The Cupra Leon Plug-In Hybrid Hatchback: The Complete Guide For The UK

Cupra Leon Plug-In Hybrid
Price: £36,710
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Hatchback
Battery size: 12.8 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 32 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 29g (CO2/km)

Overview


SEAT CUPRA, S.A.U, simply known as CUPRA, is the high performance motorsport subsidiary of SEAT. SEAT S.A. is Spain’s first family car manufacturer. The automotive company was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Martorell, Spain.

In 1986, SEAT was sold to the German automotive group, Volkswagen A.G. Cupra was previously known as SEAT Sport. The Cupra brand was created in 2018. Cupra has the following portfolio of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).



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The Cupra Leon PHEV Hatchback


The Cupra Leon compact hatchback is the high-performance version of the Seat Leon hatchback. The Leon has been sold since 1999, and is now in its fourth generation. The vehicle is built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform. The Cupra Leon (formerly Seat Leon Cupra) plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a good option for those seeking high-performance, but in an environmentally-friendly electric vehicle (EV).

In the Cupra electric hatchback, the automotive manufacturer has successfully combined a ‘hot hatch’ performance, along with an environmentally-friendly plug-in hybrid engine. The electric vehicle (EV) has a 12.8 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified zero-emission electric range up to 32 miles.

The real-world EV range will be lower, impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, speed, passenger load, weather, road condition, wheel size, etc. Assuming a 27 mile emission-free electric range is more realistic. However, that should be just fine for most shorter commutes. Do keep in mind that the average commute is a mere 10 miles. Hardly surprising, given that the majority of our day-to-day trips include going to the grocery store, school-runs, high street, gym, to work etc.

Driving on e-mode is not only beneficial to the local air quality (zero-tailpipe emissions), but also saves money. Driving a PHEV on electric mode can cost as little as 10 pence per mile, substantially cheaper than using the internal combustion engine (ICE).

In fact, the more the EV is driven on the pure electric mode, the better is the overall fuel economy of the vehicle. The manufacturer claims that the Cupra PHEV has a fuel economy up to 221.8 mpg. To achieve anywhere close to the claimed MPG, driving the plug-in electric car on EV mode will be imperative. If the PHEV is driven primarily using the petrol engine, the fuel economy will be closer to 40 mpg.

Another advantage of the Cupra PHEV, compared to the conventional petrol variant (172g CO2/km), is the reduced tailpipe emissions from the PHEV (29g CO2/km). Given the lower tailpipe emissions, a company-car driver can save further on driving the PHEV, as the Benefit-in-Kind (BiK-12%) tax charge is far lower for the PHEV, than the conventional internal combustion engine variant!

The EV has a 3.6 kW onboard charger, and using a dedicated home EV charging station, can be fully charged in under four hours. Of course, EV owners ‘top-up’ the battery charge on a regular basis. This way, one does not need to wait fours hours for a full charge! Moreover, topping up on a regular basis is also better for the long-term maintenance of the onboard EV battery. Cupra offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.

Yes, a 3-PIN domestic socket can be used for charging the EV, however, we at e-zoomed discourage the use a domestic socket for charging an EV. It is faster and safer to use a dedicated EV charging station. The EV does not offer DC charging compatibility.

As would be expected from a Cupra badge, the exterior styling does not disappoint. The copper badged plug-in electric hatchback has a distinctive styling, placing it among the best looking electric hatchbacks in the market. The interior is also high quality and more importantly, practical. Adults seated on the rear seats have amply headroom and legroom. However, due to the placement of the EV battery, the boot space is not as large (270 L).

A number of intelligent safety features are available to include: emergency assist, rain/ light sensor, exit warning, rear traffic alert, front assist, side assist and the Cupra eCall emergency service.

The Cupra Leon plug-in hybrid pairs the 1.4 e-HYBRID petrol engine with an electric motor. In terms of performance, the front-wheel drive PHEV delivers up to 245 PS and 250 Nm torque. The top speed is 140 mph, and the EV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds. Of course, the EV benefits from instant torque.

The EV does not qualify for the UK government plug-in car grant (PiCG).


PROS CONS
Attractive, distinctive and stylish exterior Charging limited to 3.6 kW. DC charging not available
A good combination of performance and efficiency Boot space limited
High quality interior, with ample legroom and headroom for rear seats Electric range limited

Gallery


The Cupra Leon Hatchback PHEV (credit: Cupra)


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (2 Options)
Leon Hatch VZ2 1.4 e-HYBRID (from £36,710)
Leon Hatch VZ3 1.4 e-HYBRID (from £40,065)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 12.8 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.6 kW (0%-100%: 3 hrs 42 mins)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type: Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:29g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh £1.27
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh£1.67
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh£1.73
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh£1.89
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh£2.03
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in the UK varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for the UK is 14.40 p/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1467
Width (mm):1799
Length (mm):4389
Wheelbase (mm):2682
Turning Circle (m):10.5
Boot Space (L): 270

Leon Hatch VZ2 1.4 e-HYBRID
EV Battery Capacity:12.8 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):32 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):153.8
Fuel Consumption (MPG):221.8
Charging: DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.6 kW (0%-100%: 3 hrs 42 mins)
Top Speed:140 mph
0-62 mph:6.4 seconds
Drive: Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Max Power (PS):245
Torque (Nm): 250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Weight (kg):1596
Colours:10
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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