In the event of discovery and test of the new Continental AllSeasonContact 2 tire in Austria, we were able to test one of the electric compacts of this time: the Cupra was born. And we couldn’t resist this opportunity to give you a little test of this Spanish electric compact.
Design: More offensive ID.3
A close cousin of the Volkswagen ID.3, the Cupra Born features a more edgy front end. Full LED headlights are also standard on all versions. They are connected to the “bottom vent” under the hood, which is used to direct the air flow to the radiator. Cupra designers refer to this style effect as a shark’s mouth, why not?
The front bumper has a large air intake, and a copper color element: a special Cupra color that is also found in the passenger compartment.
In profile, if the doors resemble those of its German cousin, Born stands out with its rear wing, and a false quarter panel decorated with patterns, which can give the illusion of a floating flag.
If the Gray Mist shade is offered, this Aurore Blue, which is the launch color, is charged at 950 euros.
At the back, two small LEDs are connected to the light strip. The rear design gives off a cube effect on the ID.3 wheels, not completely diminished by the added curves on the rear bumper.
With a length of 4.32 m, a width of 1.80 m and a height of 1.53 m, the Born has the dimensions of a compact medium and a little higher. The presence of the battery between the axles must raise the overall height…
Aesthetically, the Cupra Born is therefore characterized as having more character than its cousin, but not necessarily unanimously.
Life on board: hot and cold
For the cabin, the Spanish beats hot and cold. So there are good things, but also points to be improved during the restyling scheduled for 2024. First curiosity: the windshield with a very high A-pillar needed to be added to the front quarter panels. This gives the effect of a minivan, which not everyone will appreciate.
Comparatively, the dashboard has two screens and a very limited number of keys. The digital instrument in front of the driver is already characterized by its presence: this is not the case in the Tesla Model 3! If the screen is normal in size, it lists at least most of the information you may need while driving. On the right side, the screen has a drive selector to engage Drive, reverse or park mode. A very intuitive layout, which we had already seen on the BMW i3. The steering wheel displays well, with many controls (some are called capacitive) and a flat bottom. Not to mention the brass touch, whether it’s for logos or topstitching.
In the center of the Born dashboard, the infotainment system screen is sharply angled towards the driver. So it’s great when you’re driving, but not as friendly when you’re the front passenger! This setting is not user friendly. If the air-conditioning system’s blowers are traditional, the air-conditioning controls can be accessed by a touch screen or by the capacitive buttons placed under the 12-inch panel. We’ve read a lot of reviews about it: honestly, we’ve seen worse.
Cupra has however gone further and placed only two window opening controls on the driver’s door panel: it is therefore necessary to engage the Back control to pass over the rear windows, and remove it again to fold the window. An absolutely amazing rescue!
Front space is quite good, but the apparent width is not extraordinary. The front seats are successful, with good support, and a sporty design due to the fact that the headrests are attached to the backrests. These bucket seats are upholstered with fabric upholstery made of SEAQUAL, made from recycled marine plastics. It is possible as an option to change suede upholstery, which looks more quality.
Let’s talk about the quality of the finish: this is the important point on this model. Cupra chose thermofoam plastic for the top of the dashboard, but all other plastics are hard, and often quite basic. If it is for the one used for the decorative coating facing the passengers, the painted copper inserts, the lower parts, as well as the storm doors … The whole thing is therefore quite light, and we have the same feeling when we hit the slam. the door. On these points, we have the feeling of dealing with a segment B city car rather than a Golf cousin.
The comfort of the suspension is not exemplary either: the sports suspension is added to the lower pneumatic mount, in 19″.
The volume of the trunk is correct with 385 liters, but it will be necessary to remove the dividing floor to have a feeling of greater volume. It still allows you to keep the charging cable down, which can be more practical every day.
Driving: a compact that has no pep’s
The Born range is limited: only two engines of 204 hp and 230 hp are available in the list. A 110 kW (150 hp) engine was planned at launch, but has not yet been produced. It is logically based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, dedicated to electric vehicles and available on all Volkswagen IDs.
With a “small” engine of 204 hp and 310 Nm of torque, the Cupra Born is already functional and very pleasant on the road. The feel is very good, with direct steering and good feedback. Remember that this Spanish is propulsion: its engine is connected directly to the rear axle. However, don’t expect the handling of sporty roads: we are dealing instead with a powerful and balanced compact, whose chassis favors safety over emotions. Do not forget that it weighs almost 1.8 tons!
With its battery with a capacity of 58 kWh, the Cupra Born with the “L” battery is connected to 426 kilometers of autonomy, a figure that can be increased to 584 kilometers in the urban cycle. This is a lithium ion battery and cells in bags, cooled by water.
125kW DC fast charging can restore 100 km in 7 minutes.
Even on mountain roads, consumption remains very reasonable, around 17 kWh for our test. The Born benefits from the weight it contains, and a new brake that saves the brake discs in these conditions.
It should also be noted that this version with the L battery makes it possible to weigh a hundred kilograms less than the Born with the XL battery. Additional weight that can also be felt during the time, and on the wheel. Those who do not aim for large transfers will be quite satisfied with the L battery, others will choose more security for a larger battery.
So the driving experience is pleasant, aided by traditional equipment such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and Forward Assist.
Budget: reduced range
Currently the price of the Cupra Born starts at 44,500 euros for the Z version, while the 230 hp VZ version is billed just 1,000 euros more. This is because higher power is only available as a temporary boost…
The largest battery is charged at 46,500 euros: all versions are therefore eligible for the 2023 ecological bonus of 5,000 euros (increased to 7,000 euros depending on income conditions).
At this price, Cupra Born finds itself in competition with Renault Megane E-TECH, Volkswagen ID.3, and Tesla Model 3.
It is fully equipped from the first level to the V finish and as usual: automatic distance control (and follow to stop) and cruise control, recognition of road signs, Front Assistant, Light Assistance, Lane Keeping Assistant, fatigue detection, Key, hands-free entry and start, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, heated steering wheel, aluminum pedals, heated and electric folding mirrors, rain and light sensor, Climatronic, Digital Cockpit 5.3 ″ and 12″ touch screen, Full wireless connection, climate lighting, 2 USB-C ports front and back…
As an option, you can choose other rim designs up to 20″, metallic paint, Dinamica suede upholstery, controlled damping, park assist, L test package, Beats sound system, head-up display height and augmented reality, fixed panorama roof. , luggage pack, winter pack, protection pack, tinted rear windows, and even a heat pump. So it will be possible to increase the note seriously, but better to customize your car.
On sale since the start of the 2021 school year, the Cupra Born has yet to hit the road. The error is not in the lack of quality, but in the difficulty in distributing certain parts of the production. Delivery times are very long on this model: if you order now you will have to wait until next year to receive it!
The advantages of this electric compact are similar to what can be expected from such a model. The downside comes from the price, which remains high for the compact, from the finish, and from the extended delay. For a little less, the Tesla Model 3 is available faster and with more space on board. But not everyone will want such a template!
The Cupra Born certainly still has a shot to play in the coming years, especially as a facelift should follow. And for those who would like a cheaper and smaller electric Cupra, the Cupra Raval is also planned for 2025.