We’re a one-car family. At least we were, and the plan was to continue as such until next year, when a job change would necessitate a second car. It just happened that when I was scrolling through eBay this week, we found a car that would suit my wife perfectly.

She’s always wanted a Golf or a Leon. She likes hatchbacks, and the Mark IV Golf and Mark I Leon have been some of her favourites. On Sunday morning, I was on eBay and spotted this Leon Cupra. The advert fit all the requirements, so I sent a message to the seller, who responded to my questions almost instantly. Everything looked good – service history,
low mileage, and a brand new MOT with no advisories. The rest is history, and yesterday we brought it home.

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The car is for my wife, but I’m not going to lie – I’m a bit excited to have the Cupra in the drive. I could’ve got her a boring little fuel efficient Leon, but why would you when you could get a 1.8T for the same price? (She already commented earlier, ‘This thing really likes to go!’) This is the 180bhp model, and it’s an eager and lively little thing. The engine pulls strong, the 6-speed gearbox is a slick little unit, and it feels light and agile. Most importantly, there is no evidence the car has been abused. On the whole, it nicely fits both our individual requirements: small and useful for her, quick and fun to drive for me.

I don’t think there’s much to do to it at this point. We did 150 miles in it yesterday and it drove just fine. It could probably use a tune-up, and I’ll clean the throttle body and MAF sensor and what not, but it’s mostly little things like that. The brakes are great, and front end feels nice and tight. And whilst silver isn’t my favourite colour for a car, after a wash and a quick polish this morning, it has cleaned up nicely.

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The previous owner made a few minor modifications, including the RS6-style wheels you see in the photos. I quite like the look, but at this point I’m planning to remove those and go back to the orginal wheels, as these 45 profiles make the ride too jittery for my liking.  I don’t imagine the standard 205/55R16′s will take much away from the handling, but I’m
willing to sacrifice a little handling for a bit of extra cushion. After all, I’ve got no plans to use this as a track car.

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So, it’s not quite a hot hatch, as that label would go with the Cupra R; perhaps it’s a warm hatch? Either way, I’m looking forward to getting to know the Cupra.

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One thought on “Adding to the fleet: Our ‘02 SEAT Leon Cupra

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