Keep SEAT Leon Cupra 290 or upgrade to Audi S3 or even Golf R

cupraboss

Active Member
Dec 27, 2015
87
2
Hey guys I have crossed the 3 year point of owning my SEAT Leon Cupra 290. Overall its been good to me and a very fun car with pretty loud DSG farts :D. The main drawback is of course traction in the wet or on cold days and of course mediocre build quality. I purchased the car new (fully loaded with upgraded alloys, DCC, pan sunroof, rear view camera, SEAT sound, ACC + lane assist) on PCP back in 2016 for £400 per month. Zero deposit on a 0% APR deal. Balloon payment due in September 2019 of £11k which I could bank loan for around £280 per month with 3-4% APR. Total price of the car was about £28k with around 17% discount via drive the deal

I have test driven the S3 and obviously its a good car and would give me more usable power but it won't necessarily be more fun to drive particularly on the dry days. I am thinking the grass might not be greener...

What would you guys do in my position? In your opinion would upgrading and specing similar options be worth it considering I will be losing the £14k that I have already paid into the Cupra?. Would the Golf R give me the fun and the traction I am looking for as oppose to the S3?

Any advice/insight would be help me greatly as I really do not know what to do....
 

ray

Active Member
Jan 7, 2016
571
179
The fact that you’ve had the car for 3 years would say to me to go for a change, although I have heard a lot of comments about how bland the s3/golf is in comparison.

Build quality I would say is going to be the same across the full Vag range, if your talking about little squeaks and rattles as I’ve had every one (except Skoda) and they all had some little “quirk”.

I did fancy an m135/140i before I bought my cupra a few months ago, I’m sure they would be immense fun, with a beautiful sounding engine to go with it.


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LouG

Active Member
Dec 1, 2017
1,319
478
Nelson, New Zealand
I have no complaints about build quality in the 300. Neither of the alternatives you've mentioned seem worth the extra south pacific pesos.
 

DougCupra280

Active Member
Feb 17, 2019
44
11
Why change now. - Golf R and S3 are not really upgrades.

I would pay for a Virtual Cockpit retrofit and perhaps upgrade the infotainment to the latest, al set of Michelin's and you have pretty much the latest Cupra. You could also go for the APR remap as you out of warranty now :)
 

JR19

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
22
9
Well the car will be worth more than 11k anyway so it'd be worth the loan either way.. buy it - resell privately (depends on condition and miles etc) and look for a new car or keep it!
 

Neil Francis

Active Member
Jan 28, 2019
81
46
Cambridgeshire
S3 is far superior interior, better quality used and better sound insulation. My misses works for Audi and has had several S3’s and I’ve had a Golf GTi and now on a Copra. I can defiantly notice a difference. The S3 puts the power down far better but it would with Quattro. If budget goes that far I’d do it.
 

xyz

Full Member
Feb 28, 2004
463
137
oxford
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Disagree with Ray. I had a Cupra 280 and it was a great car - good handling etc but I sold it and bought a brand new Golf R - there is definitely a difference in quality and my 280 struggled to put the power down in the wet - axle tramp was terrible. No such issues with the R and because of its four wheel drive, the tuning potential is much greater. I’ve had four Leons over the years - a Cupra 180, two Rs and a 280 and liked them all but I couldn’t go back to one after my Golf but it’s personal taste at the end of the day. A stage 1 Golf R can turn in 0 - 60 times in around 3.7 seconds - for relatively low outlay - what’s not to like? The Cupra might be a bit more fun in the dry but my R suits my requirements for all weather, cross country pace.


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xyz

Full Member
Feb 28, 2004
463
137
oxford
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On top of that, both the R and S3 have much better resale value against initial outlay. Only have to look at the Cupra R ST - who’s going to pay that kind of money?


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louiskopite

Active Member
Dec 18, 2018
68
51
Athens
I have previously posted on this forum that if I could afford a Golf R I would have gone for it. My recommendation would be to test drive it if possible and see for yourself the difference. Let us know what you decided in the end :)
 
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Deleted member 103408

Guest
What do you want from your car that will decide

0 - 60 you want a 4 wheel drive.
30 - 150 the cupra will do the job and leave many cars standing.

Fuel consumption the cupra will be better - less weight.

But as @louiskpoite said take them for a test drive and see whats best for you.

Me I would never plan to sell what i have now as its so much fun and makes me smile every single day.
 

xyz

Full Member
Feb 28, 2004
463
137
oxford
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What do you want from your car that will decide

0 - 60 you want a 4 wheel drive.
30 - 150 the cupra will do the job and leave many cars standing.

Fuel consumption the cupra will be better - less weight.

But as @louiskpoite said take them for a test drive and see whats best for you.

Me I would never plan to sell what i have now as its so much fun and makes me smile every single day.
Tbh, my Cupra wasn’t any better on fuel than my R. I was getting mid 30s on my commute to my previous employer with my R - 47mpg on one occasion but my commute is across country and even worse now so the 4wd suits me. Was considering a BMW but rear wheel drive is ridiculous in the wet - had an M140 hold me up because he couldn’t put his power down in the wet.


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Deleted member 103408

Guest
Haha, off topic but I still get a wtf moment when y'all say Cupra is 2wd :) Barely see any 2wd Cupras in Sweden :doh:
Front wheel drive dont make sense where you guys live I know but that's the point about what do you want from the car.

Where I live and how I use it FWD is the best in Sweden / Finland I would be modding it to 4wd no doubt
 
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AndrewJB

Friend to SEAT UK & Cupra Racing
Aug 16, 2007
11,192
475
Maranello
Well the car will be worth more than 11k anyway so it'd be worth the loan either way.. buy it - resell privately (depends on condition and miles etc) and look for a new car or keep it!
This, my 2014 Cupra balloon payment was 4k less than I sold it for.
 

cupraboss

Active Member
Dec 27, 2015
87
2
Thanks for the replies. I could sell my Cupra privately and use the money from the sale ~£4-5k and put it into my next car. So what would you guys go for Audi S3 or Golf R?. I know the standard answer would be go drive them but i thought the difference was small therefore any advice would be helpful!
 

motty225

Polestar 2
Sep 11, 2008
944
212
Ashby De-La Zouch
Thanks for the replies. I could sell my Cupra privately and use the money from the sale ~£4-5k and put it into my next car. So what would you guys go for Audi S3 or Golf R?. I know the standard answer would be go drive them but i thought the difference was small therefore any advice would be helpful!
S3 between the two
 

xyz

Full Member
Feb 28, 2004
463
137
oxford
Visit site
Thanks for the replies. I could sell my Cupra privately and use the money from the sale ~£4-5k and put it into my next car. So what would you guys go for Audi S3 or Golf R?. I know the standard answer would be go drive them but i thought the difference was small therefore any advice would be helpful!
Drive both. You’ll probably find the R a better drive. Rarity doesn’t make up for driving experience. There’s small differences but general consensus is the S3 is too clinical.


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bigup

Active Member
Mar 25, 2019
126
42
Manchester
I’d love a Golf R but I can’t get past how common they are and I don’t want to follow the sheep. I like to be the odd one out, hence ordering the Cupra :)