December 4, 2023


Power Of Engine

2023 Cupra Born evaluate | CarExpert

17 min read

Lastly, the Volkswagen ID.3 has made it to Australia. Properly… type of.

After years of delays and tug-of-wars with head workplace to deliver its electrified autos to Australia, the Volkswagen Group has handed the baton to Spanish upstart Cupra to tackle the top-selling Tesla Mannequin 3.

The Cupra Born is the model’s first electrical automotive, and is successfully the ID.3’s sportier cousin. It’s named after a progressive neighbourhood in Barcelona that blends medieval and gothic heritage with new boutiques, cafes and bars in addition to artwork museums – becoming then, the Born is one thing of an ‘outdated meets new’ idea.

Primarily based on the Group’s MEB electrical toolkit, the Born is a rear-drive hatch aimed toward proving electrified motoring can nonetheless be enjoyable and attainable. Higher but, it’s priced identically to the Cupra Leon VZx and VZe flagships, giving prospects the selection of 221kW petrol, 180kW plug-in hybrid or 170kW all-electric scorching hatchbacks.

Only one variant will likely be provided at launch in Australia, full with the flagship 77kWh (usable) long-range battery pack providing a claimed 511 kilometres of WLTP-certified vary. That makes the Born the one EV in Australia beneath $60,000 to supply over 500km of driving vary.

Whereas nonetheless in its early days Down Underneath, Cupra is anticipating huge issues from the Born, forecasting over 1000 deliveries in 2023 ought to all go to plan with provide and logistics, which might make it one of many extra fashionable EVs within the nation – 700 builds have been secured for the Australian market to date, with greater than 500 bought already.

There’s rather a lot driving on this little-ish electrical automotive, so how does it stack up?

How a lot does the Cupra Born price?

As famous earlier, the Born is available in a single 170kW ‘e-Increase’ specification in Australia, with the bigger 77kWh battery as commonplace – pricing begins at $59,990 plus on-road prices.

Cupra Australia just lately detailed nationwide drive-away pricing, which varies between states and territories – although doesn’t embrace state- and territory-based EV rebate schemes. See beneath for extra.

The Born’s positioning is aggressive, given the scale, packaging, efficiency and driving vary. Cupra has successfully reached worth parity with the similarly-sized Leon VZe plug-in hybrid, and no different EV for this cash gives the identical stage of efficiency or vary.

Nissan’s Leaf e+ is the Born’s most pure rival in Australia, given the absence of the ID.3 till 2024, being a equally sized electrical hatchback round $60,000. Nonetheless, the flagship Leaf’s $61,490 beginning worth is dearer the newer Born, and its 385km vary in keeping with WLTP specs is properly off the tempo.

The outgoing Hyundai Kona Electrical Prolonged Vary begins at $60,500 for the Elite, providing a crossover physique (if extra compact than the Born) and the backing of a extra established model, although it could’t match the Born’s vary (484km). A brand new mannequin is due earlier than the tip of the yr, which can provide more room and tech with comparable vary.

The most important risk, nonetheless, is Tesla which gives the Mannequin 3 from $61,300 after latest worth will increase. The Mannequin 3 gives 491km of vary in base trim, in addition to a 6.1-second 0-100 time from its RWD single-motor drivetrain.

Additionally price cross-shopping is the Polestar 2, which at present begins at $63,900 for the Customary Vary Single Motor – a facelifted mannequin is due later this yr with rear-wheel drive and 518km of vary in base specification.

2023 Cupra Born pricing:

  • Cupra Born e-Increase 77kWh: $59,990

Worth excludes on-road prices

Drive-away pricing:

  • ACT: $61,990
  • NSW: $62,490
  • QLD: $63,490
  • SA: $64,490
  • VIC: $64,990
  • WA: $66,490

Be aware: Drive-away pricing doesn’t embrace state- and territory-based EV rebate schemes.

What’s the Cupra Born like on the within?

The Born follows a well-known theme to its MEB-based family, with a pared-back method to inside design.

That’s to not say the Born doesn’t have a definite flavour. In typical Cupra vogue, there’s flashes of bronze or coppery highlights all through the cabin, and in the event you choice the Inside Bundle ($2990) you get a blue inside theme with Dinamica suede seat upholstery.

It’s swish from the second you get in, greeted by a beautiful leather-based steering wheel. Within the Born, there are touch-capacitive buttons that are just a little easier than those employed by Volkswagen, if nonetheless just a little fiddly, with buttons flanking the hub to toggle the varied drive modes.

The usual automotive will get sustainable black material, made out of plastic waste fished out of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s good to the touch and is comfortable to sit down in, and actually doesn’t really feel all too totally different from the sportier material trims used elsewhere within the Cupra vary and throughout the VW Group.

Go for the Inside Bundle and also you get even cooler Aurora Blue Dinamica suede upholstery that’s additionally partly made out of sustainably-sourced supplies, full with electrical adjustment and massaging features. Simply observe this bundle (and the Efficiency Pack, for that matter) take away the centre rear seat – i.e. the Born turns into a four-seater.

Suede highlights within the doorways add to the athletic theme, and there’s loads of adjustment within the seats and wheel – handbook in the usual automotive, electrical with massaging within the Inside Bundle. I’ll say, nonetheless, the onerous plastic door trims take away from the in any other case upmarket atmosphere.

Forward of the motive force is a 5.0-inch Digital Cockpit show, which isn’t what we’re used to from the combustion-powered vary, however is a function that’s widespread to MEB-based automobiles – we simply haven’t had them right here but.

It’s retains data and distractions to a minimal, and utilizing the touch-capacitive sliders on the steering wheel you may toggle a few views prioritising totally different data.

I like a Volkswagen Group digital cluster, however this feels a tad fundamental to me. It’s about simplifying issues and preserving a very powerful issues in entrance of you, however with out a head-up show (accessible overseas) you’ll end up trying down for this sort of data relatively than having it extra instantly in your line of sight.

The column-mounted gear selector is one other fascinating transfer away from custom for Cupra and the Volkswagen Group, although we’re seeing plenty of manufacturers transferring to this type of shifter to declutter the inside. It’s fairly easy to get the dangle of – flip forwards for D/B, flip backwards for R.

Then there’s that large 12-inch central infotainment system, of which you’ll be largely accustomed to from the most recent Formentor and Leon.

The place it differs from different Cupra fashions is that it’s missing embedded satellite tv for pc navigation in addition to wi-fi smartphone mirroring. It does, nonetheless, have wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to DAB+ radio.

As we’ve assessed in different fashions within the line-up, Cupra’s tackle the most recent VW infotainment system is among the higher ones, with fastened shortcuts and intuitive menu layouts to make up for the dearth of bodily switchgear. It masses issues shortly and is attractively styled.

It’s a disgrace the model’s know-how hero misses out on the flagship tech bundle – which Cupra’s native staff says is all the way down to a technical concern stemming from these options being tied to the MEB platform’s linked automobile structure, which as but hasn’t made it to Australia.

Lovers of sunroofs may even be disillusioned to know the fastened panoramic roof in abroad markets isn’t provided on native fashions, neither is the flash augmented actuality (AR) head-up show.

“The Born had solely been developed as a linked automobile. We weren’t capable of, within the timeframe, develop the connectivity features [for Australia] – there are some technical causes behind that – however we knew we wanted to have that automotive within the preliminary part of Cupra, so the manufacturing facility developed this model for us that doesn’t have the connectivity operate which does have an effect on just a few of the automobile’s techniques,” stated Jeff Shafer, head of product and planning for Cupra Australia.

Mr Shafer added we are able to count on to see updates “year-on-year” that would deliver these options to our market sooner or later, although it’s unclear precisely once we’ll see them added.

Storage, in the meantime, is fairly good up entrance. There’s a deep pair of cubbies below sliding drawers, the higher one concealing cupholders and a slot for keys and wallets, whereas the decrease part hides below the centre armrest and incorporates the wi-fi telephone charger in addition to a deeper storage space for bigger gadgets.

I’m a fan of the padded materials surrounding the centre tunnel in addition to the copper highlights all through, which contrasts properly with the blue upholstery as featured within the elective Inside Bundle. I additionally like that the wi-fi telephone charger doubles up as a holder with hole for cables when wired up for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Shifting to the second row, the Born’s boxier proportions and taller roofline pay dividends.

At 6’1 I’m above common top, and might match fairly comfortably behind my very own driving place – which might’t be stated for lots of EVs at this finish of the market.

Knee and legroom is nice for the category, whereas headroom is superb. I’ll observe, nonetheless, is that the ground feels just a little raised and longer-legged people will get that knee-up feeling, but it surely’s removed from uncomfortable.

Rear seat facilities embrace a pair of USB-C ports behind the centre console (however no air vents), map pockets behind the rear seats in addition to a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders. There are additionally bottle holders within the doorways and the requisite ISOFIX and top-tether factors.

Value noting is the usual three-seat rear bench turns right into a two-seater when optioned with both of the extra-cost packages, making the Born a 4 seater. If you want to carry three within the rear typically, we propose avoiding the Inside and Efficiency Packages.

The boot space is a robust level, with 385L matching that of one thing like a Leon or VW Golf.

Cupra doesn’t quote a determine with the 60:40 seat backs folded, however the area itself is good and sq., in addition to deep. It will possibly’t, nonetheless, match the boot areas of the BYD Atto 3 (440L) and Tesla Mannequin 3 (425L + 224L frunk).

Like plenty of EVs, there’s no spare wheel below the boot flooring. Cupra says each the usual and efficiency tyres on the Born have a self-healing design that works just a little like a run-flat design within the occasion of a puncture.

What’s below the bonnet?

Only one specification is offered from launch, the e-Increase 77kWh drivetrain which is the flagship globally.

The rear-mounted electrical motor generates 170kW and 310Nm, permitting for a claimed 0-100km/h dash time of 7.0 seconds, and a WLTP-certified driving vary of 511 kilometres on a full cost primarily based on a consumption fee of 17.0kWh per 100km. Cupra additionally quotes a 0-50 time of two.8 seconds.

Talking of vary and charging, the 77kWh usable (82kWh web) lithium-ion battery pack may be charged by way of AC at 11kW, or DC quick charging at as much as 170kW. The Born is the one EV on sale in Australia with over 500km of vary priced below $60,000.

It’s price noting the above specs are relevant to the usual wheel and tyre bundle. Choosing the elective Efficiency Bundle ($2600) with its bigger 20-inch wheels and wider 235mm Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres reduces quoted driving vary to 475km primarily based on an power consumption determine of 18.2kWh per 100km.

Whereas not accessible in Australia, Cupra does provide a smaller 58kWh battery pack in abroad markets like Europe and the UK with each the 170kW e-Increase drivetrain in addition to a lower-spec 150kW model.

The 150kW 58kWh Born within the UK quotes a mixed driving vary of 424km on the WLTP cycle, whereas the 170kW e-Increase motor with the smaller battery drops that barely to 420km.

Whereas it loses vary, the e-Increase 58kWh’s lighter battery unit means the Born’s 0-100 time drops to a scorching hatch-like 6.6s. For reference, the 180kW Cupra Leon VZ petrol-powered scorching hatch quotes a 6.4s sprint to triple figures.

Cupra Australia hasn’t confirmed any agency plans to introduce extra Born variants anytime quickly, although model representatives have left the door open to yearly updates and a possible line-up enlargement.

How does the Cupra Born drive?

Being my first ever expertise with a automobile primarily based on the MEB platform, I wasn’t certain what to anticipate while additionally hoping the Born would really feel like one thing of an all-electric MQB automotive.

Fortunately, Cupra Born follows its combustion and hybrid-powered stablemates in delivering a balanced and refined drive errs on the sportier facet of issues to dial in a little bit of enjoyable.

Leaving the Born in D means there’s little to no regen braking, and it mainly scoots alongside like a petroleum automotive. It gives clean and easy acceleration, correct and fluid steering, in addition to a compliant experience that communicates the highway floor beneath however isolates occupants properly.

In order for you extra regen, flick the column-mounted drive selector into B and the Born will do a lot of the deceleration by way of regen braking, although it received’t come to an entire cease like rival. One gripe I had was the transition from regen to mechanical braking, which might be sudden and inconsistent which means gradual inputs when driving at metropolis speeds can take a little bit of follow to do easily.

It’s very quiet to spend time in, no matter whether or not you’re cruising across the Canberra CBD or at 100km/h on a rustic highway, with a faint whirring of the electrical motor within the background and spectacular insulation from the skin world on the subject of wind and highway noise.

Even in Cupra mode, the Born doesn’t play faux engine noise which in some rival EVs can sound contrived, which means the brand new period of enjoyable for the model is had in close to silence. Cupra Mode additionally dials up extra aggressive regen and bypasses the awkward transition between regen and mechanical brakes by the pedal – the Born runs entrance discs and rear drums.

Let’s be actual although, the vast majority of this automotive’s life goes to be spent across the metropolis and suburbs doing mundane duties, so having some obnoxious sound taking part in isn’t mandatory. The actual fact the vigorous steering and eager chassis make even essentially the most mundane of commutes that little bit extra enjoyable, nonetheless, is the place the Born shines.

Numerous abroad stories have criticised Volkswagen Group MEB merchandise for being a bit uninteresting from behind the wheel; the Born is something however. You are feeling fairly linked to it, and the rear-drive steadiness helps deliver again recollections of enjoyable RWD compact automobiles of outdated, maybe just like the previous-gen BMW 125i.

Flip the steering wheel and the Born’s nostril follows the place you’re pointing, with restricted physique roll and good grip even on the usual 19-inch wheels shod in 215/50 Continental EcoContact low-rolling resistance tyres. As soon as the entrance is on the right track, the rear is introduced round by the rear motor and it’s fairly a chuckable factor.

We examined each the usual automotive and the Efficiency Bundle back-to-back, and whereas the broader and stickier 235/40 R20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres lend a extra assured stance and further grip, it didn’t really feel completely mandatory.

There’s a appeal concerning the base automotive’s marginally decrease ceiling, requiring extra exact and measured driving to get the very best out of it. That’s to not say it’s a poor relative, but it surely appears just a little extra playful and sincere whereas providing higher vary and refinement.

Via the winding B-roads outdoors Canberra, the Born demonstrated its sporty DNA properly. It’s greater than able to placing a smile in your face up a twisty mountain highway, even when its energy output and 0-100 time aren’t fairly as thrilling because the figures quoted by the Leon VZx.

Pop it in Cupra and plant your proper foot and it’s deceptively fast in a straight line, simply hitting triple figures although it’ll taper off on the excessive finish as you’d count on.

Whereas the Born’s outputs aren’t fairly benchmark numbers for similarly-priced scorching hatches, the rear-drive steadiness and fast torque response make it actually enjoyable to punt round. As famous earlier, it has a little bit of outdated 125i about it, giving it an old-school flavour in a new-school bundle.

One other side of that sportier really feel is the way in which the entrance bucket seats maintain you in whilst you’re driving, providing good consolation for day by day duties and longer stints, in addition to sufficient bolstering to not have you ever slipping about in corners. You possibly can set your driving place pretty low within the cabin too – simply how I prefer it – which once more lends a extra sporting vibe.

When it comes to driver help techniques, the Born is pretty typical Volkswagen Group fare if lacking a number of the stuff we’ve come to count on.

Adaptive cruise management and blind-spot monitoring work as you’d count on, and the calibration of the previous is among the extra intuitive of its sort, if just a little conservative as we’ve discovered with the most recent Group merchandise.

Nonetheless, there’s no Journey Help on Australian fashions. In accordance with the model’s representatives, options like Journey Help in addition to embedded satellite tv for pc navigation and wi-fi smartphone mirroring are tied to the MEB platform’s linked automobile structure not like combustion-powered fashions, and the corporate was unable deliver the Born to Australia with all of this stuff in place.

It received’t be a deal-breaker for all, however given the Born is one thing of a know-how showcase, it’s disappointing such a outstanding driver help function is lacking. Cupra has stated it’ll like at bringing connectivity “over the subsequent few years”, so count on the total function set to change into accessible finally.

What do you get?

Born highlights:

  • 19-inch Black/Copper Hurricane alloy wheels
  • Tyre strain monitoring
  • LED headlights
  • LED tail lights
  • Fog lights built-in into headlights
  • Nightfall-sensing headlights
  • Mild Help (auto high-beam)
  • Heated, energy folding mirrors
  • Rear privateness glass
  • Rear roof spoiler
  • 5.3-inch Digital Cockpit
  • 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (wired)
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Wi-fi telephone charger
  • 2 x entrance, 2 x rear USB-C ports
  • Leather-based multifunction steering wheel
  • Satellite tv for pc buttons for drive modes
  • Ambient inside lighting
  • SEAQUAL material entrance bucket seats
  • Ground mats
  • Driving profile choice
  • Sports activities suspension
  • Progressive steering
  • Keyless entry, begin
  • Alarm system
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Twin-zone local weather management
  • Aluminium pedals
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Parking sensors entrance, rear
  • High View Digicam (360-degree)


Inside Bundle: $2900

  • Aurora Blue Dinamica entrance bucket seats
  • 12-way energy entrance seats
    • Therapeutic massage operate
    • Heating operate
  • Heated washer jets
  • Beats premium sound system
    • 9 audio system
    • 395W amplifier
    • Sub-woofer
  • 4 seat inside (2+2)

Efficiency Bundle: $2600

  • 20-inch Black/Silver Firestorm alloy wheels
  • Dynamic Chassis Management
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyre bundle
  • 4 seat inside (2+2)


Customary: $NCO

Metallic: $NCO

  • Rayleigh Pink
  • Quasar Gray
  • Geyser Silver
  • Glacial White

Premium Metallic: $475

Is the Cupra Born protected?

The Cupra Born arrives to market with a five-star ANCAP security score, primarily based on 2022 Euro NCAP exams.

It scored 93 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 89 per cent for baby occupant safety, 73 for susceptible highway consumer safety, and 80 per cent for security help.

“It’s nice to see one other totally electrical mannequin enter our market with the utmost five-star ANCAP security score,” stated ANCAP Chief Government, Carla Hoorweg.

“The momentum for protected and inexperienced fashions is rising, and this score will present additional confidence to shoppers and regulators to embrace security and environmental credentials as a non-negotiable bundle.”

Customary security options embrace:

  • 7 airbags incl. front-centre
  • AEB incl. Pedestrian, Bicycle owner detection
  • Adaptive cruise management
  • Driver fatigue monitoring
  • Lane Help
    • Lane departure warning
    • Lane preserve help
  • Park Help
  • Parking sensors entrance, rear
  • Proactive passenger safety
  • Facet Help
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Exit Warning

How a lot does the Cupra Born price to run?

Like the broader Cupra line-up, the Born is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Additionally a part of the acquisition worth is 5 years of 24-hour Cupra Roadside Help.

Cupra sadly now not gives a complimentary three-year Service Packs anymore prefer it did at launch, although you’ll see them provided with promotions sometimes.

The Born is offered with three- and five-year pre-paid service plans, priced at $990 and $1590 respectively.

The corporate gives two several types of dwelling wallboxes, that may be put in by JET Cost. The cheaper Pulsar Plus unit is priced from $1400, whereas the fancier Commander 2 system is $1990.

Sadly, as a result of time constraints on the launch occasion we weren’t capable of do a real-world cost check for the Born in Canberra. We’ll purpose to do that as soon as we get the automobile in our palms for an extended mortgage.

We did, nonetheless, observe real-world indicated consumption figures with each wheel packages. The usual automotive was exhibiting low-17kWh/100km whereas the Efficiency Bundle confirmed mid-19kWh/100km – each near their claims, regardless of the drive route having a skew to high-speed, dynamic circumstances.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Cupra Born

The Born has sparked a brand new period for the VW Group.

It’s about time we obtained some MEB love Down Underneath, and the Cupra Born is proof this new wave of electrical autos is one thing to be enthusiastic about. You’re not simply restricted to Tesla in order for you a superb EV at an attainable worth that isn’t from a Chinese language challenger.

Whereas some will lament lacking options that ought to include updates, the Born gives a steadiness of efficiency, vary and practicality that betters nearly each different effort at this worth level, and dials in a stage of enjoyable and engagement that hasn’t actually been seen at this finish of the EV market.

It drives rather well, gives nice vary, and robust worth by way of options and area packaging relative to key rivals – even with some omissions. Plus, you may spec some cool colors and trims to make it stand out that little bit extra.

Credit score to Cupra for injecting its sporting DNA into the Born’s platform, and for with the ability to herald what’s successfully a flagship providing for a aggressive worth towards present gamers.

Additionally props to the Spanish model for reaching worth parity between the Born and high-spec variations of the Leon – together with the plug-in hybrid.

I’d like to see nicer supplies used on the doorways in a future replace – like we’ll see within the VW ID.3 when it comes right here – in addition to the total suite of options included so Australian prospects have the identical catalogue as the remainder of the world (together with New Zealand). Extra variants – specifically extra reasonably priced ones – would additional broaden the Born’s attraction in Australia in addition to Cupra’s.

Should you’re in search of a brand new EV round $60,000 be sure to make a visit to a Cupra Storage and provides this a glance. Skip the Efficiency Bundle, however in order for you one thing just a little particular nab one with the Inside Bundle – that’s Wongy’s scorching purchaser tip.

Bon fet Cupra, bon fet…

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