The Volkswagen Group could soon have a compact performance wagon trifecta on its hands.
Cupra Australia’s head of product and planning, Jeff Shafer, told CarExpert that the local division is evaluating the Leon Sportstourer for the Australian market, which would bolster the existing Leon hatchback range. However, he stopped short of offering any indication around timeframe.
“Look, I love the Sportstourer,” Mr Shafer said, “it’s something we’d love to have, and it’s under consideration [for our market]. We’re definitely having a hard look at it.”
“It was important for us to establish the foundation with the core models last year (Formentor, Leon and Ateca), but Sportstourer is certainly an interesting product,” Mr Shafer added.
When asked what the Leon Sportstourer line-up would look like should it come to Australia, Mr Shafer said a more focused range would be the likely result; hinting at the 228kW 4Drive global flagship as well as the 180kW e-Hybrid which we’ve already seen in the VZe-badged Leon hatch and Formentor crossover models.
“I think we’d be fairly focused when bringing the Sportstourer, probably at the higher end of the range,” Mr Shafer said.
“So the top grade (228kW 4Drive) which is a little bit different to the hatchback with its all-wheel drive, and the plug-in hybrid is also interesting.”
Other powertrain variants in the global portfolio include a 110kW/250Nm 1.5 TSI FWD, 140kW/320Nm 2.0 TSI FWD 180kW/380Nm 2.0 TSI FWD, a 221kW/400Nm 2.0 TSI FWD, as well as a detuned 150kW 1.4 TSI e-Hybrid.
It’s worth noting, the Leon Sportstourer is already sold across the Tasman, with New Zealand customers offered the choice of 110kW 1.5 TSI and 228kW 2.0 TSI 4Drive versions. The UK market (also RHD) offers all of the above minus the 150kW PHEV.
Like the Leon hatch, the Sportstourer is based on the Volkswagen Group MQB Evo platform, meaning it shares DNA with the latest Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf Wagons – amongst other small cars and crossovers.
The 228kW 2.0 TSI 4Drive would be a good match for the 235kW/420Nm VW Golf R Wagon that has next to no natural competition in Australia, while the 180kW 1.4 TSI e-Hybrid could serve as a substitute for the Skoda Octavia RS iV plug-in hybrid that we don’t get in Australia.
In flagship guise, the Cupra Leon Sportstourer can dash from 0-100 in 4.9 seconds, on its way to a quoted top speed of 250km/h.
The PHEV, meanwhile, manages a 7.0-second sprint to triple figures and a top speed of 225km/h. Further, it’ll use as little as 1.3-1.5 litres per 100km on the combined cycle and travel 54-59km on electric power according to WLTP figures.
Mainstream-branded station wagons are becoming rarer and rarer these days, with only a handful of manufacturers offering the body type.
Skoda and Volkswagen are the main players from Europe, where estates still have a decent chunk of market share (if still waning), while Subaru’s Outback crossover wagon continues to defy trends by being one of the most popular vehicles in the VFACTS Large SUV class. The VW Passat Alltrack also remains on sale in Australia.
Ford and Hyundai have historically offered wagon versions of the Focus and i30, though neither have been on the market here for some time, and Volkswagen also killed off the smaller Golf Alltrack with the Mk8 generation.
Niche players include the Peugeot 308 SW and Subaru WRX Sportswagon, as well as the Mazda 6. Premium brands like Audi and BMW still offer mid-size wagons, once staples in their respective line-ups, while Mercedes-Benz has culled its Estate models locally to focus on its more popular and profitable SUV range.
So far in 2023, Cupra has delivered 808 units to the end of March in its first full year in the Australian market. The Spanish upstart saw 1111 registrations last year after only launching in August.
Leading the way is the Formentor, the brand’s best seller globally, with 690 units delivered as of March 31. It pretty much doubles the Ateca and Leon ranges combined in terms of local volume.
Year to date (YTD), the Formentor has overtaken well-known European nameplates including the Skoda Karoq (441 units) and Peugeot 3008 (158 units), as well as the soon-to-be-discontinued Ford Escape (474 units). These vehicles are, however, subject to ongoing supply issues.
The Leon hasn’t quite enjoyed the same success as its crossover-bodied sibling, but it currently owns 2.2 per cent of the Small Passenger segment over $40,000 (99 units). Adding the Sportstourer would likely bolster that share, if only slightly.
Would you be keen on a Leon Sportstourer if it came to Australia? Leave us a comment below!
MORE: Everything Cupra Leon