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Cupra Born

Cupra Born Review

Published on June 24th, 2022 | by Matthew Albutt

The Cupra Born is the first fully electric vehicle (EV) from Cupra. Based on the VW ID.3, this sportier hatch was put to the test on our road trip to Cornwall from the West Midlands. See how we got on and if we suffered from any range anxiety along the way.

  • Design - 3/5

    Overall I’m not a fan of the exterior look of the car. Although it is much better than the VW ID.3 that it is based on. Many EVs like the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the Kia EV6 leave a statement behind them as a real innovative change towards EV design.

    Cupra Born - Rear light bar

    It does do a good job when it comes to looking sportier with a mean looking front end and the copper accents really make it stand out in this regard. The light bar at the back really draws your attention, especially at night.

    When it comes to the interior, I wasn’t a fan of the Tesla-esque minimalist approach as it was verging on too minimalist and compromised functionality.

    The seats were really nice, and I really liked the logo on the headrests that gave the look and feel of quality.

    Reviewed by Sean Dalton, Head of Direct Sales and Rentals

  • Infotainment – 2/5

    The touch screen is very responsive and when you first get into the car you do get a tutorial on how to use the infotainment system and where everything is – I’m guessing you can turn this off eventually when you’re familiar with the system.

    The over the air Apple Car play and Android Auto is a nice touch, and means you don’t have to find your cable to plug your phone in. The model we had didn’t have the wireless phone charging, however this is an extra I’d consider as the over the air features do drain your phone battery.

    Cupra Infotainment steering wheel controls

    The touch buttons were dreadful and not very responsive. Whenever you press them it gives an audible beep through the car speakers which can be distracting. They can also be a little difficult to use whilst driving. This is the same for the steering wheel controls. What’s wrong with physical buttons?

    Cupra Born Infotainment

    The air conditioning was also controlled through the infotainment system which made it tricky to control and meant you took your eyes off the road for to long in order to change the temperature.

    Being an EV I thought there would be more information available on the regenerative breaking and how much power your using / regenerating at any given time. You can get some of this information but not in the sort of details i’d like. It’s also hidden in a menu within the system.

    Reviewed by Matthew Albutt, Digital Marketing Executive

  • Comfort - 4/5

    Space wise, I was expecting a little more in the front, not that I need it though at 5 foot 1 inches tall! The central unit is quite a beast for an electric vehicle, where most others have a big area of space in the footwell. That aside it was a pleasure to drive. I could adjust all aspects of the seat from the moment I got into the car, with ease.

    I managed to drive the car on town roads, country lanes, and the motorway, and it glided along smoothly, handling sharp corners on the lanes well. The front massage seats were an absolute bonus, but a little hidden. The same can be said for the speaker volume – controlled by a finger slide across the buttons on the steering wheel. I would have much preferred a good old fashioned twisting dial. After pressing what I thought was a button quite a few times to get the volume up, it then went too high and I found myself travelling along the motorway at maximum volume without knowing how to turn it down. Soon resolved with a little help from a colleague.

    Cupra Born - storage

    There was plenty of pockets of space for women’s paraphernalia, with the only uncomfortable feeling coming from how quickly the battery charge seemed to deplete. Although, I would suggest this comes from all EV’s and is as a result of the ‘still developing’ charging infrastructure, and potential drive time for a battery top up. In comparison to fuel where petrol stations are plenty to the dozen.

    Reviewed by Rhian Hawkins, Head of Marketing

  • Practicality - 3/5

    The boot, although not massive, was adequate. You could easily fit in a golf set, gym bag or any other day to day large items. My colleague Tom, in the video above, managed to fit all of his camping gear for a long weekend in the back of the car with the seats down.

    The front storage takes advantage of the space that EV’s present (with no gear box) which allows for nice big storage bins.

    It was nice to get in and out of the car, it was not to low to the ground but not as tall as an SUV. With no drive column the back of the car had a completely flat floor which is great for anyone sitting in the middle seat.

    Cupra Born - Public charging

    I’d personally have charger concerns, although Tom’s road trip to Cornwall seemed positive. If you have a home charger or one at work, this would make a great practical EV.

    Reviewed by Mike McKernan, Fleet Sales Executive

  • Performance - 4/5

    Overall the Cupra Born handled really well and felt planted through corners.

    It’s not as quick as some EV’s but with a 0-60 at around 7 seconds it is much quicker than many traditional combustion engine (ICE) cars available. With the pure acceleration from the electric engine you really need good brakes. Unfortunately, they felt soft and didn’t give the reassurance the car was going to stop within a decent time – I’m sure they are well within the safety guides and this is just how it felt from inside the cabin.

    Cupra Born - Heads up display

    The heads up display was absolutely brilliant, worked so well and brought new features such as following cars and 4D movement.

    The range was good and accurate for the actual amount of miles travelled. We both had range anxiety but wasn’t really needed as the regen breaking gave a few extra miles.

    Reviewed by Andrew Wright, Group Financial Controller, and Callum Jones, Accounts Assistant

Conclusion

The Cupra Born is a great little EV and ticks a lot of boxes. If you’re looking for a small EV which doesn’t feel to cramped and has a decent range then the Cupra Born is one to consider.

As mentioned in the video review, if you’re planning a long trip in your EV then apps such as Zap-Map become your best friend as they tell you where the closest public charging points are along your journey.

The Agility Fleet team gave the Cupra Born an overall score of 16/25. To read more of our vehicle reviews click here.

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