We won’t dwell too long here, because if you’re at all familiar with the way the VW Group does things, you’ll know what to expect. The Leon is sensibly laid out inside, with logically and clearly arranged switchgear.

Accommodation is good in the front; access is a little restricted to the rear, but that’s understandable because the SC Cupra comes with two excellent, supportive and widely adjustable sports front seats.

Matt Burt

Matt Burt

Executive Editor, Autocar
If you're looking for something that offers all-round talent, the Leon Cupra's a good option

They’re part of a sporting highlight package that runs much as you’d expect. Aluminium pedals and kick plates feature, while there’s some gloss black dashboard trim (exclusive to the 290, because nothing says ‘fast’ like shiny plastic), the obligatory flat-bottomed steering wheel and a different colour to the dials – grey, in this case.

Overall, though, it’s a cabin that feels as purposeful as any in the class, with a driving position to match, thanks to its widely adjustable steering column. The Leon Cupra also has a boot. And folding rear seats. They’re all fine.

When you specify the DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox, you get steering wheel paddles as standard, as well as the opportunity to shift up and down via the centrally mounted lever.

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On the media front, as standard, the Leon comes with dual-zone climate, tinted rear glass, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, USB, SD card and aux-in capability. Also featured is the Media System Plus, which means it gets wired links – including an iPod connector – in the glovebox. The Bluetooth phone connection is as we’d expect from the VW Group: easy to set up, convenient and invariably faultless. While those opting for the Cupra 290 Black will add even more gloss black trim inside and out and bucket seats.

Without ticking boxes, the Plus system will feed sound to eight speakers, with the sources including a standard DAB tuner. You can opt for a Seat Sound System, which includes a 135W, six-channel amplifier, 10 speakers and a boot-mounted subwoofer for a small outlay.

In keeping with its range-topping status, the 290 model gets sat-nav as standard. The 6.5in touchscreen and voice activation make the system as easy to use as any other in the VW Group portfolio. Route guidance is also displayed on the smaller colour screen in the instrument cluster.

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