Cupra Born Review 2024

Cupra Born At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Cupra Born is essentially a Volkswagen ID.3 with a sharp haircut that has spent some time down the gym. It’s fun to drive, sufficiently quick and has a pretty impressive interior – it could be our pick of the VW Group electric cars.

+Striking exterior look and slightly more appealing cabin than ID.3. Long range and fast charging for the money. Spacious for passengers. Sharp to drive and yet still comfortable.

-Not quite a true hot hatch. Some areas of cabin feel cheaper than we’d like. Touch-sensitive wheel and screen buttons are frustrating.

New prices start from £33,735
Insurance Group 25

The Cupra Born is the second bespoke model from the standalone brand following its separation from parent company SEAT. It’s also the first electric car to feature Cupra branding, with more EVs to come in the following years. But as our Cupra Born review will explain, you might vaguely recognise it from somewhere else.

That’s because the Cupra Born is based on the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatchback.

And like the VW, it’s battling for attention against some of the best electric cars on the market.

The Born and ID.3 share broadly similar dimensions, with a wheel-at-each-corner stance, short bonnet, similar glasshouse and bluff rear end. But whereas VW has gone with a curvy, unthreatening styling approach, the Born – named after a neighbourhood in Barcelona – looks decidedly more aggressive and edgy. 

That’s because the Cupra brand is being pitched as more sporty and youth-focused. To that end, the Born also sits lower to the ground with a more handling-focused tune, and has bigger wheels and tyres. 

Inside, you can again see a similar basic architecture to the ID.3, but with a slightly classier feel thanks to upmarket materials and copper detailing. In terms of the overall technology and practicality, though, the Born is just as modern and spacious as its sibling. 

There’s familiarity with the electric motor and battery choices, too. The initial launch versions of the Born were available with either 204PS or 230PS (the latter badged e-Boost) power output, with power from both going through the rear wheels only. 

The 204PS model comes equipped with a 58kWh battery pack, enough for a very competitive maximum claimed range of 265 miles. The 230PS car is also available with this battery.

If that isn’t enough, though, it is also offered with a bigger 77kWk battery, which promises up to 343 miles. That’s sufficient to give the pricier Tesla Model 3 a run for its money. 

Key rivals for the Cupra Born include the aforementioned Tesla, Kia EV6 and award-winning Hyundai Ioniq 5 (although these are larger, and more expensive).

At the other end of the scale, there are the distinctive Nissan Leaf, stylish Peugeot e-208 and recently launched Hyundai Kona Electric.

There’s also the Mazda MX-30 to consider, although its range is less than half that of even the cheapest Born.

We reckon the Cupra Born is an excellent affordable electric car, and in some ways it’s better than the Volkswagen on which it’s based. Read on to find out why. 

Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's Cupra Born review.

Ask Honest John

What fun car should I buy?

"I have a Hyundai i30 N Line and a 2003 MG TF. I recently retired and do so many miles as I did and so am looking for one car to replace both, something fun like the MG but as practical and reliable as the Hyundai. Any suggestions?"
How about the new MG 4? It's an electric hatchback that's great to drive without compromising on versatility. As an electric car with few moving components, it ought to be a very reliable choice, while MG's seven-year warranty should also put your mind at rest. You could also look at the Cupra Born - another fun-to-drive electric hatchback. If you don't fancy an electric car, a petrol Ford Focus, Mazda 3 or BMW 1 Series could be a good alternative.
Answered by Andrew Brady

When do you think the Volkswagen ID.3 and SEAT el-Born will actually be available?

"When do you think the Volkswagen ID.3 and SEAT el-Born will actually be available? Any other similar cars to look out for?"
First deliveries of the ID.3 are expected mid-2020. I understand there's already a considerable waiting list, so you might struggle to actually get your hands on one if you haven't got your name down already. You could also consider a Kia e-Niro or Tesla Model 3. Also look at a MINI Electric, Honda E or Peugeot e-208, if you don't need as much space.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Cupra Born cost?