID3, with high quality materials used throughout and also some nice touches on the surfaces of the dashboard on the passenger side.
The Born is rear-wheel-drive and comes with 204hp, with the optional E-Boost model - which provides extra power – increasing that to 231hp for 30 seconds bursts. In base spec, the 0-60mph time has been figured at 7.3 seconds, while the E-Boost special brings that down to 6.6 seconds.
There are two choices of battery. The first is a 58kW unit that will provide up to 260 miles, claims Cupra. Those who want more range can go for the larger 77kW battery that is good for a theoretical 340 miles, although it’s unlikely that figure will be matched in the real world.
Charging-wise, Borns with the 58kW battery pack will take nine hours to charge using a 7kW home charger. For the larger battery models the charging time using the same setup will be up to 12 hours.
At a DC fast charger, the maximum charging rates are 120kW (58kW Born) and 135kW (77kW Born).
Finally, energy consumption across the range is up to 4.4 miles/kWh, depending on model and battery size.
Another EV and another five star rating by Euro NCAP for the Cupra Born. Adult protection was rated at an impressive 93%, while child occupant safety was just lower at 89%. Vulnerable road user protection has been rated at 73%, while safety assist is rated at 80%.
There’s autonomous emergency braking, but not the same technology for pedestrians and no active bonnet available. The car does, however, offer speed assistance and lane assist technology.
All Born models come with the brand’s Keyless Go system. There's also an alarm system that includes interior monitoring in the cabin, a backup horn and towing protection. Anti-theft wheel bolts are also standard across the range.
All Cupras are covered by a three-year/60,000-mile warranty and the Born is no exception. Meanwhile, this car’s battery warranty lasts for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
It’s a bit early to talk about levels of reliability because the car hasn’t yet been on sale a year, but the Seat and Cupra brands generally perform well in this regard.
Likewise, no recalls have been reported for the car, but there have been reports of connectivity glitches with the infotainment system, which isn’t ideal for a new car.
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