CUPRA

CUPRA FORMENTOR ESTATE 1.4 eHybrid 205 V1 5dr DSG

Fuel

FuelPetrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph7.8s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

The CUPRA performance brand struck out on its own with the Formentor, a lively Spanish take on the mid-sized performance SUV concept. This Coupe-Crossover will be a rare sight on our roads - and even rarer in this PHEV e-Hybrid plug-in form, but it deserves serious consideration from anyone prioritising efficiency and wanting something just a little different in this segment.

E-UP FOR THE CUP

We like the CUPRA Formentor. But will it be as appealing in e-Hybrid PHEV form? Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

The CUPRA performance brand struck out on its own with the Formentor, a lively Spanish take on the mid-sized performance SUV concept. This Coupe-Crossover will be a rare sight on our roads - and even rarer in this PHEV e-Hybrid plug-in form, but it deserves serious consideration from anyone prioritising efficiency and wanting something just a little different in this segment.

Background

You'll might possibly know the 'CUPRA' brand name, but probably only as a sporty trim designation dating all the way back to 1996 and used on a whole string of SEAT Ibiza and Leon hot hatches. Now, parent company SEAT wants CUPRA to mean more, creating, in its words, 'a range of unique, sophisticated performance models designed to captivate car enthusiasts'. The CUPRA Formentor was the first of them and it's arguably at its most interesting in this e-Hybrid PHEV guise. The Spanish CUPRA nameplate, a pormanteau word encompassing 'Cup' and 'Racing', has actually been a separate marque within the Volkswagen Group since 2018, but its first products were merely sporty versions of existing SEAT models, first the rather underwhelming CUPRA Ateca, then more recently the CUPRA Leon. This Formentor, in contrast, is this marque's first stand-alone model, the first of several designs that will, the VW conglomerate hopes, make this brand a kind of Iberian Alfa Romeo - the kind of thing SEAT was always supposed to be but never really was. But can those kinds of ambitions be realised with the extra weight and complexity of a PHEV system on board?

Driving Experience

Rather curiously, none of the Formentor's conventional powertrain options incorporate the Volkswagen Group's latest mild hybrid technology. For any kind of engine electrification at all in this CUPRA, you've to stretch to an e-Hybrid variant which offers plug-in hybrid tech, only available with front wheel drive. As with the CUPRA Leon e-Hybrid, what you get here is a tried and tested VW Group PHEV package, though in the Formentor, it comes in a de-tuned 204PS guise as well as in Golf GTE-style 245PS form. Either way, a 150PS 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine is mated to a 6-speed DSG auto gearbox and an 85kW electric motor powered by a 13kWh lithium-ion battery with a WLTP-rated all-electric driving range quoted at 34 miles. Which of course you won't get anywhere near if you explore the quoted all-electric top speed of 80mph or start trying to throw the thing around too much (an extra kerb weight addition of up to 60kgs over a conventionally-engined Formentor discourages you from doing that anyway). Try and stretch to the 245PS e-Hybrid variant if you can, which gets torque boosted from 350 to 400Nm without any detriment to driving range, improving the 0-62mph time from 7.8s to 7 seconds dead.

Design and Build

There are no significant visual changes differentiating this e-Hybrid variant from other Formentors. So, like its showroom stablemates, this one sits a little lower than most other performance SUVs and Crossovers. Size-wise, the Formentor's 4.5-metre length is a fraction longer than the CUPRA Ateca but the swept-back SUV Coupe-style roofline is 100mm lower, which in combination with the set-back passenger cell, gives the silhouette something of the look of a high-riding estate. Inside, the designers have been able to fashion a bespoke dashboard, which appears to float, an impression created by the horizontal full-LED wraparound ambient lighting strip which changes colour with drive mode selection and safety functions and runs the width of the fascia, flowing into both front doors. You sit quite low for a crossover on brilliantly supportive seats that above entry-level trim will be upholstered in Nappa leather and which feature copper-coloured embellishment; the same kind of thing you'll also find on the prominent centre vents, as well as on the door cards and the steering wheel. Through the wheel, you view a 10.3-inch 'Digital Cockpit' instrument display, differentiated from the one used in a humbler SEAT Leon by a redesigned graphics, though the screen's customisable functionality's exactly the same. Anything you can't find here - and much that you can - will feature on the big 12-inch infotainment touchscreen, which forms the centrepiece of the dashboard. In the back, despite the coupe-SUV styling, headroom is fine in that regard unless your occupants are of basketball-playing stature. Boot space with this PHEV variant falls to 345-litres (down from 420-litres with the 2.0-litre TSI model); with the seats folded, the e-Hybrid's total capacity is 1,370-litres.

Market and Model

At the time of this test in Spring 2021, the Formentor e-Hybrid was priced in 'V1' 204PS form from around £36,000 and in 'VZ1' 245PS guise from just under £39,000. In terms of Coupe-SUV Plug-in Hybrid rivals, well yes, against the 204PS Formentor variant, you could conceivably consider Kia's XCeed PHEV at around £30,000, but that uses a slightly less powerful engine with a smaller battery. Otherwise, because Toyota doesn't do a plug-in version of their C-HR (you can't get a PHEV version of sister brand Lexus' UX crossover either), your next class option would see you needing to stretch right up to around £40,000 for BMW's smaller X2 xDrive 25e (though that car admittedly does have 4WD). If you're looking at an outlay of around £39,000 upwards on a more powerful Formentor e-Hybrid VZ 245PS model, then you'll be interested to know that an Audi Q3 Sportback 45TFSIe with the same engine costs considerably more. And that the cheapest Range Rover Evoque P300e is close to £45,000. Mercedes' GLC Coupe Plug-in models only come with diesel power. BMW doesn't offer this tech on the X4 at all. And the cheapest Audi Q5 Sportback TFSIe model costs from around £53,000.

Cost of Ownership

Both Formentor e-Hybrid derivatives boast a WLTP-rated all-electric driving range of up to 34 miles. Of course, in deciding the budgetary case for this PHEV CUPRA, you will of course need to factor in charging costs, but if you get your charging regime right on off-peak electricity that'll hopefully cost pennies rather than pounds to consume, these bills shouldn't be too great. The combined range of the petrol and electric motor is around 660 miles, making a plug-in Formentor an ideal comfortable car for the really long journeys that would probably defeat full-EV Crossovers in this class like, say, a Lexus UX 300e or a BMW iX3 - or CUPRA's own Born EV. And the electrified version of this CUPRA will charge much quicker than a full-EV: powering a PHEV Formentor up from a domestic socket would take around five hours, but using a garage wallbox, you'll be able to reduce your charging time period to around three and a half hours. Bear in mind that only a single Mode 3 charging cable is included as standard. The quoted WLTP combined cycle fuel return for a Formentor e-HYBRID 204PS model is up to 235.4mpg. For the 'VZ' 245PS e-Hybrid variant, it's up to 188.3mpg. And the CO2 reading that'll see your BiK tax payments rated at just 11% is an impressive 27g/km; that's for the 204PS version - for the 245PS variant, it's 33g/km. These are pie-in-the-sky figures of course. If you don't charge your Formentor e-Hybrid much and use a little of throttle, you'll be burning plenty of fuel - and possibly getting through quite a few sets of front tyres too.

Summary

CUPRA has tried to do something quite difficult here. Namely, take a lot of existing mechanicals and create something genuinely interesting and different from them, a particularly hard job in a market already awash with crossover clones. But, with this Formentor, they've very nearly managed it. And this car certainly adds up in e-Hybrid guise. It looks distinctive, it drives well and the cabin is classily trimmed - lighting up beautifully at night. Plus there's all the kudos of owning a performance brand none of your friends will have heard of, yet a car with a completely proven set of underpinnings which in the case of this PHEV, promise the prospect of rare filling station visits. The e-Hybrid hardware adds a bit of extra weight, but unless you're really throwing the thing around, you won't really notice that. What you will notice is that this car has real character and identity. With this car, the whole 'Iberian Alfa Romeo' thing finally starts to make some sort of sense.

  • Rear wash/wipe
  • Electric front/rear windows
  • Tinted rear windows
  • Rain sensing wipers

  • Brake control system - ESC and brake booster
  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Hill hold control
  • Anti-lock brake system

  • Standard suspension

  • Wireless apple carplay

  • Driving profile selection
  • Predictive adaptive cruise control with speed limiter
  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking
  • Power assisted steering
  • Driver alert system
  • Rear parking sensors

  • Start/stop system with regenerative braking

  • RPM, trip computer, outside temp gauge, instrument light brightness, low fuel warning light, lights on reminder, gearshift indicator
  • Service interval indicator
  • Digital cockpit and configurable dashboard
  • 2 front and 2 rear USB type C sockets

  • Dark grey wing mirror
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors

  • Copper and aluminium interior detailing

  • Mode 3 charging cable

  • DAB radio

  • Gloss black roof rails and window surrounds
  • Rear diffuser with black simulated exhaust pipes
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Body colour door handles

  • Front fog lamps with cornering function
  • LED Headlights
  • LED Taillights with dynamic indicator
  • Welcome lights
  • Daytime running light with automatic headlight control and coming home feature
  • Dynamic headlight range control

  • Three zone climate control with control panel in rear
  • Dust/pollen filter

  • 12V socket
  • Breakdown kit
  • Front centre armrest
  • Height/reach adjust steering wheel
  • Black headlining
  • Leather multi function steering wheel with gear shift paddles
  • Illuminated interior front door sills
  • PVC/Cloth upholstery with copper stitching + Sport seats

  • Interior ambient lighting
  • 2 front and 2 rear reading lights
  • Wraparound lighting

  • Navigation system pack - Formentor

  • Driver and front passenger airbags with front passenger airbag de-activation
  • Front side curtain airbags
  • Seat belt reminder for front and rear seats
  • 3 point seatbelts on all rear seats
  • Child proof door locks
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system

  • Isofix
  • Front and rear head restraints
  • 60/40 split rear bench seat with armrest and mechanical seat release
  • Manually adjustable height and lumbar support for front seats

  • Wireless phone charger
  • Locking wheel bolts
  • Anti theft alarm system
  • Keyless entry and start system (KESSY)

  • Electronic locking differential and dynamic traction support

  • Illuminated sunvisor with mirror

  • Emergency tyre repair kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 300
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 213
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 3.6
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 12.8
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - Min: 14.7
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - Max: 15.7
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 59
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min: 59
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max: 53
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb: 14.8
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - Max: 4
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - Min: 4.2
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4.2
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 37
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 33
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 37

  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • NOx: 0.01
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Low: 167
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Medium: 113
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - High: 113
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Extra High: 140
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 27
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 27
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 32

  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 74.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 80
  • CC: 1395
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 10.0 : 1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 6 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False

  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low: 37.7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium: 56.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High: 56.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High: 45.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb: 49.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low: 7.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium: 5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High: 5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 1.2
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 1.4
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min: 235.4
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max: 201.8

  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: V1
  • Coin Description: eHybrid
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: N
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: N
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 24P
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 204
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.4
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

  • Engine Power - KW: 150
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 243
  • Engine Torque - NM: 330
  • Engine Power - BHP: 204
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.8
  • Top Speed: 127
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 33.7

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: PERFORMANCE MACHINED SPORT
  • Tyre Size Rear: 245/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 245/45 R18

  • Length: 4450
  • Width: 1839
  • Wheelbase: 2680
  • Height: 1510
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1681
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2120
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 40
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1700
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 439

  • Lane assist: Included

  • Panoramic sunroof: £1,165
  • Special matt paint: £1,800
  • Premium metallic paint: £800
  • Metallic paint: £555
  • Solid paint: Included

  • Safety and driving pack (M) - Formentor: Included
  • Safety and driving pack (XL) - Formentor: £575

  • Metallic - Magnetic tech: £555
  • Metallic - Midnight black: £555
  • Metallic - Urban silver: £555

  • Solid - White: £0

  • Premium metallic - Desire red: £800
  • Premium metallic - Graphene grey: £800
  • Premium metallic - Dark camouflage: £800
  • Special matt - Magnetic tech: £1,800
  • Special matt - Petrol blue: £1,800

  • Extended safety system - seat belt tensioner, window closure and hazard lights: £135

  • Tow bar pre-installation with hook: £710
  • Tow bar pre-installation: £135

  • PVC/Cloth - Black with copper stitching + sport seat: £0

  • 18" Performance Machined sport black and silver alloy wheels with 96W tyres: Included
  • 18" Performance 38/2 Machined alloy wheels in sport matte black/silver: £180

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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