CUPRA

CUPRA FORMENTOR ESTATE 1.5 TSI 150 V2 5dr DSG

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph8.9s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2155 g/km

The CUPRA performance brand strikes out on its own with the Formentor, a lively Spanish take on the mid-sized performance SUV concept. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

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The CUPRA performance brand strikes out on its own with the Formentor. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Review

The CUPRA performance brand strikes out on its own with the Formentor, a lively Spanish take on the mid-sized performance SUV concept. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Background

This is more like it. When in 2018, Spanish maker SEAT announced that CUPRA would become a stand-alone brand, we were first served up merely a performance variant of the Iberian maker's Ateca Crossover. This Formentor model, in contrast, is a completely new design - well almost anyway. It does share a platform and some mechanicals with the Ateca, but everything else feels much more bespoke. You'll probably know the 'CUPRA' name, but only as a sporty trim designation that goes back to 1996, since when it's been used on a whole string of SEAT Ibiza and Leon hot hatches. Now, SEAT wants CUPRA to mean more, creating, in its words, 'a range of unique, sophisticated performance models designed to captivate car enthusiasts.' The idea here, says the company, is 'to create cars not founded in nostalgia but rooted in the present'. Presumably, that's meant to be a dig at directly competing brands like Alfa Romeo and MINI, both of which produce products this Formentor model sets out to directly target: namely, quick, charismatic petrol-powered mid-sized SUVs, cars that offer a lot of what you get in, say, a Porsche Macan for a great deal less money. Is that what we've got here? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

It should be no surprise given CUPRA's mantra as a performance brand that drive dynamics are the Formentor's main focus. And it comes well equipped for the task, the fast variant using the Volkswagen Group's 2.0-litre TSI turbo four cylinder engine in its most ballistic state of tune, with 310PS on tap. If you can't quite stretch to that, this same 2.0-litre powerplant comes in two other flavours; one with 190PS and 4-wheel drive, the other with 245PS and front wheel drive. There's an entry-level front driven 1.5-litre TSI 150PS variant too, but if budget permits, a better choice for efficiency would be one of the two front-driven e-Hybrid PHEV plug-in derivatives, offering either 204 or 245PS. In both cases, 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. I tried the 310PS 2.0-litre turbo version, which like other Volkswagen Group models using this unit gets 4-wheel drive and adaptive damping as part of a very accomplished package. 62mph from rest here takes only 4.9s, which is only 0.7s slower than the limited run variant that serves as the Formentor range flagship, the 2.5-litre 390PS left hand drive VZ5 model. Drive is via the usual VW Group 7-speed dual-clutch paddleshift auto gearbox. And there are five selectable drive mode settings - 'Comfort', 'Off Road', 'Sport' and rorty 'CUPRA', with an extra 'Individual' menu if you want to set your own parameters. Handling through the turns is accomplished, thanks to the 4Drive electro-hydraulic multi-disc system's reassuring levels of traction, its software constantly monitoring numerous sources - steering angle, wheel speed, the yaw of the vehicle and road conditions in real time - so as to always deliver power to the wheels with most traction.

Design and Build

The Formentor sits a little lower than most other performance SUVs and Crossovers. In fact, it's a full 150mm lower than the Ateca that it is based on and only 50mm higher than the CUPRA Leon 5 door hatchback. In terms of size, think Volvo XC40 or Audi Q3, but it has more pavement presence than either of those two cars, the design emphasis being on a long bonnet, which coupled with the lower height, gives the car a very dynamic appearance - and one that is completely distinctive. Inside there's lots of brushed, dark aluminium with copper accents and blue leather-trimmed front bucket seats. In the centre of the dash is a large 12-inch touchscreen infotainment screen that allows the usual access to navigation, info and media. It's paired with a fully-customisable 10-inch digital instrument binnacle; sitting behind a flat-bottomed steering wheel that houses both the engine start button and the 'CUPRA' driving mode buttons. There's the usual stubby VW Group auto gear lever. And a lovely orange LED strip that circumnavigates the top of the dash, flowing into the doors. The rear seat could comfortably take a couple of adults - but three would be tight. And out back, there's a competitively-sized 420-litre boot.

Market and Model

You'll probably need a budget starting at well over £27,000, even for the entry-level 1.5-litre TSI model. Lesser variants have 'V1' and 'V2' trim options. The top 310PS 2.0 TSI 4Drive flagship version sticks with the top 'VZ2', 'VZ3' and 'VZ Edition' trim options, and prices from just under £40,000. The name VZ comes from the word 'Veloz' in Spanish, translating as 'Speed' or 'Fast'. Even with base 'V1' trim, customers get quite a lot: 18-inch alloy wheels, a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen with connected navigation, a 10-inch digital driver binnacle, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, Adaptive Cruise Control, a wireless smartphone charger, a leather steering wheel and rear parking sensors. With the 'VZ2', you also get 19-inch wheels, a powered tailgate, a heated steering wheel and a rear view camera. From 'VZ2' trim upwards (which, as we said, means the 310PS 2.0 TSI variants), there's leather upholstery, powered front bucket seats, leather trim for the dash and doors. There's also a 'Safety and Driving Pack', which gives you Dynamic road sign display, High Beam Assist, Side Assist (effectively a blind spot monitor), Exit Assist (offering audible and visual warnings of approaching traffic when opening doors), Lane Change Assist and Emergency Assist. The 'VZ3' adds 19-inch 'Exclusive' copper/black alloy wheels and Brembo brakes.

Cost of Ownership

If you really care about efficiency in a Performance SUV, then it's to the 'e-HYBRID' Formentor models you'll be looking. We already mentioned that these offer an electric only range of 31 miles on the WLTP cycle. Powering a PHEV CUPRA 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. At the other end of the scale sit the 2.0 TSI 310PS 4Drive versions of this car with their DSG auto transmission. These are WLTP-rated at between 31.4mpg and 33.2mpg on the combined cycle and up to 193g/km of CO2. The 1.5 TSI manages up to 44.8mpg and 143g/km in manual form. Less impressive is the three year/60,000 mile warranty cover. The paintwork warranty lasts for three years and, as you'd expect, this car is protected by a 12-year anti-corrosion package. The Formentor e-HYBRID has a separate eight year battery warranty, which also covers the battery for up to 100,000 miles. For insurance purposes, Thatcham rate the 2.0 TSI DSG-auto 4Drive 310 model in group 33P.

Summary

With this Formentor, the story of the CUPRA brand has at last begun in earnest. It's difficult to forge your own identity when you've spent most of your time helping to define performance models from another brand, in this case SEAT. But with this car, the whole 'Iberian Alfa Romeo' thing starts to make some sort of sense. After all, the Formentor is (potentially) fast, practical, interesting to look at and, for the time being anyway, you might even think it to be a touch exotic. Whether you actually get what's been promised here - essentially a Porsche Macan, a BMW X4 or a Mercedes GLC Coupe distilled down into something more affordable - is a judgement you might actually rather enjoy making. We're not quite convinced, but we have seen enough to feel hopeful about the CUPRA brand's future. Can there really be 'latin spirit in every one'? If the marque can deliver that, there's a place for it in the market.

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

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

  • Standard suspension

  • Wireless apple carplay

  • Driving profile selection
  • Predictive adaptive cruise control with speed limiter
  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking
  • Power assisted steering
  • Rear view camera
  • Park assist (inc front/rear parking sensors)
  • Driver alert system

  • Start/stop system with regenerative braking
  • Virtual pedal and electric tailgate

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

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

  • Copper and aluminium interior detailing

  • DAB radio
  • Auxiliary input socket

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

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

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

  • 12v power supply in centre console
  • 12v socket in loadspace
  • Leather multi function steering wheel with gear shift paddles
  • Illuminated interior front door sills
  • Variable luggage/load compartment floor
  • Black headlining
  • Breakdown kit
  • 230V socket
  • Front centre armrest
  • Height/reach adjust steering wheel
  • Luggage tie-down hooks
  • Heated steering wheel

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

  • Genuine Nappa leather Pack - Cupra
  • 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

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

  • Electronic locking differential and dynamic traction support

  • Illuminated sunvisor with mirror

  • 19" Exclusive machined sport matt black and silver alloy wheels with 94W tyres

  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • NOx: 0.014
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 200
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 151
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 133
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 160
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 155
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 163
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 155

  • 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: 10.5:1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 74.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 85.9
  • CC: 1498

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 31.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 42.2
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 39.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 8.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.2

  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 20P
  • 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: 150
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: V2
  • Coin Description: TSI
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: N
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: N

  • Engine Power - KW: 110
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 184
  • Engine Torque - NM: 250
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Engine Power - BHP: 150
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.9
  • Top Speed: 126
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 25.5

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

  • Tyre Size Front: 245/40 R19
  • Wheel Style: EXCLUSIVE MACHINED SPORT
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Tyre Size Rear: 245/40 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY

  • Height: 1520
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4450
  • Width: 1839
  • Wheelbase: 2679

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1388
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1980
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 50
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 450
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1700
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 730
  • Max. Loading Weight: 592
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4

  • 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

  • Geniue nappa leather pack - Black with copper stitching + Cupra embossed logo on headrest: £0
  • Geniue nappa leather pack - Petrol blue with copper stitching + Cupra embossed logo on headrest: £0

  • Emergency tyre repair kit: Included
  • Space saver spare wheel: £120

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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