In-depth reviews

Cupra Born review

More adventurous styling and a better-quality interior help set the Spanish brand's first electric car apart from the Volkswagen ID.3 it's based on

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5


  • Well equipped base model
  • Decent ride and handling
  • Better interior than VW ID.3


  • No 4WD version offered yet
  • Only slightly quicker than ID.3
  • Some rivals offer faster charging



Wallbox charge time

Rapid charge time


264 miles

9hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)

35mins (5-80%, 125kW)


260 miles

9hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)

35mins (5-80%, 125kW)


341 miles

12hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)

36mins (5-80%, 135kW)

The Cupra name isn’t new, although it only recently became a standalone brand within the Volkswagen Group. Formerly a badge applied to hotted-up SEATs, the sub-brand was split from its parent company and now offers a range of cars. But the Cupra Born is unlike anything the Spanish outfit has released to date, because it’s fully electric.

The first time we drove Born was in Spain, where we filmed our video review (above), but since then, we’ve taken a handful of examples out on UK roads – including the entry-level V1, and a flagship V3 with the bigger battery. It’s the former we’d recommend actually, as it’s significantly cheaper, without scrimping on kit.

The Born shares its underpinnings with the Volkswagen ID.3, as well as the ID.4ID.5Audi Q4 e-tron and Skoda Enyaq iV – all of which we’re very familiar with. The challenge for Cupra, then, was to make the Born different enough from those cars for it to have a distinct appeal to certain buyers. It also needs to steal sales from rivals like the Renault Megane E-TECH Electric and Kia Niro EV, plus the bargain MG4.

The first point of differentiation is styling, where a sculpted bonnet, sharp LED headlights and eye-catching wheels have been employed to make the Born look sportier and more aggressive than the smoothed-off, non-threatening Volkswagen.

The Cupra's interior quality is very good, too. This is one area where the ID.3 has come in for criticism – and somewhere the Born registers a definite improvement over its sibling. It looks and feels nicer than the rather austere VW, and while the Cupra is still plagued by the ID.3’s compromised infotainment hardware, the layout is improved. Though the systems in the Renault and Kia are far better.

A higher centre console means the Cupra doesn’t feel as roomy as the VW, but the trade-off is a more driver-focused feel – which ties in nicely with its sporty appearance. The driver and front passenger get supportive sports bucket seats, and you sit relatively low, which is unusual for an EV with the batteries placed under the floor.

On the road, the Born offers refinement, solid handling and good ride comfort in most situations, especially on the smaller 18-inch wheels fitted to the basic V1. There’s also decent body control and grip is good. Acceleration can tail off after the initial sprint from 0-30mph – particularly on models without the peppier e-Boost system – but power delivery is smooth and predictable. We actually prefer this approach to the whiplash-inducing surges some sporty EVs offer.

That said, in time we expect more powerful variants to join the Born range, including the Cupra equivalent to the upcoming Volkswagen ID.3 GTX hot hatchback. That version should get an extra motor for all wheel drive, plus the performance to match its racier billing. 

Right now, the entry-level Born significantly undercuts the cheapest ID.3. At the time of writing, the Cupra Born V1 costs a little over £36,000 and comes with full LED lights, that 12-inch infotainment screen and a 5.3-inch instrument cluster, plus 18-inch wheels and fabric seats. V2 adds bigger wheels, heated front seats and a head-up display, while the range-topping V3 brings different upholstery and a massage function, plus bling 20-inch rims.

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The basic V1 comes with a 58kWh battery for a 264-mile range, while the V2 and V3 can also be optioned with a larger 77kWh battery for a 341-mile maximum. Adding bigger wheels or e-Boost tech does have an adverse effect on range, though the swing is marginal so we wouldn’t worry too much – the way you drive your car will make a bigger difference to how far you can travel on a charge.

For a more detailed look at the Cupra Born, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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