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How can I test drive a Cupra in Australia?

John Law

Spanish performance brand Cupra is gearing up to launch in Australia this year, but how and where can you experience Cupra’s model range?

Ahead of the official launch of the Cupra brand in Australia in the middle of this year, we wanted to find out how customers can sample the initial three-strong model range that includes plug-in hybrids and multiple high-performance variants.

The Spanish performance outfit is an offshoot of the Seat brand, meaning part of the Volkswagen Group, and will debut in Australia with three distinct models: the Leon small car, Ateca small SUV and Formentor midsize coupe crossover, with the all-electric Born performance hatch slated to follow later in the year.

Each Cupra model uses familiar MQB underpinnings and Volkswagen Group engines, however there’s a distinct performance focus and a unique Spanish design flair to each of the products.

Cupra Formentor 2022 social-1
The Formentor has arrived in Australia

Cupra will sell its cars under an agency model in Australia with physical experience centres – called ‘Cupra Garages’ – where brand experts called ‘Masters’ will provide information and organise test drives.

The precise locations for Cupra’s Garages will be announced closer to its launch in June or July this year – the overarching aim is to provide coverage to the majority of the Australian population and there will certainly be Cupra stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the other capitals.

How does a Cupra garage differ from a dealership?

Speaking to Chasing Cars at the launch of Cupra’s partnership with Football Australia, product and planning manager Jeff Shafer confirmed there will be places to see, touch and drive Cupra vehicles in all Australian capital cities.

Cupra’s brick-and-mortar garages will be set up in “stunning physical locations” according to brand director Ben Wilks – tying in with the brand’s lifestyle focus.

Cupra Born 2022 Australia range
The Cupra range will be available to view and test drive at the brand’s Garages

Other manufacturers such as Genesis and Tesla have experimented with studio-style locations centred in major CBDs including Sydney and Melbourne. Expect to see a similar focus for Cupra’s garages.

Mr Shafer discussed the possibility of agencies appearing at more traditional ‘auto alley’ style dealerships and setting up displays in shopping centres to drum up interest for the brand – though he said Cupra wouldn’t pursue the travelling roadshow test drives that Polestar offers.

Alternatively, Cupra will also offer customers a digital purchasing experience if they wish, meaning you can build and order your dream model spec from the comfort of your couch with a glass of red. 

Pre-orders for the first three Cupra models will open at the end of April (with the electric Born likely to follow in the fourth quarter of 2022), and first test drives will coincide with the brand’s launch in June or July. 

Cupra Formentor 2022-4
Cupra will roll out service locations as well as experience centres in Australia

Will there be Cupra service centres?

Much like the locations of the experience centres, service locations are yet to be finalised for Cupra. 

According to Mr Shafer, there will be some self-contained dealerships that show, sell and maintain Cupra vehicles all under one roof, though this won’t be the case for every Cupra owner.

Some smaller locations will rely on the existing Volkswagen Group dealer network for servicing as the majority of Cupra products coming to Australia feature the EA888 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engines (in varying states of tune) found in Volkswagen Golfs, Tiguans, and Skoda Octavias, among others. 

Another tempting part of the Cupra equation is the inclusion of three years’ free maintenance in the purchase price – one that, like Skoda, will be a national driveaway price.

Cupra Formentor 2021 grey front end
Cupra includes three years of servicing in the Formentor’s price

Based on existing Volkswagen three year care packs, the included servicing represents around $1200 of additional value. Scheduled servicing intervals for each model are yet to be defined, however we do know Cupra will launch with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty in Australia. 

Are there any missing features due to production limitations?

Speaking to Chasing Cars, Mr Shafer confirmed that from the initial specification provided in July last year there have been some omissions – namely the 360-degree camera and wiring for tow hitch from initial Formentor models. 

Features such as the 10-speaker Beats premium sound system, wireless phone charging and all other safety features remain unaffected – something that isn’t true for other brands in the Group, with Skoda and Volkswagen both experiencing supply shortages.

Mr Shafer also made it clear that the 360-camera and tow wiring would come back online by October for the Formentor. 

Cupra isn’t clear yet on how many vehicles it intends to sell in 2022, though it does anticipate demand to be strongest for the range-topping VZx variants – meaning the 221kW Golf GTI-rivalling Leon hot hatch and 228kW Formentor AWD crossover. 

Cupra 2022: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.


  • Leon V: $43,990 (driveaway pricing to be announced later)
  • Leon VZ: $52,590 ($56,990 driveaway)
  • Leon VZe plug-in hybrid: $59,990 (driveaway pricing varies by location)
  • Leon VZx: $60,990 ($64,990 driveaway)


  • Formentor V: $50,690 ($54,990 driveaway)
  • Formentor VZ: $53,790 ($58,490 driveaway)
  • Formentor VZe: $60,990 ($65,990 driveaway in NSW)
  • Formentor VZx: $61,490 ($66,490 driveaway)


  • Ateca VZx: $60,990 ($65,990 driveaway)