Lastly, the Volkswagen ID.3 has made it to Australia. Effectively… kind of.
After years of delays and tug-of-wars with head workplace to carry its electrified autos to Australia, the Volkswagen Group has handed the baton to Spanish upstart Cupra to tackle the top-selling Tesla Mannequin 3.
The Cupra Born is the model’s first electrical automobile, and is successfully the ID.3’s sportier cousin. It’s named after a progressive neighbourhood in Barcelona that blends medieval and gothic heritage with new boutiques, cafes and bars in addition to artwork museums – becoming then, the Born is one thing of an ‘previous meets new’ idea.
Based mostly on the Group’s MEB electrical toolkit, the Born is a rear-drive hatch geared toward proving electrified motoring can nonetheless be enjoyable and attainable. Higher but, it’s priced identically to the Cupra Leon VZx and VZe flagships, giving prospects the selection of 221kW petrol, 180kW plug-in hybrid or 170kW all-electric scorching hatchbacks.
Only one variant can be provided at launch in Australia, full with the flagship 77kWh (usable) long-range battery pack providing a claimed 511 kilometres of WLTP-certified vary. That makes the Born the one EV in Australia beneath $60,000 to supply over 500km of driving vary.
Whereas nonetheless in its early days Down Beneath, Cupra is anticipating large issues from the Born, forecasting over 1000 deliveries in 2023 ought to all go to plan with provide and logistics, which might make it one of many extra common EVs within the nation – 700 builds have been secured for the Australian market to date, with greater than 500 bought already.
There’s loads driving on this little-ish electrical automobile, so how does it stack up?
As famous earlier, the Born is available in a single 170kW ‘e-Increase’ specification in Australia, with the bigger 77kWh battery as commonplace – pricing begins at $59,990 plus on-road prices.
Cupra Australia lately detailed nationwide drive-away pricing, which varies between states and territories – although doesn’t embrace state- and territory-based EV rebate schemes. See beneath for extra.
The Born’s positioning is aggressive, given the dimensions, packaging, efficiency and driving vary. Cupra has successfully reached worth parity with the similarly-sized Leon VZe plug-in hybrid, and no different EV for this cash presents the identical stage of efficiency or vary.
Nissan’s Leaf e+ is the Born’s most pure rival in Australia, given the absence of the ID.3 till 2024, being a equally sized electrical hatchback round $60,000. Nevertheless, the flagship Leaf’s $61,490 beginning worth is dearer the newer Born, and its 385km vary in keeping with WLTP specs is effectively off the tempo.
The outgoing Hyundai Kona Electrical Prolonged Vary begins at $60,500 for the Elite, providing a crossover physique (if extra compact than the Born) and the backing of a extra established model, although it could actually’t match the Born’s vary (484km). A brand new mannequin is due earlier than the tip of the yr, which is able to supply extra space and tech with related vary.
The most important risk, nevertheless, is Tesla which presents the Mannequin 3 from $61,300 after latest worth will increase. The Mannequin 3 presents 491km of vary in base trim, in addition to a 6.1-second 0-100 time from its RWD single-motor drivetrain.
Additionally value cross-shopping is the Polestar 2, which presently begins at $63,900 for the Customary Vary Single Motor – a facelifted mannequin is due later this yr with rear-wheel drive and 518km of vary in base specification.
2023 Cupra Born pricing:
- Cupra Born e-Increase 77kWh: $59,990
Worth excludes on-road prices
- ACT: $61,990
- NSW: $62,490
- QLD: $63,490
- SA: $64,490
- VIC: $64,990
- WA: $66,490
Notice: Drive-away pricing doesn’t embrace state- and territory-based EV rebate schemes.
The Born follows a well-known theme to its MEB-based family, with a pared-back method to inside design.
That’s to not say the Born doesn’t have a definite flavour. In typical Cupra style, there’s flashes of bronze or coppery highlights all through the cabin, and for those who choice the Inside Bundle ($2990) you get a blue inside theme with Dinamica suede seat upholstery.
It’s swish from the second you get in, greeted by a beautiful leather-based steering wheel. Within the Born, there are touch-capacitive buttons that are a bit easier than those employed by Volkswagen, if nonetheless a bit fiddly, with buttons flanking the hub to toggle the varied drive modes.
The usual automobile will get sustainable black material, produced from plastic waste fished out of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s good to the touch and is cozy to sit down in, and actually doesn’t really feel all too totally different from the sportier material trims used elsewhere within the Cupra vary and throughout the VW Group.
Go for the Inside Bundle and also you get even cooler Aurora Blue Dinamica suede upholstery that’s additionally partly produced from sustainably-sourced supplies, full with electrical adjustment and massaging capabilities. Simply be aware this bundle (and the Efficiency Pack, for that matter) take away the centre rear seat – i.e. the Born turns into a four-seater.
Suede highlights within the doorways add to the athletic theme, and there’s loads of adjustment within the seats and wheel – handbook in the usual automobile, electrical with massaging within the Inside Bundle. I’ll say, nevertheless, the onerous plastic door trims take away from the in any other case upmarket atmosphere.
Forward of the motive force is a 5.0-inch Digital Cockpit show, which isn’t what we’re used to from the combustion-powered vary, however is a function that’s widespread to MEB-based vehicles – we simply haven’t had them right here but.
It’s retains data and distractions to a minimal, and utilizing the touch-capacitive sliders on the steering wheel you may toggle a few views prioritising totally different data.
I like a Volkswagen Group digital cluster, however this feels a tad primary to me. It’s about simplifying issues and conserving an important issues in entrance of you, however and not using a head-up show (obtainable overseas) you’ll end up wanting down for this type of data fairly than having it extra immediately in your line of sight.
The column-mounted gear selector is one other fascinating transfer away from custom for Cupra and the Volkswagen Group, although we’re seeing a lot of manufacturers shifting to this fashion of shifter to declutter the inside. It’s fairly easy to get the hold of – flip forwards for D/B, flip backwards for R.
The place it differs from different Cupra fashions is that it’s missing embedded satellite tv for pc navigation in addition to wi-fi smartphone mirroring. It does, nevertheless, have wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to DAB+ radio.
As we’ve assessed in different fashions within the line-up, Cupra’s tackle the most recent VW infotainment system is likely one of the higher ones, with fastened shortcuts and intuitive menu layouts to make up for the dearth of bodily switchgear. It hundreds issues shortly and is attractively styled.
It’s a disgrace the model’s expertise hero misses out on the flagship tech bundle – which Cupra’s native workforce says is all the way down to a technical situation stemming from these options being tied to the MEB platform’s linked car structure, which as but hasn’t made it to Australia.
Lovers of sunroofs may even be disenchanted to know the fastened panoramic roof in abroad markets isn’t provided on native fashions, neither is the flash augmented actuality (AR) head-up show.
“The Born had solely been developed as a linked car. We weren’t capable of, within the timeframe, develop the connectivity capabilities [for Australia] – there are some technical causes behind that – however we knew we wanted to have that automobile within the preliminary section of Cupra, so the manufacturing unit developed this model for us that doesn’t have the connectivity perform which does have an effect on a number of of the car’s techniques,” stated Jeff Shafer, head of product and planning for Cupra Australia.
Mr Shafer added we are able to count on to see updates “year-on-year” that would carry these options to our market in some unspecified time in the future, although it’s unclear precisely after we’ll see them added.
Storage, in the meantime, is fairly good up entrance. There’s a deep pair of cubbies beneath sliding drawers, the higher one concealing cupholders and a slot for keys and wallets, whereas the decrease part hides beneath the centre armrest and incorporates the wi-fi cellphone charger in addition to a deeper storage space for bigger gadgets.
I’m a fan of the padded materials surrounding the centre tunnel in addition to the copper highlights all through, which contrasts effectively with the blue upholstery as featured within the optionally available Inside Bundle. I additionally like that the wi-fi cellphone charger doubles up as a holder with hole for cables when wired up for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Transferring to the second row, the Born’s boxier proportions and taller roofline pay dividends.
At 6’1 I’m above common peak, and might match fairly comfortably behind my very own driving place – which may’t be stated for lots of EVs at this finish of the market.
Knee and legroom is sweet for the category, whereas headroom is great. I’ll be aware, nevertheless, is that the ground feels a bit raised and longer-legged folks will get that knee-up feeling, but it surely’s removed from uncomfortable.
Rear seat facilities embrace a pair of USB-C ports behind the centre console (however no air vents), map pockets behind the rear seats in addition to a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders. There are additionally bottle holders within the doorways and the requisite ISOFIX and top-tether factors.
Value noting is the usual three-seat rear bench turns right into a two-seater when optioned with both of the extra-cost packages, making the Born a 4 seater. If you might want to carry three within the rear usually, we recommend avoiding the Inside and Efficiency Packages.
Cupra doesn’t quote a determine with the 60:40 seat backs folded, however the house itself is sweet and sq., in addition to deep. It could possibly’t, nevertheless, match the boot areas of the BYD Atto 3 (440L) and Tesla Mannequin 3 (425L + 224L frunk).
Like a lot of EVs, there’s no spare wheel beneath the boot flooring. Cupra says each the usual and efficiency tyres on the Born have a self-healing design that works a bit like a run-flat design within the occasion of a puncture.
Only one specification is offered from launch, the e-Increase 77kWh drivetrain which is the flagship globally.
The rear-mounted electrical motor generates 170kW and 310Nm, permitting for a claimed 0-100km/h dash time of 7.0 seconds, and a WLTP-certified driving vary of 511 kilometres on a full cost based mostly on a consumption price of 17.0kWh per 100km. Cupra additionally quotes a 0-50 time of two.8 seconds.
Talking of vary and charging, the 77kWh usable (82kWh internet) lithium-ion battery pack could be charged through AC at 11kW, or DC quick charging at as much as 170kW. The Born is the one EV on sale in Australia with over 500km of vary priced beneath $60,000.
It’s value noting the above specs are relevant to the usual wheel and tyre bundle. Choosing the optionally available Efficiency Bundle ($2600) with its bigger 20-inch wheels and wider 235mm Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres reduces quoted driving vary to 475km based mostly on an vitality consumption determine of 18.2kWh per 100km.
Whereas not obtainable in Australia, Cupra does supply a smaller 58kWh battery pack in abroad markets like Europe and the UK with each the 170kW e-Increase drivetrain in addition to a lower-spec 150kW model.
The 150kW 58kWh Born within the UK quotes a mixed driving vary of 424km on the WLTP cycle, whereas the 170kW e-Increase motor with the smaller battery drops that barely to 420km.
Whereas it loses vary, the e-Increase 58kWh’s lighter battery unit means the Born’s 0-100 time drops to a scorching hatch-like 6.6s. For reference, the 180kW Cupra Leon VZ petrol-powered scorching hatch quotes a 6.4s sprint to triple figures.
Cupra Australia hasn’t confirmed any agency plans to introduce extra Born variants anytime quickly, although model representatives have left the door open to yearly updates and a possible line-up growth.
Being my first ever expertise with a car based mostly on the MEB platform, I wasn’t certain what to anticipate while additionally hoping the Born would really feel like one thing of an all-electric MQB automobile.
Fortunately, Cupra Born follows its combustion and hybrid-powered stablemates in delivering a balanced and refined drive errs on the sportier aspect of issues to dial in a little bit of enjoyable.
Leaving the Born in D means there’s little to no regen braking, and it principally scoots alongside like a petroleum automobile. It presents clean and easy acceleration, correct and fluid steering, in addition to a compliant journey that communicates the street floor beneath however isolates occupants properly.
If you’d like extra regen, flick the column-mounted drive selector into B and the Born will do a lot of the deceleration through regen braking, although it gained’t come to a whole cease like rival. One gripe I had was the transition from regen to mechanical braking, which may very well be sudden and inconsistent which means gradual inputs when driving at metropolis speeds can take a little bit of observe to do easily.
It’s very quiet to spend time in, no matter whether or not you’re cruising across the Canberra CBD or at 100km/h on a rustic street, with a faint whirring of the electrical motor within the background and spectacular insulation from the skin world in relation to wind and street noise.
Even in Cupra mode, the Born doesn’t play faux engine noise which in some rival EVs can sound contrived, which means the brand new period of enjoyable for the model is had in close to silence. Cupra Mode additionally dials up extra aggressive regen and bypasses the awkward transition between regen and mechanical brakes by the pedal – the Born runs entrance discs and rear drums.
Let’s be actual although, nearly all of this automobile’s life goes to be spent across the metropolis and suburbs doing mundane duties, so having some obnoxious sound enjoying isn’t vital. The very fact the vigorous steering and eager chassis make even probably the most mundane of commutes that little bit extra enjoyable, nevertheless, is the place the Born shines.
A number of abroad reviews have criticised Volkswagen Group MEB merchandise for being a bit uninteresting from behind the wheel; the Born is something however. You are feeling fairly linked to it, and the rear-drive stability helps carry again reminiscences of enjoyable RWD compact vehicles of previous, maybe just like the previous-gen BMW 125i.
Flip the steering wheel and the Born’s nostril follows the place you’re pointing, with restricted physique roll and good grip even on the usual 19-inch wheels shod in 215/50 Continental EcoContact low-rolling resistance tyres. As soon as the entrance is on track, the rear is introduced round by the rear motor and it’s fairly a chuckable factor.
We examined each the usual automobile and the Efficiency Bundle back-to-back, and whereas the broader and stickier 235/40 R20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres lend a extra assured stance and further grip, it didn’t really feel solely vital.
There’s a allure concerning the base automobile’s marginally decrease ceiling, requiring extra exact and measured driving to get one of the best out of it. That’s to not say it’s a poor relative, but it surely appears a bit extra playful and trustworthy whereas providing higher vary and refinement.
Via the winding B-roads outdoors Canberra, the Born demonstrated its sporty DNA properly. It’s greater than able to placing a smile in your face up a twisty mountain street, even when its energy output and 0-100 time aren’t fairly as thrilling because the figures quoted by the Leon VZx.
Pop it in Cupra and plant your proper foot and it’s deceptively fast in a straight line, simply hitting triple figures although it’ll taper off on the excessive finish as you’d count on.
Whereas the Born’s outputs aren’t fairly benchmark numbers for similarly-priced scorching hatches, the rear-drive stability and rapid torque response make it actually enjoyable to punt round. As famous earlier, it has a little bit of previous 125i about it, giving it an old-school flavour in a new-school bundle.
One other side of that sportier really feel is the way in which the entrance bucket seats maintain you in whilst you’re driving, providing good consolation for day by day duties and longer stints, in addition to sufficient bolstering to not have you ever slipping about in corners. You’ll be able to set your driving place pretty low within the cabin too – simply how I prefer it – which once more lends a extra sporting vibe.
When it comes to driver help techniques, the Born is pretty typical Volkswagen Group fare if lacking a few of the stuff we’ve come to count on.
Adaptive cruise management and blind-spot monitoring work as you’d count on, and the calibration of the previous is likely one of the extra intuitive of its kind, if a bit conservative as we’ve discovered with the most recent Group merchandise.
Nevertheless, there’s no Journey Help on Australian fashions. Based on the model’s representatives, options like Journey Help in addition to embedded satellite tv for pc navigation and wi-fi smartphone mirroring are tied to the MEB platform’s linked car structure in contrast to combustion-powered fashions, and the corporate was unable carry the Born to Australia with all of these items in place.
It gained’t be a deal-breaker for all, however given the Born is one thing of a expertise showcase, it’s disappointing such a distinguished driver help function is lacking. Cupra has stated it’ll like at bringing connectivity “over the subsequent few years”, so count on the total function set to turn out to be obtainable ultimately.
- 19-inch Black/Copper Storm alloy wheels
- Tyre strain monitoring
- LED headlights
- LED tail lights
- Fog lights built-in into headlights
- Nightfall-sensing headlights
- Mild Help (auto high-beam)
- Heated, energy folding mirrors
- Rear privateness glass
- Rear roof spoiler
- 5.3-inch Digital Cockpit
- 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (wired)
- DAB+ digital radio
- Wi-fi cellphone charger
- 2 x entrance, 2 x rear USB-C ports
- Leather-based multifunction steering wheel
- Satellite tv for pc buttons for drive modes
- Ambient inside lighting
- SEAQUAL material entrance bucket seats
- Ground mats
- Driving profile choice
- Sports activities suspension
- Progressive steering
- Keyless entry, begin
- Alarm system
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Twin-zone local weather management
- Aluminium pedals
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Parking sensors entrance, rear
- High View Digital camera (360-degree)
Inside Bundle: $2900
- Aurora Blue Dinamica entrance bucket seats
- 12-way energy entrance seats
- Therapeutic massage perform
- Heating perform
- Heated washer jets
- Beats premium sound system
- 9 audio system
- 395W amplifier
- 4 seat inside (2+2)
Efficiency Bundle: $2600
- 20-inch Black/Silver Firestorm alloy wheels
- Dynamic Chassis Management
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyre bundle
- 4 seat inside (2+2)
- Rayleigh Purple
- Quasar Gray
- Geyser Silver
- Glacial White
Premium Metallic: $475
The Cupra Born arrives to market with a five-star ANCAP security score, based mostly on 2022 Euro NCAP assessments.
It scored 93 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 89 per cent for baby occupant safety, 73 for weak street consumer safety, and 80 per cent for security help.
“It’s nice to see one other absolutely electrical mannequin enter our market with the utmost five-star ANCAP security score,” stated ANCAP Chief Govt, Carla Hoorweg.
“The momentum for secure and inexperienced fashions is rising, and this score will present additional confidence to shoppers and regulators to embrace security and environmental credentials as a non-negotiable bundle.”
Customary security options embrace:
- 7 airbags incl. front-centre
- AEB incl. Pedestrian, Bicycle owner detection
- Adaptive cruise management
- Driver fatigue monitoring
- Lane Help
- Lane departure warning
- Lane preserve help
- Park Help
- Parking sensors entrance, rear
- Proactive passenger safety
- Facet Help
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Exit Warning
Like the broader Cupra line-up, the Born is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.
Additionally a part of the acquisition worth is 5 years of 24-hour Cupra Roadside Help.
Cupra sadly now not presents a complimentary three-year Service Packs anymore prefer it did at launch, although you’ll see them provided with promotions on occasion.
The Born is offered with three- and five-year pre-paid service plans, priced at $990 and $1590 respectively.
The corporate presents two several types of house wallboxes, that may be put in by JET Cost. The cheaper Pulsar Plus unit is priced from $1400, whereas the fancier Commander 2 system is $1990.
Sadly, as a consequence of time constraints on the launch occasion we weren’t capable of do a real-world cost check for the Born in Canberra. We’ll intention to do that as soon as we get the car in our palms for an extended mortgage.
We did, nevertheless, be aware real-world indicated consumption figures with each wheel packages. The usual automobile was exhibiting low-17kWh/100km whereas the Efficiency Bundle confirmed mid-19kWh/100km – each near their claims, regardless of the drive route having a skew to high-speed, dynamic situations.
The Born has sparked a brand new period for the VW Group.
It’s about time we bought some MEB love Down Beneath, and the Cupra Born is proof this new wave of electrical autos is one thing to be enthusiastic about. You’re not simply restricted to Tesla if you need an excellent EV at an attainable worth that isn’t from a Chinese language challenger.
Whereas some will lament lacking options that ought to include updates, the Born presents a stability of efficiency, vary and practicality that betters nearly each different effort at this worth level, and dials in a stage of enjoyable and engagement that hasn’t actually been seen at this finish of the EV market.
It drives very well, presents nice vary, and powerful worth when it comes to options and house packaging relative to key rivals – even with some omissions. Plus, you may spec some cool colors and trims to make it stand out that little bit extra.
Credit score to Cupra for injecting its sporting DNA into the Born’s platform, and for with the ability to usher in what’s successfully a flagship providing for a aggressive worth in opposition to present gamers.
Additionally props to the Spanish model for attaining worth parity between the Born and high-spec variations of the Leon – together with the plug-in hybrid.
I’d like to see nicer supplies used on the doorways in a future replace – like we’ll see within the VW ID.3 when it comes right here – in addition to the total suite of options included so Australian prospects have the identical catalogue as the remainder of the world (together with New Zealand). Extra variants – particularly extra inexpensive ones – would additional broaden the Born’s attraction in Australia in addition to Cupra’s.
Should you’re in search of a brand new EV round $60,000 ensure you make a visit to a Cupra Storage and provides this a glance. Skip the Efficiency Bundle, however if you need one thing a bit particular nab one with the Inside Bundle – that’s Wongy’s scorching purchaser tip.
Bon fet Cupra, bon fet…
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MORE: Every part Cupra Born