The interior layout, fit and finish
The Formentor’s driving position is fundamentally sound. The pedals line up neatly with the steering wheel and driver’s seat is comfy on long journeys and supportive through corners – the heavily bolstered bucket seats fitted to our car are standard from V2 trim.
The smart digital dials are standard on all versions and great. They show lots of useful information, as well as frivolous things like g-force readings, and they can be set up in a number of different styles. It’s a bit annoying, though, that after choosing a style other than the default one, every time you turn off the lane-keeping assistance, which you do from the instrument’s menu, the dials change back to that default arrangement.
Our other complaint is that the Formentor doesn’t have proper buttons and switches on its dashboard – the Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen T-Roc R do, and they’re much easier to find while you’re on the move. Instead the Formentor has touch-sensitive pads, which you can’t find by feel, so you have to look away from the road to check you’re not just pressing a random bit of the dashboard. That’s distracting at 30mph, let alone 70mph.
The Formentor has reasonably thin windscreen pillars, so forward visibility is fine, but its chunky rear pillars can make reversing trickier than it is in some rivals. Front and rear parking sensors will be standard and a rear-view camera is added from V2 trim. LED headlights will be standard on all trims, with the option to upgrade them to Matrix adaptive LEDs that can stay on main beam without blinding other road users.
The infotainment system includes a big, 12.0in touchscreen, sat-nav, a DAB radio, four USB ports, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. The screen is bright and clear and the operating system is responsive, although it takes a good twenty minutes of playing with the menus to grasp their slightly odd arrangement. The best system in the class is the BMW X2 M35i’s iDrive system, which has brilliant software and a rotary controller that makes operating it a cinch.
You also get a natural voice control function with the Formentor. To wake it up, holler “Hola, Hola”, and then things like “I’m hot” and it’ll turn up the heater. It doesn’t always work, though, and talking to it in such colloquial terms might make your passengers think you’ve gone nuts.
Inside is where the Formentor really trumps its key rivals, including the in-house Ateca, but even more so the plasticky interior of the T-Roc R. Not only is the Formentor’s interior strikingly similar to the dramatic-looking Lamborghini Urus’s, but it’s also solidly made and plush, with squidgy, dense-feeling plastic on the top of the dashboard and lots of Cupra flourishes dotted about, including the brand’s copper and carbon signatures. It still doesn’t feel quite as premium as the X2 M35i, but that’s to be expected as it’s not as expensive.
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