In-depth reviews

Cupra Formentor review

The Cupra Formentor is a sporty coupe-SUV that has enough talent to mix it with more established, premium rivals

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

  • Stylish design
  • Can be fast or economical
  • High-tech interior
  • Cupra mode too firm
  • Small boot for hybrid models
  • Average warranty

The Formentor is where the Cupra brand and its tribal tattoo logo come into their own. It’s sleek, stylish, sporty and very well-equipped, not to mention practical enough for a family. The excellent driving experience is complemented by a wide range of engines, while the plug-in hybrid models make a compelling case for business users.

It’s not perfect - the entry-level models feel a little at odds with the brand’s sporty ethos and some of the interior trim perhaps isn’t up to par, but the Cupra Formentor SUV manages to be a desirable and premium product, and it’s worth a place on your shortlist if you’re also looking at cars like the Mercedes GLA and Range Rover Evoque.

About the Cupra Formentor

The Cupra Formentor is the first model that’s exclusive to the brand, rather than being a hotted-up version of an existing SEAT. It’s Cupra’s first stepping stone to having its own identity, but the Formentor is still heavily influenced by other SEAT models - and the bigger Volkswagen Group empire.

That’s not a bad thing for the most part, as we like the latest SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf. Our criticisms of the Leon are that it’s not particularly exciting to look at and doesn’t have a massive boot, but the Formentor addresses both of those with cool copper styling touches and a bigger SUV-ish body.

The Formentor slots between the Cupra Leon and the Cupra Ateca, and we’d argue its sleek looks suit the X-shaped Cupra badge better than the square Ateca. As mentioned above, key rivals come from upmarket manufacturers such as Mercedes with its GLA small SUV, Range Rover’s Evoque and the high-quality BMW X2. All trade heavily on their individual kerb appeal, so the Formentor will have its work cut out luring customers away from these established marques.

While the Cupra Ateca only comes with one brawny petrol engine, the Formentor engine range is a lot broader. The range-topping 306bhp 2.0-litre petrol is joined by two plug-in hybrids, two more 2.0-litre petrols and even an entry-level 1.5-litre petrol. That means the starting price is much lower than the Cupra Ateca, but we wonder if the 148bhp entry point dilutes the Cupra branding and positioning a little.

You might see it as a good-value way into Cupra ownership, and all are great to drive and offer at least decent performance. There’s plenty to like inside as well, with a digital dashboard and a 12-inch sat nav screen coming as standard. In fact, standard equipment is very generous, with all cars getting adaptive cruise control, LED lights all-round, high-beam assist and wireless Apple CarPlay.

With a much lower roofline than the Ateca, the Formentor can’t match that car for headroom. The Formentor is quite long though, so it’s still a practical car with lots of space in the back and a boot measuring up to 450 litres.

Most Popular

New Dacia Duster facelift priced from £13,995
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift priced from £13,995

The Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
2 Aug 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
'Formula E could be on course for victory in its battle with F1'
Formula E opinion

'Formula E could be on course for victory in its battle with F1'

Mike Rutherford thinks there can only be one winner out of Formula One and Formula E
1 Aug 2021