There is a lot of boring stuff there though. Case in point being the odd lingo used to describe upcoming problems, or advisories as they are more popularly known. After poring over possibly thousands of these histories, one phrase has become a sort of earworm for Shed, or eyeworm if you're being pedantic, and it is this: 'constant velocity joint gaiter deteriorated, but preventing the ingress of dirt'. Shed would be willing to bet most of next year's pension on this being the most frequently bashed-in code on the typical MOT tester's oil-caked keyboard.
Right, back to the Leon. As any fuel kno, this model of Leon was basically a Mk4 Golf with a different coat on. It was launched in 1997 and, following the arrival of no objections, went on sale in 1998.
The 210hp Leon Cupra R is a great car. It finished 7th in Autocar's 2010 'best hot hatch of all time' reader poll. Unfortunately, Rs don't pop up in SOTW's sub-£1,500 bracket, but the 180hp 20V does a pretty decent impersonation. Tipping the scales at 1300kg or so, it's a practical 140mph front-drive five-seater with a nice big boot, 40mpg on a cruise, and very acceptable handling. Only the braking is on the edge of not good enough if you're planning on giving it the berries everywhere.
On your way to lifting up the mats, you'll need to open the back doors. Sounds easy, but might not be, as malfunctioning doors are another notorious Leon foible. Sometimes it's a loose cable behind the door card: sometimes you can get in by giving the handle a sharp community-approved whack with a rolled-up newspaper, furled umbrella or good old-fashioned flat of the hand.
If the turbo seems a bit down on pressure, it could well be that the coil packs are on the way out. Many of the packs fitted as original equipment on Leons and Golfs of this era wouldn't have passed muster on a pedal car, let alone one powered by an engine.
Clutches tend to wilt after 80k miles or so, and the one on this car has lived up to that billing almost perfectly by expiring (and being replaced) at 84k. The four-year/60k replacement cycle cambelt is a motor-busting trap lying in wait for the unwary, so again it's good to see that our Shed received a new one just 10,000 miles ago, especially as this can be a slightly longer/more expensive job on the 1.8 20-valvers.
In a joyous SpaceX kinda mood, what with Cupra about to separate itself from the main SEAT launch vehicle and shoot off into orbit as its own brand, maybe the values of old Cupras will go up. Well, maybe not. But you can always hope. In the meantime, just park your elbow on the Leon's door ledge and hum a bit of Bowie.
Family friendly hot-hatch.
Golf GTi Mk 4's better looking Spanish cousin.
Better performance, handling, boot space and looks than GTi.
FSH, 104k miles, in regular use, Mot to Aug, no advisories, full cambelt and water pump replaced @ 94k, Full clutch @ 84k, No mods.
Drives well and looks great. Interior clean, floor mats, tailored boot protector mat.
Alpine head unit, amplifier and sub-woofer in boot. Upgraded speakers.
A/C climate control, remote central locking.
Minor age-related marks, no rust.
Good Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres all-round.