The typical buyer is usually a parent who wants the car for the daily commute to work, but also wants a car with plenty of interior space for the kids at home and for luggage for when they go on holiday. He is also encouraged by the fact that there is plenty of room in the boot for shopping.
But do they really buy the best car on the market for that price? Yesterday, as I travelled to Madrid to swap the MINI JCW, which we'll be testing next Monday, for a 218d Gran Tourer I overtook a Leon FR ST, and I started to wonder how many potential customers were buying the wrong SUVs, something we enthusiasts all know.
But there's more to it than that. Have you ever stopped to think how much a Leon ST Cupra costs? For £35,000, you can buy it. Yes, for £35,000. And now that the 290 horsepower version is coming out, I'm sure you could find a 280 for sale for a bit less.
In exchange for the money for the Tiguan 150 horsepower diesel or the CX-5, you get a family car with 587 litres of boot and four spacious seats, with a 280 horsepower petrol engine, capable of consuming around 7 litres per 100 kilometres, and of doing the 100 kilometres per hour in six seconds, with an 80-120 in 3.4 seconds. In 3.4 seconds!
It's faster than an Audi RS4 B7 (one of our all-time favourites) on the Nürburgring, and more importantly, it's not just exceptionally fast, which it is, it's fun to drive. And of course, with the piloted damping you get a car that handles very well when you're on the attack, but at the same time is comfortable for the whole family.
It has all the reasons that the typical 4×2 SUV customer might want, and it adds a thousand more things. Even aesthetically I'd go so far as to say it's attractive (check out the header photo of this post with some polished Vossen CV7 wheels.
It doesn't end there. The revamped 290-horsepower version adds standard LED headlights for all driving functions, it also gets the cool infotainment system as standard, and if you tighten your belt a hair you can get the "perfomrance pack" with fat Brembo stiff-caliper brakes and ultra-tight tires.
Is there a better option on the new car market for parents who like spirited driving and need space? For that price I'm sure there isn't. So let this article serve as a warning to the navigators: If you are "one of us", you hum the song of the chick pio or the mix of the hands of the Cantajuegos, but you also like to drive in curves and you have 35,000€, I can't think of a better option in the market. No more SUVs, for God's sake.
By the way, if you didn't read it, you have here the test of the Leon Cupra ST, made by Dani.