Cupra Formentor review

Category: Coupe SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol, hybrid
Available colours:
Cupra Formentor 2021 infotainment screen
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RRP £27,400What Car? Target Price from£26,993
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Cupra Formentor 2021 infotainment screen

If you're after a fast sports SUV, you'll find that the Cupra Formentor 2.0 TSI 310 4Drive is cheaper than the BMW X2 M35i but costs slightly more than the Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen T-Roc R. Other versions of the Formentor are significantly cheaper, though, including our favourite 1.5 TSI 150, which compares well with regular versions of the X2 and the Toyota C-HR.

Strong predicted resale values result in competitive PCP costs, but do check the latest deals on our New Car Buying service. The 1.5 TSI is an efficient engine and officially will average nearly 45mpg. The 1.4 TSI 2o4 e-Hybrid and 245 e-Hybrid have the potential to save you a lot of money in fuel if you can keep the battery charged regularly (this takes three and a half hours from 0-100%). 

Company car drivers can profit hugely from the plug-in hybrid benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax breaks. It makes the e-Hybrids a lot cheaper on BIK than a regular petrol or diesel, or a non-plug-in hybrid like the C-HR. 

What about equipment? Well, there's really no need for anything beyond the entry-level V1 trim, because that's stacked with toys. We've already mentioned some, such as the parking aids and the infotainment gadgets, but other niceties include 18in alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, privacy glass, power-folding door mirrors, three-zone climate control, keyless entry and adaptive cruise control.

VZ1 is the automatic upgrade if you go for one of the more powerful engines (242bhp or 306bhp), which adds 19in alloys and a powered tailgate with gesture control.

V2 and VZ2 add nappa leather bucket seats, 19in alloys and heated front seats, while VZ3 is reserved solely for the TSI 310 and throws in bigger Brembo brakes.

Seat’s reliability record is fair to middling; this is relevant, given that Cupra is a Seat offshoot. In the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, it finished in 19th position (out of 31), just above Volkswagen but some way below BMW and Skoda.

The Formentor has been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but under stricter guidelines than older rivals, making it impossible to compare with them directly. It proved to be very good at protecting adults and children, so it's a safe bet.

As you’d expect, automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane assist and traffic sign recognition are standard, and blindspot monitoring is added from VZ1 trim up.

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Overview

The Cupra Formentor is slightly more expensive and a bit less practical than the Seat Ateca on which it's based. However, in exchange, it offers sharp coupé SUV looks and a smarter interior. It'll still seat four tall adults ably and has a decent boot, so it's not impractical, it handles well and, if you stick with our favourite 1.5 TSI V1 version, it's hardly expensive and yet very well equipped.

  • Very well equipped
  • Surefooted and grippy handling
  • Smart interior for the money
  • Not the quietest car at 70mph
  • Not quite as practical as some of the less styalised family SUVs
  • Fiddly dashboard controls

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