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Review: CUPRA Formentor

Review: CUPRA Formentor

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CUPRA has been starting to make a name for itself since splitting apart from Seat to become its own thing back in 2018. It’s largely managed by making go-faster versions of the Spanish firm’s existing models - up until now, that is.

CUPRA formentor

What is covered in this review:


What is the CUPRA Formentor?

CUPRA has been starting to make a name for itself since splitting apart from SEAT to become its own thing back in 2018. It’s largely managed by making go-faster versions of the Spanish firm’s existing models - up until now, that is.

The Formentor - which we’re looking at today - is the first car that CUPRA has had a proper hand in creating from the ground-up, making it a great showcase of what the firm can do. But what does it offer? Let’s find out. 


What’s new?

CUPRA’s access to the wider Volkswagen Group means that it’s got a great backing of technology and powertrains to make the most of. The Formentor sits on the MQB Evo platform that underpins the latest Golf, for instance, while the car’s engine has already found favour in cars like the T-Roc R.

However, CUPRA has been allowed to show real flair with both the interior and exterior - but we’ll get to those in more detail shortly. 


cupra formentor interior

What’s under the bonnet?

This CUPRA uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with 306bhp and 400Nm of torque. The Formentor is available with a variety of less powerful petrol engines - as well as a plug-in hybrid - though for the minute this 2.0-litre TSI petrol is the most potent version you can get. It’ll only be topped by the limited-edition 2.5-litre-powered version, though this will only be available in left-hand-drive. 

This engine powers the Formentor from 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds and onwards to a top speed of 155mph. Cupra also says it’ll return up to 33.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 193g/km. 


What’s it like to drive?

Though the Formentor’s engine has been used to power performance-orientated cars like the Golf R and Audi S3, its deployment in the CUPRA is a far more laid-back affair; this isn’t a car that screams about its go-faster abilities. 

It’s relatively comfortable with a ride that doesn’t sit on the overly firm end of things, while the brakes and steering are effective without being too heavy. It’s even quiet and settled on the motorway, while the ultra-smooth engine delivers a good amount of character - though it’s far from ‘shouty’.


cupra formentor

How does it look?

The Formentor toes the line between crossover and regular hatch. It’s not massively high-riding but doesn’t lie close to the ground like a more conventional car might. It’s a cool-looking thing, that’s for sure, with all manner of styling features dotted across its design. 

The rear lights are connected by a solid ‘bar’ and look very futuristic, while the front end’s wide grille and sharp headlights mirror this design. The quad exhaust pipes at the rear give a slight nod to the car’s performance, too.


What’s it like inside?

The interior of the Formentor benefits from Volkswagen Group’s latest architecture, which means that it’s knee-deep in the very sharpest tech. However, the key basics have been covered off as well; it’s spacious up front, while there’s a surprising amount of head- and legroom for those sitting in the back. 

There’s also 420 litres of boot space on offer, though you can increase this by lowering the rear seats flat, too. 


What’s the spec like?

Standard equipment for the Formentor is very good, with the car’s huge twelve-inch central screen making up the bulk of the tech offerings. Nearly all of the car’s functions are located here, which does mean it can take a little bit of getting used to.

‘Our’ car was in VZ2 specification, which brought features such as a heated steering wheel and electrically-adjustable driver’s seat as standard. That said, even on entry-level Formentor models the kit levels are good, with highlights including three-zone air conditioning, LED headlights and wireless phone charging - among other features. 


Verdict

CUPRA has really shown that it’s able to do with the new Formentor. It’s a great example of what can happen when it’s allowed to dictate what a car looks, feels and drives like. However, it also benefits from the backing of Volkswagen Group-sourced knowhow. 

This is a car that really does add some extra sparkle to daily drives and helps to give an idea of what we can look forward to seeing from CUPRA in the future. 

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