Cupra has got off to a fantastic start since officially splitting from Seat in 2018. First starting out with sportier Seat-based models – like the Ateca and Leon – it launched the Formentor as its first bespoke model in 2021, and has continued to grow its sales ever since.
Now the Spanish brand is diving headfirst into the EV market with the Born, its first electric model which uses Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform that has been made purely for battery-powered models. The Born also looks very similar in shape to VW’s own ID.3, but has a sportier focus that Cupra hopes will give it a different character.
But with arguably a more striking and cooler look than the ID.3, plenty of technology and a choice of powertrains, is the Born worth considering?
Cupra is offering a range of powertrains with the Born, with the majority of models using a 58kWh battery pack.
Kicking off the range is the standard car, which uses a 201bhp electric motor, though is still able to manage 0-60mph in an impressive 7.1 seconds. Cupra also offers a slightly sportier ‘e-Boost’ model, which sees the power increase to 228bhp, reducing the 0-60mph time to 6.4 seconds. Both these models offer a claimed electric range of up to 260 miles.
If you want to go further on a charge, you need to choose the Born equipped with the larger 77kWh battery, which claims an impressive 340 miles between charges. Though using the 228bhp motor, the additional weight of the bigger battery means the 0-60mph time increases to 6.8 seconds.
As for charging, the Born can be charged at up to 135kW, meaning a 5-80 per cent top-up will take just 35 minutes at the quickest rate.
Ride and handling
Cupra has worked hard to make the Born sportier to drive than other cars using the same platform, with this car sitting on a lower and sportier suspension setup. You can also option wider tyres and wheels for improved grip and higher cornering speeds. These revisions are noticeable too, with the Born feeling noticeably more involving than the ID.3, and it corners keenly and feels planted to the road.
The compromise for this sportiness, however, is that this Cupra has a really firm ride, which can feel rather unsettled over poor surfaces, and it’s particularly noticeable around town.
The Cupra Born borrows much of its interior from the ID.3, particularly the small digital dial display and large 13-inch touchscreen that dominates the cabin. The majority of the vehicle’s functions are operated through this, with minimal physical buttons, with the exception of the steering wheel. Though it does look very stripped-back, the general fit and finish is good, while copper-coloured accents (Cupra’s trademark colour) add a bit of excitement.
Plenty of points are also scored when it comes to spaciousness. Thanks to its bespoke underpinnings, the Born isn’t limited by the same constraints as a normal petrol or diesel car, with this Cupra’s cabin feeling very roomy. There’s plenty of head and legroom even in the rear, while the 385-litre boot is a decent size as well.
Three trims are offered on the Born – V1, V2 and V3. Even the standard V1 gets most of the features you’d ever need though, including LED front and rear lights, a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and the large 12-inch touchscreen.
Upgrading to the V2 brings more stylish 19-inch alloy wheels, along with heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, tinted rear windows and an augmented reality head-up display. At the top of the range, the V3 brings 20-inch rims, and electric front seats with massaging function.
Despite the Born’s extra style and sportiness over the VW ID.3, the Cupra’s £34,715 starting price still undercuts its Volkswagen stablemate by around £1,000. Considering the decent range and generous equipment levels, it’s not bad value at all.
If you want the longer-range model, prices do rise noticeably, with this version starting from a quite significant £40,215.
Just like all of Cupra’s other models have achieved so far, the brand has successfully injected some extra style and sportiness into the electric hatchback market.
The Born is a seriously likeable EV that should help Cupra grow its sales significantly. Its only real weakness is the firm ride, but if you can live with that for the sportier driving experience, it’s well worth considering.Enquire on a new Cupra Born