PH FLEET UPDATE: SEAT LEON CUPRA R
Ill-fitting golf bags and motorway munching for the bright yellow Seat
Having grown up from the age of 9 on the golf course (Ah yes, the famous 'wild child of hole 8' - Ed) I often carry my bag in the back of my car, and so this recent trend is a boon to me.
Or it ought to be, After a break playing other sports I decided to start hitting small balls around again and grabbed my clubs to stick in the back of the PH Fleet Seat Leon Cupra R. To my surprise, no matter which way I manipulated the golf bag I just couldn't get it to fit.
Having taken out the driver I got the bag in the boot, but this still left the task of fitting in the big stick somewhere. Using the cavity behind the light unit I discovered I could get the thing to fit, but this caused another problem. Repeated use of the light space meant that the bulbs were being bumped a little too often than their usual life requires of them. Eventually the rear brake light gave up the ghost and decided to fail. Oh dear.
Parked next to another punter in his older Fiesta trying to do the same bulb replacing task I peered into the space to see what tools I needed. Fortunately the dexterity of thumb and finger was all that was needed to remove the bulb holders, swap the old with the new and pop back in place. If I had a Formula One pit crew working on the tires I would have held my hand out before the final wheel man had done his nut up.
As I drove away I saw the poor Fiesta owner drop another screw on the floor while I set about enjoying what the Seat does best - fun, fast and hot hatch motoring - though that hatch just needs to be a little bigger.
As a fast motorway cruiser, apart from a moderately annoying flutter of wind noise from around the door mirrors and a frankly horribly dated dashboard, the Cupra is a pretty darn effective tool. It has fantastic seats, a great deal of gutsy, long-legged pace and isn't even too thirsty on fuel (from a PH point of view, of course).
Whether it cuts it as a decent hot hatch, however, I'm not so sure. It might be the most powerful roadgoing Seat ever, but for a brand whose strap line is 'Auto Emocion' it can be a curiously un-engaging car when you find an empty road with twisty bits in it.
It's not that it isn't fun, it's just that it isn't as much fun as you'd hope it to be. And in a bright yellow Seat, that just doesn't seem quite right.