Cupra Born VZ Review

Price: £46,000 (estimated) score


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Cupra has taken one of our favourite fun electric cars and turned up the heat. The result is a practical family electric hatchback which is refined enough to drive everyday, but is as rewarding to drive as some supercars.


  • Battery size: 79kWh
  • Miles per kWh: 4.2
  • E-Rating™: A

    Click here to find out more about our electric car Efficiency Rating.​

  • Max charge rate: 185kW
  • Range: 335 miles

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  • Battery size: 79kWh
  • Miles per kWh: 4.2
  • E-Rating™: A

    Click here to find out more about our electric car Efficiency Rating.​

  • Max charge rate: 185kW
  • Range: 335 miles

Ginny Says

“The Born always had a feeling that it could take a bit more power, and the VZ provides it at last. I love the fact that it's rear wheel drive too - it means the steering feels so much more alive .”

Nicki Says

“I'm one of the few people who actually likes playing with drive mode buttons, and the Born VZ makes it really easy - the buttons are on the steering wheel so you don't need to faff about in menus on a screen.”

Driven and reviewed by 

Tom Barnard

3 Jun 2024

If you think the Cupra Born looks a little bit familiar then you'd be right. It's the Spanish sister to Volkswagen's ID.3 and adds more flair to the styling, is sharper to drive and is cheaper to buy. It's one of the sportiest electric hatchbacks you can buy right now, but it's also got great range at a good price.

The standard Cupra Born is a fun car. It might be practical and easy to drive, but it still had an element of entertainment in the way it drove that made it more rewarding than rivals. Although it never had daft performance, the 201bhp always felt plenty, and there was always the e-boost button if you wanted a little extra poke for overtaking. 

And yet it remained refined too, so it was never tiring. Sporty without being rorty if you like.

Now there is the option of even more fun, with an even sportier version. The VZ name is a shortening of the Spanish word ‘veloz’- which translated into English means ‘fast’. So it has a new motor at the rear which produces 320bhp. 

To put that into perspective, it’s about the same as a Porsche 911 from a decade ago. 

But is that enough to take on cars like the faster, cheaper MG XPower?

Motors, Performance and Handling

That punchy new motor means the Born VZ can do the 0-62mph sprint in 5.7 seconds – one second faster than the e-Boost version. That’s 40% more power than the existing Borns. It also has and 75% more torque. Top speed is also increased by 25mph to 124mph, which is largely irrelevant on an electric car unless you are rushing between chargers on an Autobahn.

Unlike most electric rivals with this sort of power, the Born VZ isn’t four wheel drive either. All that power comes from the rear motor to the back wheels. That means the front wheels don’t have to do anything but point in the right direction, which means the steering feels really natural and responsive. The VZ’s steering package has also been upgraded with new hardware and software to make it sportier

The downside of rear wheel drive compared to all four wheels getting power is that you don’t get as much traction, but the Born’s electronics keep everything under control and the new 20-inch alloy wheels have wider, high-performance tyres. I didn’t get the chance to try the VZ in properly slippery conditions, but it felt sure footed even when trying daft things on tight bends.

The VZ also has uprated suspension, but it still manages to maintain remarkable refinement on rough roads. The damper valve settings, spring design and anti-roll bars have all been redesigned to deliver better vehicle body control. 

The brakes have been beefed too, with Cupra employing a racing driver to get the calibration right. He seems to have done a better job on the Born than the Taviscan, as there is plenty of bite and no noticeable change between the regen and friction cutting in. 

I guess this car’s biggest competitor will be something like the MG4 XPower, which has much more power and will win Any Top Trumps competition – and it costs less too. But that car feels less polished than this Born. This feels like a car which has been engineered to have fun, while the MG sometimes feels like you are trying to steer an out-of-control rocket. 

Range, Battery and Charging

The battery pack in the VZ has also been tweaked and they’ve found an extra 2kWh of capacity, taking the total to 79kWh. This gives it an official range of 335-372 miles – exactly the same as the existing V3 77 model. 

It can be recharged using an 11kW AC system, which is acceptable but a little disappointing when some rivals can take 22kW. The DC rapid charging maximum of 185kW is more impressive though and a meaningful upgrade on the 130kW of lesser Borns. It means a fast charge from 10 to 80% would just take under half an hour.

Interior, Design/Styling and Technology

The outside of the VZ  has subtle styling tweaks compared to other Borns. Two new colours are available only the VZ: Dark Forest and Midnight Black. It’s the Dark Forest you’ll be able to see in these pictures and it looks gorgeous in the metal. 

Then there’s a VZ logo in dark chrome housed on the vehicle’s boot, as well as the CUPRA lettering in dark chrome colour.

There’s also a slightly larger 12.9-inch infotainment system with better buttons and you can pay extra to have a Sennheiser 425-watt 10-speaker audio system. That’s a good idea because the standard system has the sound quality of one of those novelty musical birthday cards.

I also noticed the gear selector has been swapped to the one used in the ID.Buzz, meaning it is now on the steering column to provide easier access.

The Head Up Display has also had an upgrade and there’s a new optional Remote Park Assist which allows you to use your smartphone as a remote control to park (or unpark) in tight spots. 

The Born’s quality has always felt a small (but welcome) step up from the Volkswagen ID.3 and the VZ is another improvement. Don’t expect it to feel like a BMW in there though, as there are still some areas where the plastics are scratchy, especially in the back.

Practicality and Boot space

The VZ has almost the same layout as any other Born, which means it has plenty of space. There are some improvements though, which make it even more practical. Inside gets  CUP Bucket seats which are lower to deliver a more sporty seating position. 

Talking of seats, the VZ can now offer both five seat comfort and a sunroof in the same package. Previous Borns with the bigger battery were limited to four seats and couldn’t have the glass roof because of weight restrictions.

The boot capacity of 385 litres remains the same, but you’ll need to tie down anything fragile as it will get thrown about as you have fun in the bends. 

Running Costs and Pricing

At the time I’m writing this, Cupra hasn’t yet released the final pricing of the VZ, but a bit of guestimating reckons it will be around £46,000. That’s a fair step up from the entry level models but is cheaper than posher cars with a similar power output.

However, its main competitors will be the MG XPower, which is a similar size, has more power and four wheel drive but is £10,000 cheaper. It’s not nearly as polished or fun to drive as the VZ though. The Smart #1 Brabus is cheaper and has more power too, but again feels like a blunt instrument next to the Cupra.

I can’t ignore the Tesla Model 3 Long Range either. It might not have the sporty intent of the Born, but it is faster accelerating and has more range. 

The Born’s success will ultimately be decided by the monthly lease and PCP costs. Cupra is usually pretty keen on these, so keep an eye on the deals to see where they end up.


I really loved this Born. It looks great, is huge fun in the bends, and is powerful enough to keep most drivers happy.  Yet it is still a really easy car to live with, thanks to a practical five door, five seat body and suspension that seems to carefully ride the line between sporty and refined. We'll have to try one in the UK and compare it back-to-back with rivals, but my feeling is that the Born will feel a more polished package which makes up for its comparative lack of power with better dynamics. I’ll have one on Forest Green please. 

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