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Leon Cupra Diesel and LCR Test Drive - Review
Author: Crispy

Hi Guys,

I'm currently looking at upgrading my Ibiza Cupra to a newer Leon, so i test drove the Leon Cupra Diesel and the LCR back-to-back at Westerham yesterday. So firstly, thanks to the guys at Westerham for being nice enough to let me out in two of their great new cars! But what did i think about the cars?

Leon Cupra Diesel
The diesel certainly looks the part, but i felt that it was lacking the smile factor i currently get in my 20vT Ibiza. The handling was good, with less body roll than i expected, and plenty of grip given all that torque. I liked the car, and could actually see muself driving one at some point in the future, but just didn't fall in love with it. The big plus factor of the TDi is obviously the economy (i drive 80 miles each day), and i averaged about 41mpg over the 25miles of spirited driving i did (half on the motorway).

Leon Cupra R
Visually the R is striking. It's not too OTT, but sporty enough to give the BMW drivers a little warning about the car that's about to make them look like they're in reverse. The alloys fill the arches nicely, and the front splitter makes it look very mean.
Out on the road, i was immediatly impressed with the grip. I floored it in 2nd on a damp road, and found that it gripped far better than my Ibiza. It had the standard OE tyres, so i'm guessing it'll be even better with some F1's! Over the following 25 miles, i was extremely impressed by the general handling, braking (that'll be the Brembos) and steering. But i'm still unsure just how quick the car really is. I know all the paper figures, but just coudn't decide if it live up to all the hype. It honestly "felt" slower than my Ibiza (chipped), but i suspect that it's actually down to the deceptive smooth power band of the LCR and the hard suspension of the Ibiza. The fuel economy appeared to be very poor (about 26mpg average), but i think it was made worse by the almost empty tank that i started on (i know the Ibiza's mpg isn't accurate when nearly empty).

Conclusions?
I don't think i'll be going for the Diesel....possibly in a few years time when i have to be more sensible. But i'm still unsure whether the LCR is a worthwile upgrade from the Ibiza. I'm sure once chipped it'll pull like a train, but i'm just not convinced that it's a match for my Cupra as standard.
The fuel consumption also concerned me a bit, but i expected it really. I currently average 32mpg when commuting, with 80% of it being on the M25. If i can avearge close to that figure in the LCR, the i'll be ok.
 
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