So you like the idea of the VW ID.3, but you find it a bit bland? Well we have some good news, because the Cupra Born is the ID.3 in a sharper suit, and promises to be a bit sharper to drive too. Sounds good, well read on.
Given that the Born shares its underpinnings with the VW, it will come as no surprise that performance, range and charging capability are all the same. In fairness that isn’t bad news at all because the 58 kWh battery pack delivers a sensible range, enables 120 kW Ultra Rapid charging and can dispatch the 0-62 mph sprint in a little over 7 seconds. If you fancy more range or a smidge more performance you can spec a slightly higher output motor or upgrade to a 77 kWh battery pack for a chunk more range.
Where things really start to diverge is in the style department. We think the Cupra looks good outside and the interior is a significant step on from the functional but spartan ID.3. As well as looking better, the materials are also nicer and the overall result is an interior that feels more commensurate with the asking price. Thankfully the upgrades include the infotainment screen which is easier to use thanks to the inclusion of shortcut digital buttons. It is still a bit laggy, but it is a step on. Unfortunately it is still too hard to turn off lane assistance and Cupra has retained the weird capacitive sliders to control the temperature but overall it feels more developed than the VW.
The good news continues on the road, where the Cupra is sharper to drive. If you saw the badge and spotted the rear wheel drive layout and hoped for a hot hatch experience you will be disappointed, but for a mainstream hatch the Born is very good. What is more impressive is that the new found fun isn’t at the expense of ride quality as the suspension offers a very well judge combination of bump absorption and body control.
The Cupra Born feels like the car that the VW ID.3 should have been. A bit of extra development time and the ability to inject more personality into the Cupra has given the Born a surprising leg up. We would still prefer a slicker infotainment system, a more sensible ventilation control solution, and the ability to deactivate lane departure more easily, but the Cupra is better than the ID.3 in every department. So how much extra do you have to pay to get the better package….. the Born is cheaper. No, seriously.
Estimated real world range: 180 – 259 miles
Official range: 259 miles
Official electricity consumption: 155 Wh/km
Battery pack: 62 kWh (gross); 58 kWh (net) lithium ion; 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty
Recharge time: 7 kW charge approx 9 hours 30 minutes; 11 kW charge approx 6 hours 15 minutes; Rapid CCS 50 kW approx 60 mins (5 – 80%); Ultra Rapid CCS 120 kW 35 minutes (5 – 80%)
Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over-estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.