New SEAT Leon Cupra ST Review

RRP from
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Big boot
  • Super-fast 4x4 option
  • Generously equipped
  • Interior could look sportier
  • Civic Type R has more character
  • It's not the bargain it used to be
CO2 emissions
161 g/km
First year road tax
Safety rating

The Leon Cupra ST is a 300hp performance estate car that rivals the VW Golf R estate, Ford Focus ST Estate and Skoda Octavia vRS estate. If you don’t need the extra boot space the estate version offers then it’s also available as the three-door Leon Cupra SC and the five-door Leon Cupra.

Why not test drive the SEAT Leon Cupra ST yourself at a dealer near you?

The Leon Cupra ST’s main selling point is its combination of family car practicality and impressive load capacity with a powerful 300hp engine and – from 2017 onward – a four-wheel-drive system that helps it get from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds. This is one seriously fast car and it also handles impressively for a hot hatch – in fact, it’s easy to forget you’re driving an estate car at all as you tackle your favourite twisty road taking advantage of the car’s impressive grip.

Inside, the Leon Cupra ST is well built from high-quality soft-touch plastics, although there’s not as much colour or style as you’d expect from the Spanish brand. A 2017 update to the car added an eight-inch infotainment screen with an optional wireless phone-charging pad on the centre console. You can tell the Cupra apart from the standard Leon ST estate by way of aluminium pedals, a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel and racier seats that hug you tight in the corners.

Standard kit on all Cupra ST models includes bright LED headlights, the eight-inch infotainment screen with built-in sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring systems as well as dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.

Get a four-wheel-drive Leon Cupra ST and it'll beat most cars away from the traffic lights

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Overall, the Cupra ST is a real jack-of-all-trades car. It’s incredibly quick and, if you pick the optional four-wheel-drive system, you can power out of rain-lashed hairpin bends faster than many cars on sale. It doesn’t feel as overtly sporty as hot hatch rivals such as the Ford Focus RS or Honda Civic Type R – but its comfortable ride means it’s not as jarring as those cars in day-to-day use.

The interior and infotainment system are up there with the best in class, but an Audi S3 would be the better (if slightly more expensive) choice if you demand a properly premium interior – and are willing to sacrifice a little practicality. That makes the Leon Cupra ST a niche car that excels in almost every area – and it’s certainly worth bearing in mind if you want a fast family estate car.

For more information on the Seat Leon Cupra ST, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you want to see what sort of offers are available on the Leon Cupra ST, visit our deals page.