Spanish performance brand Cupra is coming to Australia next year – here are the cars the CarAdvice team would buy (with a few caveats...).
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Customisation is in vogue at the moment, but choice can be seriously confusing. In our configurator challenge, we let the CarAdvice team loose on a manufacturer’s website to create their ideal spec of a certain model.

To mark the announcement of the Cupra Australia range earlier this week, the team will be configuring their favourite vehicles on the Cupra UK configurator (including a few not offered in Australia!)

Let us know your favourite Cupra model in the comments, and which cars you'd like to see us configure next!


Ben Zachariah, Journalist

I chose the top-spec Cupra Ateca for a few reasons.

While I'm a fan of the idea of a Volkswagen Golf GTI in a different suit, I really like the idea of an unassuming medium SUV with a potent powertrain and all-wheel drive. Maybe it's something to do with all the rain we've had in Melbourne recently.

Without wanting to sound unkind, there's something cool about having an SUV with a profile that looks like every other model out on the market, except this one can hit 100km/h from a standstill in under five seconds. I'm old enough to remember when a sub-five-second 0-100km/h time was supercar fast.

It achieves this thanks to a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine sending 221kW and 400Nm to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. I dig the look of the black duco and copper wheels, and the muted blue bucket seats.

As a daily driver, this thing is right in my wheelhouse.


Alex Misoyannis, Journalist

My ideal, money-no-object Cupra Australia model is the slowest, cheapest and has the least traction of any of the cars selected by my colleagues in this story. Let me explain.

With the five-cylinder Formentor being left-hand-drive-only, and the Leon Sportstourer not bound for Australia, that leaves three vehicles set for Aussie shores: the Leon hatch, and Ateca and Formentor SUVs.

The latter pair's body styles immediately ruled them out from the running for me – but which Leon variant should I pick? While the 140kW model's low-$40,000 estimated starting price is appealing, and the GTI Clubsport-powered 221kW model will be rapid, I found the 180kW version strikes an under-bonnet balance between exciting you behind the wheel, and roasting the front tyres into wheel-spin oblivion.

I've opted for the entry-level VZ1 to escape the oversized (and rather distasteful in my opinion) wheels fitted to higher-end cars, with my example finished in Magnetic Grey on the outside – the best of a rather bland colour palette, to be honest – and a black leatherette/cloth combination inside.

Aside from the must-have Safety Pack XL – which adds adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, traffic-sign recognition and more – I've stayed away from the options list to keep the price down to a very reasonable £32,790.

A direct currency conversion lands my chosen spec at a touch over AU$60,000, though given the Australian price estimates given out so far, I'd guess a local price before on-road costs of around $46,000 to $48,000 – likely with a fair few extra features over my base UK model.

Take my money.


Tom Fraser, Journalist

The introduction of the Cupra brand to Australia has caught me by surprise. It's one of those left-field outfits you're aware of but don't really know much about, considering its cars haven't been offered in Australia until now.

In any case, it took me a minuscule amount of time to select the ultimate model from the line-up - the Cupra Leon Sportstourer wagon (though this one won't be available in Australia at launch, sadly – Ed).

My specification equips the most powerful 228kW/400Nm powertrain, which comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto (DSG) transmission and all-wheel drive.

I've gone for the stylish Urban Silver metallic paint on the outside, over Petrol Blue Nappa leather on the inside. I'm a big fan of the turbine-style 19-inch black and silver machined wheels which come as standard. If it's on offer, you can't not have a nice big panoramic sunroof in a wagon, so I've added that to my shopping list too.

Some of my colleagues might've been tempted to opt for the Audi-derived five-cylinder Cupra Formentor – but considering the engine can't be had in anything other than the SUV shape I felt justified in choosing the more handsome wagon design.


Emma Notarfrancesco, Senior Journalist

The choice was made easy for me (and sorry if this offends anyone) but I've never been a fan of the Cupra Leon, so the Ateca it would be. Having said that though, if they offered it in a manual I would have given it a go – instead it's dual-clutch automatic only. What a shame.

Red isn't always my go-to for cars either, but this seemed to work well against the gold-accented wheels. As an SUV girl I think this would suit my garage quite well. I went for the range-topping VZ3 model, powered by a 221kW/400Nm turbo engine with all-wheel drive.

I also added the sunroof, which brought my total to around $87,000 Australian dollars (though UK prices don't directly translate to Australia, it should be noted).


Kez Casey, Production Editor

It's hard to know which way to go with Cupra's launch range in Australia. The Leon hot hatch looks like bags of fun, and of course there's the Golf R-challenging Leon Sportstourer (not for Australia, unfortunately, though we can dream – Ed), not to mention the eternally-practical Ateca.

But all of those cars are former Seat products. There's only one 'ground-up' Cupra so far, and that's the Formentor.

It feels like a massive loss that Australia won't get the flagship 2.5-litre five-cylinder version offered in Europe, but the 228kW 2.0-litre turbo engine with all-wheel drive feels like a decent enough consolation prize.

Opting for the one-grade-from-top Formetor VZ2 trim level means dodging the ghastly copper-hued wheels, sitting the fastback crossover atop a set of 19-inch black alloys with machined highlights.

I couldn't go past the arresting Petrol Blue Matte paint, and its svelte contrasting grey lower bodywork, paired with a Petrol Blue nappa leather interior. Swoon.

As for the price, a 228kW Formentor VZ2 TSI 4Drive will set you back £41,670 as shown, or an utterly eye-watering AU$76,400. However, UK pricing doesn't directly correlate to what we pay here – and initial estimates suggest a far more competitive starting price by the time it arrives here. Fingers crossed.