Continuing as the Cupra’s custodian is giving me a little insight as to what it must be like being a minor celebrity. The Glaswegian giant I mentioned last time out who wanted to chat about the ‘wee Tesla’ was merely the start; complete strangers regularly stop me in car parks to ask about it, while a neighbour who I’ve never spoken to has popped around to have a look at it. Twice. In fact, on the second visit he confirmed he’ll be taking delivery of his own Born at Christmas. Perhaps I should be on commission.
The simple fact is that during the past decade I’ve had the good fortune to drive and assess several hundred cars, but not one of them has compelled people I don’t know to ask me about it to the degree the Cupra has. In recent weeks I’ve taken a little time off from the day job, which in turn has meant taking the Cupra further afield than it has been of late, particularly touring around different English Heritage (EH) sites in the north of the country. Wending the Cupra slowly around EH’s archetypal confined car parking areas confirms the benefits of its compact dimensions, as well as its fine manoeuvrability. Given the number of pedestrians that seem to jump out of their skins as the Born approaches from behind, I’m inclined to think it’s not emitting any kind of sci-fi-like low-speed warning sound.
These away days were my first real opportunity to drive the Cupra on long stretches of dual carriageways and motorways, able to cruise gently at 70mph, with little requirement to slow right down and accelerate repeatedly, as I have to on minor routes close to where I live. I suspected that its overall efficiency would be dented, yet, with a couple of 150-mile runs under its wheels, there was an indicated 0.1kWh improvement. This potentially bodes well for a planned visit to Dorset in the coming weeks.
Over the past 18 months, whenever I’ve taken an electric car on a longer journey, I’ve tended to be foolhardy/brave/nonchalant (delete as applicable) in terms of planning where to stop for recharges. I’ve only been caught out once – not giving myself enough margin to drive elsewhere – so didn’t feel the need to change my approach with the Born. I had it hooked up to a 50kW charger at the first motorway services I came to, but it was amusing to note how many other EVs were connected to the high-power chargers offering 150kW or more, but which can’t utilise that level of energy flow due to their on-board chargers. There’s still a fair bit of education required for their owners in that regard.
Everything going blissfully well overall, then? Not quite. Suddenly, the infotainment package has become a little temperamental. Mostly, if it misbehaves, the issue is limited to not connecting to my phone using Apple CarPlay as a conduit. On occasion, though, the whole system proves unresponsive, which also means no access to the climate control functions. Not ideal, and something I’ll keep tabs on – I’ve an inkling it’s related to the soaring temperatures we experienced over the summer.
We’re at the half-way point of its time with us and the Cupra Born is proving to be a solid 8/10 choice.
Date arrived 1st June 2022
Price when new £38,390
Price as tested £38,955
Range 259 miles Costs None
Faults Infotainment screen is becoming occasionally glitchy. Discolouring of wheel nut caps.