In-depth reviews

Cupra Formentor review - Interior, design and technology

The Cupra Formentor has a very nice interior, even if a little too much is shared with the cheaper SEAT Leon

The Cupra Formentor is a sharp-looking crossover that’s bound to turn heads - especially with the copper wheels on top-spec VZ3 models. The body creases are defined and there are sharp LED lights at each end. But despite Cupra being a standalone brand these days, there are still crystal-clear links to SEAT. The headlights and grille both come from the SEAT Leon, and even the two cars’ side profiles are strikingly similar. 

We’d like a little more differentiation between the ‘V’ and more powerful ‘VZ’ trim levels - the VZ versions feature a subtle diffuser between the exhausts, but besides that they’re identical.

In terms of pricing, the top-of-the-range Formentor steps on the toes of the Cupra Ateca, but the Formentor looks a lot sleeker in comparison. Inside, the difference is even clearer, as the Formentor has a much more modern and stylish interior than the Ateca. A huge 12-inch touchscreen is perched on top of the dashboard, and most of the climate controls have been migrated onto the screen to give a cleaner look.

There’s also a digital instrument cluster that comes as standard, plus a steering wheel with copper detailing and a carbon fibre-effect centre. The dashboard does enough to lift it above a standard SEAT, and it feels both premium and sporty. Look down and you’ll see a lot of familiar switchgear and the stubby gearlever out of the latest Volkswagen Golf, but overall the interior still feels quite special. There are some cheaper plastics lower down that don’t quite cut the mustard in a £40,000 car, but not half as many as you’d find in the Volkswagen T-Roc R.

Besides the screens, a lot of other equipment is included as standard too - such as keyless entry and start, rain-sensing wipers and 18-inch alloy wheels. DSG-equipped cars also get a heated steering wheel. V2 adds bigger wheels, leather upholstery (heated Nappa bucket seats in the front) and a reversing camera.

Alongside more powerful engines, VZ versions feature dynamic chassis control, drive mode selection and sports suspension, as well as a powered tailgate. VZ2 adds more safety kit, while the VZ3 version brings Brembo brakes.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Impressively, the 12-inch infotainment display comes on every Formentor. The system also encompasses four USB-C ports (two front and two rear), six speakers, Bluetooth and DAB radio. It’s a touchscreen, or you can use voice control or the steering wheel buttons to control the car’s features.

The screen is big enough that two or three information displays can stand side-by-side, and it’s one of the better infotainment systems we’ve tested. It’s just a shame that you need to go into the screen or use the fiddly touch-sensitive sliders to adjust the climate control. They’re not very easy to use, and aren’t illuminated so are hard to see at night.

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