Ford Focus Turnier ST, Seat Leon ST Cupra 21 Photos Zoom

Seat Leon ST Cupra vs. Ford Focus Turnier ST: Fully charged with at least 247 HP

The word estate seems to disdainful to you? Then why not get acquainted with the German term: Kombinationskraftwagen – here the emphasis is on the 'kraft' component, meaning power. For the Seat Leon ST Cupra (276 HP) and Ford Focus Turnier ST (247 HP) have plenty of it.

So let's briefly list the attributes of the more sensible form of dream car: plenty of power with reasonable consumption. Above average cornering competence paired with long-distance suitability. Compact dimensions plus space for any transportation needs that may arise. And it would of course have to be reasonably affordable as well. Such a thing does actually exist: in the form of the Seat Leon ST Cupra or Ford Focus Turnier ST.

The Ford turbo engine produces 247 HP

Ford now offers the compact sports estate in renovated form and as a diesel with 182 HP, but here we focus on the petrol models. Its four-cylinder turbo styill produces 247 HP, but, thanks to the Start-Stop system as standard, should now consume six percent less than before. Ford specify an average of 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres (Seat Leon ST Cupra: 6.7 l/100 km), which is only likely to be achieved when out for a Sunday drive.
 The steering pulls
. Aside from this, its engine simply tempts you to accelerate too much to be able to achieve the fabled consumption levels.

When accelerating, the in itself commonplace four-cylinder blubbers in almost the same way as its much-loved predecessor – all thanks to the sound design. And it propels the relatively heavy Focus powerfully out from the depths of the lower rev range. Because its non-adaptive chassis absorbs bumps well, the Focus ST can gladly be taken on country roads. And this includes driving it forcefully from the corners.

Seat Leon ST Cupra with 261 and 276 HP

However, when exerting power, the steering wheel pulls strongly – still, even though the technicians have just sought to improve it by recalibrating the design of the steering assistance.
 In the case Seat Leon ST Cupra this has been handled better. It is already available in an estate version, referred to as the ST, with 261 and 276 HP. At full throttle there is therefore more power exerted via the front axle, and yet the steering appears much less impacted.

What you notice here is rather the work of the mechanical differential locking; it ensures that the Seat Leon ST Cupra can convert more power to the road and revs the wheel on the inside of the corner less. The Ford, on the other hand, must manage with electronic locking simulation realised by the ESP. That is: excess power glows unused in the brakes.

Within the scope of the facelift, the chassis technicians have, incidentally, also revised the rear axle of the Focus ST. It bearings are now harder, as are the spring rates in general. Thus, the manufacturer is responding to the criticism of buyers who had complained of the rear of the car being too lively. Until now, just small load changes were enough to bring the car's hindquarters into line. This design is lots of fin with the ESP disabled, but only on the race track. During the first drive over Spanish country roads, the extreme case could not be tested with the remoulded chassis, with no safety zone. However, the Focus still turns noticeably inwards in the event of load changes.

The Seat Leon ST Cupra with good handling

Incidentally, its bulky exterior correlates with the driving impressions: the Ford feels bigger and most of all, more portly than the lighter Seat. It seems more tense, in the positive sense, reacts more alertly and achieving balance through corners is good fun. But most of all, the Seat Leon ST Cupra approaches the task with much greater passion, as such that the spark of enthusiasm practically leapfrogs the driver by itself. Everything is noticeably light-footed and natural; no understeer, barely any loss of traction – at full throttle the car simply drives vehemently forwards, also down to the fact that the adaptive shock absorbers (standard) skilfully absorb bumps in the road.

While the Focus likes to whistle vigorously through the turbocharger, and in so doing rumbles ardently – in the jungle of corners it has difficulty keeping up with the Seat Leon ST Cupra. Its driver has to slog away at the wheel much more in order to keep up. But he manages this safe in the knowledge that there is one area in which his Focus Turnier is way out in front of the Leon ST: storage space. And this is ultimately the key skill of an estate – even if we're talking about a sports model.

VW Golf R available as an estate from March

The soon-to-arrive VW Golf R variant is expected to produce 296 HP – and with this the all-wheel-drive sports transported should accelerate from 0 to 100 in 5.1 seconds (market launch in March). Until now the four-cylinder power Golf has only been available as a saloon; but now VW is following the example of other manufacturers who are generating good turnover with the estate versions of compact sports cars.

One example is subsidiary company Skoda: the Octavia Combi RS is already in its third generation, whereby the turbo-charged petrol engine contents itself with 217 HP. In spite of this, a top speed of 242 km/h makes the front-wheeler the fastest Skoda of all time. However, the version with the two-litre diesel engine enjoys the greater popularity, producing 181 HP and 380 Nm.





12 June 2015
5 4 3 2 1 0 5 0
  • All Sections
  • Car Reviews
  • Comparison Tests
  • Road Tests
  • News
  • Supertests
In cooperation with