Why we’re moving it: Could this yet beryllium an EV that appeals to some the household operator and blistery hatch fan?Month 2 - Month 1 - Specs
Life with a Cupra Born: Month 2
Is the writer greener for Born buyers with deeper pockets? - 17 August
There are fewer things much irritating than deciding connected a caller car and past realising just a small mode down the enactment that you’ve backed a loser. So it was with immoderate trepidation that I approached the range-topping Cupra Born e-Boost 77kWh that a workfellow precocious had successful connected test.
Boasting a steadfast 227bhp implicit 201bhp, arsenic good arsenic that larger artillery (77kWh compared with 58kWh), it looked to person my Born soundly beaten – arsenic you would expect for its £41,975 price, immoderate £3585 much than mine, spec for spec.
Out successful the existent world, however, the quality successful show isn’t instantly evident – surely not arsenic overmuch arsenic it would beryllium betwixt my car and the 58kWh e-Boost, which combines the higher-output centrifugal with the lighter value of the smaller artillery to sprint from remainder to 62mph much than 0.5sec faster.
The electrical motor’s instant deed of torque means that adjacent a mean Born feels plentifulness sprightly enough, peculiarly successful its much dynamic driving mode, truthful I’m not definite that I would request to walk the other £800 oregon truthful for an e-Boost version.
The heavier artillery of the 77kWh exemplary much than halves the e-Boost’s advantage, too, truthful the further show is hardly noticeable unless you hap to travel crossed a 201bhp car astatine the postulation lights – and adjacent past you volition request decent reactions to permission it successful your wake.
Where the bigger-battery car truly scores – possibly unsurprisingly – is successful its range. My workfellow reported seeing estimated 320-plus miles connected the dashboard readout, whereas excavation is mostly beauteous exhausted aft 200 oregon so.
Having opted for a 77kWh car volition besides beryllium a boon erstwhile you propulsion up astatine a rapid charger, due to the fact that it permits a utile 125kW input, whereas excavation has a self-imposed 100kW bounds to debar frying the batteries.
Is that operation worthy the other £3595? If I were often doing longer journeys, perhaps, due to the fact that sitting astir tied to a mains socket erstwhile you’ve a deadline to conscionable is simply a pain. The bulk of the time, however, my Born is trundling astir municipality connected shorter runs – beryllium it commuting to work, shuttling my children to their assorted activities, taking my dogs to the parkland or, arsenic was the lawsuit recently, delivering dozens of parcels.
For that benignant of low-speed, stop- commencement activity, peculiarly erstwhile it’s getting regular top-ups successful between, circa 200 miles seems plenty.
A antithetic artillery size wouldn’t impact my fewer gripes with the car, either, which mostly centre astir the silly touch-sensitive ‘buttons’ and the intrusive blindspot that presents erstwhile you’re trying to propulsion retired of junctions – an inevitable effect of those thrust-forward A-pillars. Isn’t it reassuring to cognize that you’ve made the close decision, alternatively than an costly mistake?
Born for the family
It’s not a immense car, astatine 4324mm long, yet the Born is remarkably spacious inside. Limited rear caput country aside, I’ve yet to find it wanting.
The touchscreen infotainment strategy is conscionable truthful slow, some to link to my telephone and to toggle betwixt functions – a large flaw successful this time and age.
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Modern controls aren't ever arsenic utile arsenic they look - 10 Aug
When gathering an EV, manufacturers look to consciousness the request to ‘modernise’ things that worked perfectly good before. Take the buttons successful the Born: they’re interaction sensitive, and adjacent the slightest brushwood operates them. Not perfect erstwhile it means each clip you spell circular a country you crook up the stereo’s measurement oregon – worse – summation the velocity of the cruise control.
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We trial our electrical blistery hatch’s scope with a uncommon travel beyond the limits of London - 3 August
Not everyone has the quality to complaint an electrical conveyance astatine home, and though I’m fortunate capable to person a driveway connected which to parkland our Cupra Born, I don’t yet person a due charger installed.
As a result, beingness with an EV takes a spot of guardant readying to guarantee I ever person the complaint I request earlier I adjacent get an accidental to plug it in. I’m fortunate to person entree to 11kW chargers astatine work, and 1 of my closest friends is simply a existent EV-angelist who lets maine permission the Born connected his driveway for a fewer hours erstwhile I’m moving low. He has adjacent lent maine the three-pin hook-up from his Jaguar I-Pace for emergencies – though it’s truthful dilatory that it’s hardly worthy the effort unless I tin permission the car unsocial for 24 hours.
When I’m lone doing abbreviated journeys astir municipality (which, to beryllium fair, has proved to beryllium the cardinal portion of the Born’s remit truthful far), that’s usually plenty. The occupation occurs erstwhile I person a agelong travel ahead, arsenic I did with a caller travel from my location successful London to deepest Worcestershire.
At astir 160 miles each way, it would effect successful astatine slightest 1 complaint being needed, peculiarly due to the fact that I hadn’t until past spent overmuch clip connected motorways, truthful its vigor depletion astatine velocity was a spot of an chartless quantity. (As a regularisation of thumb, I thin to get astir 200 miles from a complaint but volition usually beryllium looking for a plug aft 180 oregon so.)
Using a operation of a charger astatine enactment and a socket astatine home, I ensured the artillery had 100% complaint earlier leaving and decided that the Instavolt Stroud Park charging presumption successful Banbury, conscionable a stone’s propulsion from the M40, would beryllium an perfect top-up point.
At speed, the Born is simply a serene companion, its refinement and instant powerfulness transportation making it a good motorway cruiser (even if, arsenic with astir electrical machinery, its apical velocity is reasonably limited).
Having near aboriginal connected Sunday morning, I was feeling relaxed and assured by the clip I arrived astatine Banbury with 53% of the 58kWh capableness left. I nabbed 1 of the remaining 125kW outlets (noting that the Volkswagen ID 3 adjacent had been hooked up for 12 hours, hogging 1 of the accelerated chargers) and popped implicit the roadworthy for a java and a bacon rotation portion the car took 25 minutes – astatine a outgo of £10.05 – to get backmost to 82%.
From there, it was a 120-mile circular travel to Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, wherever I was owed to walk the time astatine the superb Classic Nostalgia event. I thought I would person plentifulness successful manus but, possibly due to the fact that I had been enjoying the Born’s rewarding chassis connected the fantastic state lanes astir Shelsley, it was opening to look interaction and spell connected the instrumentality travel to Banbury.
In the end, I had to crook disconnected the air-con successful the stifling vigor of 1 of the warmest weekends connected grounds to debar utilizing up excessively overmuch foodstuff (on a afloat charge, the estimated 264 miles drops to 220 arsenic soon arsenic I interaction the somesthesia control).
I limped backmost into the Stroud Park presumption showing conscionable 16% and a 34-mile scope and rapidly demolished different ample Costa and a toasted sarnie arsenic the accelerated charger got the car backmost up to 85% implicit the ensuing 39 minutes for a further £23 – much than capable to get maine location and permission plentifulness successful manus for the adjacent morning’s commute.
None of the supra felt similar a chore, peculiarly due to the fact that I was driving solo connected this occasion, but those stops combined did adhd an hr oregon truthful to an already lengthy travel clip – and portion it’s cheaper to capable than a petrol car, I curse that immoderate savings I’m making connected substance costs I’m spending connected java and baked goods...
Quick and slick
The instantaneous and refined powerfulness transportation remains a novelty that refuses to deterioration off. Around town, it’s a joy.
The lane-keeping assistance is alternatively much ‘helpful’ than I would like, truthful overmuch truthful that astatine times I find myself wrestling with the wheel.
Back to the topLife with a Cupra Born: Month 1
Welcoming the Born to the fleet - 20 July 2022
Over the past fewer years, the electrical conveyance marketplace has matured rapidly. No longer does an EV person to beryllium self-consciously quirky to drawback the imaginativeness of buyers (think BMW i3 and Honda E), but that displacement has resulted successful a swathe of newcomers that are undoubtedly worthy but, well, truly alternatively dull.
Spend capable and determination are plentifulness of thrills to beryllium had from the top-end Porsche Taycans, Audi E-trons and Teslas, but what if you person lone a humble fund and fancy thing that’s entertaining to thrust arsenic good arsenic environmentally friendly?
Cupra reckons the Born could beryllium the answer, adjacent if the raw ingredients aren’t precisely capable to acceptable your trousers aflame: it doesn’t instrumentality overmuch of an automotive adept to spot that beneath the bespoke badging and sharply defined copper detailing lurks thing much breathtaking than the Volkswagen ID 3’s underpinnings.
That astatine slightest means it’s practical. The footwear feels larger than its 385 litres – and, acknowledgment to a dealer-fit optional rubber mat, it’s present dog-friendly, excessively – and the compact electrical centrifugal and single-speed transmission permission acres of country for passengers successful the cabin.
Plenty of decent-sized SUVs would conflict to amended the Born’s rear-seat space, which has masses of limb room, though my kids person complained that the cardinal spot is some excessively steadfast and excessively high, truthful adjacent my 13-year-old’s taller friends are astir touching the ceiling.
Things are beauteous rosy up front. At first, I was unsure astir the Dinamica trim – which looks uncannily similar late-1980s Ford Escort RS Turbo velour – wrapping the inviting-looking bucket seats.
It feels hard-wearing, though, and nether hard cornering (of which much later) is grippy arsenic good arsenic comfortable. And due to the fact that my car is simply a top-spec V3, it adds 12-way electrical adjustment, pneumatic lumbar enactment and an opulent massage relation to the heated seats and instrumentality of V2 cars.
A acceptable of snazzy seats, buckets oregon otherwise, does not a blistery hatch make. But instrumentality to the spec expanse and determination are plentifulness of positives connected insubstantial for the keen driver. First of all, 201bhp successful a tiny household hatch is simply a decent figure, adjacent if it does person astir 1800kg to haul around. (A much potent 227bhp mentation is available, should that not beryllium sufficient.)
Second, that treble period is delivered to the rear wheels, and the positioning of the artillery battalion beneath the level leads to near-perfect value distribution. The supra is each existent of the ID 3, of course, and that’s hardly a shot of fire.
But the Cupra has retuned, stiffer sports suspension to springiness it that longed-for blistery hatch feel. It’s beauteous swift, too: successful our roadworthy trial (6 July), this precise car sprinted from remainder to 60mph successful 6.7 sec – highly respectable for a household hatchback, and somewhat swifter than a Mk5 Golf GTI.
As for the rear-drive layout, don’t spell reasoning that volition crook it into a lairy, tail-sliding monster; but determination is nary uncertainty that the Born has a genuinely playful chassis.
The steering isn’t afloat of consciousness yet it’s precise and accurate, and the Cupra turns successful to corners keenly. The biggest astonishment is however adjustable it feels connected the throttle, tightening its enactment neatly with a small assistance – yes, similar a due blistery hatch. At a shadiness implicit 4.3m agelong and 1.81m wide, it feels compact, too, and rapidly inspires assurance connected a backmost road.
And that’s successful Normal driving mode. There’s besides a Sport option, but it’s truthful hard to find among the endless menus that I usually conflict to summon the enthusiasm. So galore of the car’s functions are buried heavy successful the infotainment strategy that it makes it each the much infuriating that this strategy is truthful dilatory and unintuitive to use.
After a forensic search, I yet tracked down and engaged Auto Hold, but I’m not definite I could find it again without a map. When you’re not successful the temper to thrash it, the Cupra is simply a beauteous relaxed companion.
Its 229lb ft of torque is disposable from remainder to 4200rpm, giving effortless pace, and, contempt the 20in wheels that travel with V3 spec, it rides beauteous serenely astir of the time: firm, but with bump and thump good isolated from the compartment by prime dampers.
That contributes to an wide consciousness of awesome refinement, and the scope is beauteous decent, too: 200-plus miles per complaint is easy achieved from my 58kWh car, adjacent erstwhile driving briskly, though relying connected the air-con during the caller blistery upwind did enactment a dent successful that.
If you often person to bash longer distances – oregon opt for the much almighty centrifugal – the larger, 77kWh artillery mightiness beryllium a amended option.
It remains to beryllium seen whether the e-Boost centrifugal tips the Born into afloat blistery hatch territory, but there’s besides a good contented of ‘warm’ hatches that connection conscionable capable amusement to fulfill enthusiasts without compromising their household car qualities. It’s a moniker that seems to suit the Cupra perfectly.
I looked aft Alastair’s Born for a portion and it truly grew connected me. After the archetypal vexation with the infotainment and touch-sensitive steering wheel, I came to admit the sorted chassis and comfy driving position. I wouldn’t person minded being capable to support it for a spot longer... IV
Back to the topCupra Born specification
Specs: Price New £38,390 Price arsenic tested £39,230 Options Aurora Blue overgarment £840
Test Data: Engine imperishable magnet brushless motor Power 201bhp Torque 229lb ft Kerb weight 1811kg Top speed 99mph 0-62mph 6.7sec Range 209 miles economy 3.6mpkWh Faults None
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