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Golf R or Leon Cupra 290

Jun 29, 2020
11
2
Hello fellas, new to posting but been lurking for a little while.

Just after everyone's opinions here as I'm in a bit of a rut with regards to which car to get.

So I'm looking to spend no more than £25k, and it's between the Leon Cupra 290 or a MK 7.5 Golf R. I'm going to test drive both before I decide however I was wondering who's been in a similar situation and what you went for? I work away half the year where I'm basically unable to use my car, or at least very rarely, but I do drive to work every 8 weeks which takes like 2.5 hours so I'm not on the motorway very often. When I'm home I only really drive to visit parents/go shopping/gym, etc, so only do maybe 70 miles a week maximum. I'm leaning Golf R due to the 4WD, but on the other hand I don't care about traffic light racing or **** like that, just want to be able to put my foot down and have fun. Golf R obviously more expensive but interior looks more refined, I can get an almost new Cupra for 24k, whereas with the Golf I'm looking at 18 plates with around 30k miles on.

Has anyone had regrets with either?

Opinions?

Cheers.
 

Invertigo

Active Member
Nov 19, 2019
166
77
I test drove both and ended up going for the Cupra for a few reasons:
Price, as you mentioned. With them being built on the same platform with the same engine etc, they're near enough the same car under the skin with the exception being FWD vs AWD (If this is a major consideration, the Cupra ST is AWD too)
Specs. The Cupra comes with pretty much every option you could want, and the Lux trim adds even more. I believe things such as adaptive dampers on the R were an option whereas the Seat gets them as standard, and ironically enough comfort mode actually made the Cupra feel more relaxed than the FR I drove the same day.
Performance, well yes the AWD system of the Golf will launch it better and give it an advantage at lower speeds, but once you're past 30mph or so the FWD setup can theoretically be a faster car due to less weight and less powertrain loss. But frankly, both are more than fast enough.
I actually preferred the interior on the Cupra too, and the external styling, but that's all just personal preference.

If I were you, I'd be looking at a pre-2018 Cupra for comparison and see how much more you get for your money. Might be worth spending 20k on a Seat and keeping 5k for other outgoings?
 
Jun 29, 2020
11
2
I test drove both and ended up going for the Cupra for a few reasons:
Price, as you mentioned. With them being built on the same platform with the same engine etc, they're near enough the same car under the skin with the exception being FWD vs AWD (If this is a major consideration, the Cupra ST is AWD too)
Specs. The Cupra comes with pretty much every option you could want, and the Lux trim adds even more. I believe things such as adaptive dampers on the R were an option whereas the Seat gets them as standard, and ironically enough comfort mode actually made the Cupra feel more relaxed than the FR I drove the same day.
Performance, well yes the AWD system of the Golf will launch it better and give it an advantage at lower speeds, but once you're past 30mph or so the FWD setup can theoretically be a faster car due to less weight and less powertrain loss. But frankly, both are more than fast enough.
I actually preferred the interior on the Cupra too, and the external styling, but that's all just personal preference.

If I were you, I'd be looking at a pre-2018 Cupra for comparison and see how much more you get for your money. Might be worth spending 20k on a Seat and keeping 5k for other outgoings?

Aye good thinking, I was thinking if I was going for a Cupra that It'd be a bit cheaper than the R, but the Cupra I'm looking at is 69 plate with 2k miles on for £24k, waiting on the dealer getting back to me regarding PCP deals at the moment, I think I'd just feel a bit safer with AWD. With regard to the ST, I do really like it however there's no Cupra ST's anywhere near me for sale at the moment, also I'm really wanting the digital display as it looks much nicer imo.
 

Damo H

Carbon Snob
Staff member
Moderator
Oct 3, 2012
3,937
2,323
Car Length In Front
Aye good thinking, I was thinking if I was going for a Cupra that It'd be a bit cheaper than the R, but the Cupra I'm looking at is 69 plate with 2k miles on for £24k, waiting on the dealer getting back to me regarding PCP deals at the moment, I think I'd just feel a bit safer with AWD. With regard to the ST, I do really like it however there's no Cupra ST's anywhere near me for sale at the moment, also I'm really wanting the digital display as it looks much nicer imo.
Not sure why the 4WD makes the car safer. If won't have any more grip than the FWD. Yes it will have better traction, but arguably as it makes it faster to 60mph, is that not less safe?

I've had both the Cupra ST 280 FWD and Cupra ST 300 4drive, I've said several times, as standard from the factor, the FWD was much more competent in the corners than the 4drive. Less weight also means it will stop better too.

Biggest issue on safety for me is the tyres the car comes with, not how many of the wheels are driven.

Just my 2p.
 
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Jun 29, 2020
11
2
Not sure why the 4WD makes the car safer. If won't have any more grip than the FWD. Yes it will have better traction, but arguably as it makes it faster to 60mph, is that not less safe?

I've had both the Cupra ST 280 FWD and Cupra ST 300 4drive, I've said several times, as standard from the factor, the FWD was much more competent in the corners than the 4drive. Less weight also means it will stop better too.

Biggest issue on safety for me is the tyres the car comes with, not how many of the wheels are driven.

Just my 2p.
Not saying I wouldn't feel safe in FWD, just assumed for taking corners in the rain etc it would be the better choice, not that I'm planning on zooming round corners anyway. Is wheelspinning a problem when accelerating not from standstill?
 

Invertigo

Active Member
Nov 19, 2019
166
77
Any modern car isn't going to feel unsafe taking corners, they have all manner of electrical systems to keep the car going where it's supposed to with minimal driver input.

You'll get a bit of wheelspin if you plant it in second, but the cars systems handle it fine and it never unsettles the drive.
 
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Damo H

Carbon Snob
Staff member
Moderator
Oct 3, 2012
3,937
2,323
Car Length In Front
Not saying I wouldn't feel safe in FWD, just assumed for taking corners in the rain etc it would be the better choice, not that I'm planning on zooming round corners anyway. Is wheelspinning a problem when accelerating not from standstill?
The speed you can go around a corner in a 4WD or a FWD will be determined by the grip of the tyre, not the extra traction given by the power being distributed between 4 wheels instead of 2.

One of the major advantages of the FWD is that it has the electronically controlled VAQ diff. Where as the 4WD just has open diffs. So this means that if you put your foot down it will put the power to the wheel with most traction.

That being said because 300 hp is divided between wheels, ignoring the larger power loss through the more complex 4WD transmission, in theory you only have 75hp going to each wheel vs 150 on the FWD. So it gets better traction out of the corner. Which people often describe as more grip as it powers out of a corner even in the wet.

But grip in the corner is not different, its dependant on the tyres. so a 4wd is not going to stop better, enter a corner better, or go round a corner better.

I know I'm simplifying a lot more. But not sure a 4wd is 'safer'. Only exception I would say is snow, but a FWD with winter tyres will be better than a 4WD on summer tyres on snow.

There is a reason I spent over £600 on modifications just to get my car to handle at least as good as my previous FWD 280 (its now over £1,500 and handles better). £500 on that was swapping to decent tyres again.


Anyway ignore all the above and drive both. See which makes you smile more :)
 
Last edited:

Mike the_cupra

Active Member
May 29, 2020
30
15
I had a Mk7 Golf R. Now in a Cupra Ateca. I think theres a lot to be said for the Mk7.5, the 310bhp variant wasn't available for very long and they're very good cars. But they aren't the most exciting. If you aren't worried about drag racing or hard acceleration, logic says the Cupra would be better. I haven't driven one but it should be more engaging, more fun and probably just as quick above 30mph (if not quicker). You'll definitely get a better deal too. I guess it should come down to your preference, weighed up with whether you want acceleration, or a newer lower mileage car.
 
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Jun 29, 2020
11
2
I had a Mk7 Golf R. Now in a Cupra Ateca. I think theres a lot to be said for the Mk7.5, the 310bhp variant wasn't available for very long and they're very good cars. But they aren't the most exciting. If you aren't worried about drag racing or hard acceleration, logic says the Cupra would be better. I haven't driven one but it should be more engaging, more fun and probably just as quick above 30mph (if not quicker). You'll definitely get a better deal too. I guess it should come down to your preference, weighed up with whether you want acceleration, or a newer lower mileage car.
Thanks for the input. I was supposed to test drive a Golf R today, but they rang me and said I couldn't test drive it due to the bhp and the fact I'm 24, ******* stupid if you ask me but there you have it, might have to wait until they're allowed in the car with me, but due to Covid-19 they can't.
 

Mike the_cupra

Active Member
May 29, 2020
30
15
Thanks for the input. I was supposed to test drive a Golf R today, but they rang me and said I couldn't test drive it due to the bhp and the fact I'm 24, ******* stupid if you ask me but there you have it, might have to wait until they're allowed in the car with me, but due to Covid-19 they can't.
I bought mine when I was 24. One garage let me test drive one they'd just taken a deposit for. I called up re a second car a week later, and told me i'd have to pay £50 to test drive it. Needless to say I went elsewhere. If they won't let you drive it alone then it's their loss really
 
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Sil

Active Member
May 25, 2020
15
17
I looked at both options as well and have collected my Leon St 300 4Drive four days ago...I came out of a VW Passat (2017) model. For the Leon just looks better, an you don't see many of them about....Like others have said, drive them both, compare the spec and the options and see which one you like...
 
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Jun 29, 2020
11
2
I bought mine when I was 24. One garage let me test drive one they'd just taken a deposit for. I called up re a second car a week later, and told me i'd have to pay £50 to test drive it. Needless to say I went elsewhere. If they won't let you drive it alone then it's their loss really
Aye that was my response on the phone this morning, he said I could bring one of my mates who are 25 in to drive it, when I said all of my mates are 23/24 the conversation ended and I just said well it doesn't matter then, their loss as you say.
 
Jun 29, 2020
11
2
What's the sound system like in SEAT's? My current A6 has the bose speakers and I love it, how does the Cupras compare? I do enjoy listening to my music quite loud when I'm travelling.
 

CupraGeezer

Active Member
May 11, 2018
262
108
@Invertigo does raise some valid points about the spec of the Golf R. Given the price of the thing when it was new, there's not a lot of standard kit compared to the Cupra. I'd advise you to look closely at the spec of the cars on offer as a lot of them were build with very basic specs in order to keep the monthly payments low on their lease deals.
 
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Cupra622

Active Member
May 9, 2020
24
8
Aye good thinking, I was thinking if I was going for a Cupra that It'd be a bit cheaper than the R, but the Cupra I'm looking at is 69 plate with 2k miles on for £24k, waiting on the dealer getting back to me regarding PCP deals at the moment, I think I'd just feel a bit safer with AWD. With regard to the ST, I do really like it however there's no Cupra ST's anywhere near me for sale at the moment, also I'm really wanting the digital display as it looks much nicer imo.
Hi, I've just bought a cuora St 4drive which cost just over 23k for a 19 plate with 4k miles on it. It's a great car and loads of fun. If you want the awd hunt one down and just travel for it. It will save you a bundle over the golf and it's the same car basically. I did get tempted a bit by the golf but in the end pounds shillings and pence won over. Mine has the digi dash and agree it's great.
 
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Glosphil

Active Member
Nov 10, 2004
89
20
Gloucestershire
Youre considering PCP on a used car! I suspect that will have a high interest rate. Bank loan instead and you will actually own the car.
 
Jun 29, 2020
11
2
Youre considering PCP on a used car! I suspect that will have a high interest rate. Bank loan instead and you will actually own the car.
SEAT is offering 6.9% APR at the moment. After the hassle ive had with my current car and bank loaning it, im reluctant to do it again. Think id rather psrt ex it at the end of the contract and get something different.
 

Mike the_cupra

Active Member
May 29, 2020
30
15
What's the sound system like in SEAT's? My current A6 has the bose speakers and I love it, how does the Cupras compare? I do enjoy listening to my music quite loud when I'm travelling.
Mine has the beats audio. I don't know whether the other models do, but it's okay. It's probably not as good as Audi, but it's certainly not bad.

I have noticed that banks have gotten a bit twitchy recently. I couldn't see any decent deals for £15k+. 6.9% on a used car is reasonable.
 
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Jun 29, 2020
11
2
Mine has the beats audio. I don't know whether the other models do, but it's okay. It's probably not as good as Audi, but it's certainly not bad.

I have noticed that banks have gotten a bit twitchy recently. I couldn't see any decent deals for £15k+. 6.9% on a used car is reasonable.
Been speaking to a different SEAT dealership about 2 hours away from me, quoted £348 a month for an ex-demo SEAT Cupra 290 Lux edition, 69 plate and 2k miles on it, think I'll be going for that. £2400 deposit but meh, lifes too short to driving a boring car.
 
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