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Seat Leon Cupra 280

Discussion in 'Readers Rides (SEAT)' started by Hazkirby, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Hazkirby

    Hazkirby Active Member

    Nov 16, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Hi there

    Here is a review of my car 3 months in.

    Model: Leon Cupra SC
    Colour: Nevada White (black wheels)
    Engine: EA888 Gen 3
    Transmission: DSG

    So coming from an E90 330i, which on paper at least was circa 20hp less and 75KG more I knew the Cupra would be a step up in terms of absolute pace and also usable pace (NA vs Turbo).
    And a few days in my estimation was pretty accurate! In terms of power delivery the Cupra was very much in the savage category, especially with the diff turned up. Things I have learned with this much power through the front wheels:
    1) Ensure there is sufficient space before flooring it
    2) Turning the traction control off will give a noticeable improvement in straight line performance (savagely explosive) the ecu cuts power and interupts the boost you have been building at the slightest sniff of wheel spin - where as the traction control in my 330i was much more intelligent. Better to have a bit of spinnage and no loss in boost !

    In terms of stats I have timed using my phone (Torque PRO):
    0-60 - not had a chance to do this in dry conditions, but will usually do 6.0 in the wet.
    40-60 - 1.9s

    Pretty quick !

    The DSG box is great overall. Can't comment on sport mode because that's not how I roll (if I want a sporty drive I'll always go into manual mode). The shifting response times when using manual mode have improved noticeably. Obviously if you are accelerating and shift down there will still be a delay (since you are accelerating the dsg prepares the next higher gear not the next lower gear - The trick is to plan ahead try to let off if you want to downshift) but overall a marked improvement.

    The standard red calipers look the bees knees, and I think the brakes feels great initially however they seem to fade a bit when there is a decent amount of heat in the brakes. I think a better set of pads would cure this. Again I had grooved, drilled disks with yellowstuff pads on my 330i which didn't fade even on track, so my expectations may be slightly higher than usual.

    Even though I upgraded my 330i dampers and springs (for track work) the Cupra is still miles better in the handling department. It's surefooted whilst remaining feelsome. The car has adaptive dampers which make a big difference. Comfort mode is a bit rolly but very comfortable, more so then the mk3 Octavia I have which sits on 17s. Cupra mode is spot on, not back breaking but removes the roll. Sport I don't bother with. When I bought the car it had P zeros on the front, the same as we're on the rear of my 330i. I already knew soon as it dropped below 5c these tyres would be useless. And this is exactly what happened. I swapped my front and rear so now have Uniroyal RS3s on the front. Whilst not perfect they don't seem to be effected by cold weather, even in the minus. They will be replaced by PS4S soon.

    The interior is very nice to look at and be in. Nothing different to the norm except mine is one of the earlier ones so had full black leather heated seats without the Cupra logo or white bits on the seats. It rattles more than the 330i and the road noise is quite obtrusive. It has the Seat Sound system which I think is awesome (plenty of bass) ! The infotainment does what I need it to do, but compared to the 2019 virtual cockpits etc it feels a bit dated now. Size wise it fits two small kids in the back and has a decent enough boot.

    The 280s are sometimes reported as being too quiet. However I don't have the same opinion, maybe because my car is on over 80k and the exhaust has freed itself up a bit. When the exhaust is hot after a run it will fart on upshift at over 4k rpm which is nice! That's all I really want. Generally it has a nice tone to it.

    When switching the car into sport or cupra mode the Soundaktor (interior fake sound) is activated. On these cars the sound comes through a device and into the cabin. It sounds a lot like induction noise but I felt it was too loud to be real, essentially drowning out the exhaust tone like no induction kit would. Luckily you can change the volume using the Carista app so I set mine to 30% volume. For me this is the perfect balance, I.e. I get the induction roar but still here the exhaust.

    Day to day:

    So on the commute to work I often stick the active cruise control on and take both feet off the pedals. The car will remain in active cruise control mode until you hit 0mph, in which case it beeps at you to put the brakes on. Soon as you start moving you just flick ACC back on and bobs your uncle. This accompanied with DSG and Comfort mode makes the drive to work a doddle! However if you fancy a change, stick the car in Cupra, turn the traction control off (empty roads only at the moment!), smash the dsg box into manual and away you go !

    I'll aim to update this routinely - any questions please let me know - in short the car is brilliant - a proper hyper hatch
    #1 Hazkirby, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
    Syphon, Legojon and Jordan Neill like this.
  2. With regards to brake fade you should also look at fitting some of these, help keep temps down especially on the track

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