2024 Cupra Tavascan review – read our verdict on sporty new electric SUV

The Cupra Tavascan is the brand’s first electric SUV and second electric car after the Born. We’ve been for a test drive to see how it stacks up...

Cupra Tavascan front left driving

On sale: October 2024 (est) | Price: From £47,300

Much like TikTok or white Veja trainers, electric SUVs have rapidly grown in popularity in a very short period of time. So you might not be too surprised there's a new one to add to the growing list – the Cupra Tavascan.

The Tavascan is Cupra’s first electric SUV and second electric car after the Cupra Born. Like its smaller sibling, it shares its underpinnings with other Volkswagen Group models, including the similarly sleek Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, Skoda Enyaq Coupé and VW ID 5.

From a design perspective, you wouldn’t know the four models are related because the Tavascan has its own striking look. The front end is aggressively styled with a heavily sculpted bonnet and triangular LED headlights. The high window line around the side of the car gives it a strong stance, as does the full-width LED tail light at the rear, where there's an illuminated Cupra logo.

Cupra Tavascan driving side 2024

As is the way with the sporty Spanish brand, this isn’t just a simple reskin of the ID 5 – the Tavascan has been engineered to offer a more engaging driving experience, with a particular emphasis on the power delivery, suspension and steering.

What's the Cupra Tavascan like to drive?

There are two versions of the Tavascan to choose from: a 282bhp single motor, rear-wheel-drive car called the Endurance and a 335bhp dual-motor, four-wheel-drive car called the VZ.

Both versions are powered by a 77kWh (usable) battery that delivers an official range of 353 miles for the Endurance and 324 miles for the VZ. The Kia EV6 and Tesla Model Y officially deliver 328 miles and 283 miles respectively in rear-wheel-drive form, so the Tavascan is in a strong position to compete on range.

George Hill driving Cupra Tavascan

When it comes to charging, both versions have a maximum charge rate of 135kW. That might not sound like much compared with the Model Y (170-210kW), but it still delivers a similar 10-80% top-up time of around 30 minutes.

So far, we’ve driven the Tavascan VZ. Despite its sporty intentions and official 0-62mph time of 5.5 seconds, its power delivery is smooth and it doesn’t push you into your seat as aggressively as a Model Y Performance does.

The meaty accelerator pedal makes it easy to modulate your inputs, but sadly the same can't be said for the brake pedal. It's less noticeable when slowing down from higher speeds, but the inconsistent response makes the brakes feel grabby around town. 

Cupra Tavascan rear left driving

Thankfully, you can mitigate some of that by using the regenerative braking system. However, it's not strong enough to bring the car to a stop when you set it to the strongest of its four settings.

The light and direct steering makes this big car easy to place on the road, while switching to a sportier drive mode adds a little more weight to help inspire more confidence when turning in to corners. Speaking of which, there are five modes to choose from: Range (Eco), Comfort, Performance, Cupra and Individual.

Our car was fitted with the optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system, which allows you to adjust the softness of the adaptive suspension via the driving modes to better suit the road surface you’re on.

Cupra Tavascan rear cornering

On the motorway, the Tavascan is more pleasant to travel in than its sporty looks might suggest. The ride is on the firm side, but that optional adaptive suspension does soak up imperfections well enough – even with the enormous 21in wheels fitted to our test car. We suspect it will be more supple with the 19in wheels on the entry-level Endurance version.

So, is it sporty? Well, not as much as Cupra would lead you to think, because the Tavascan is a big 2.3-tonne electric SUV. However, it does control its weight well enough, and body lean is kept mostly in check. It’s certainly much neater than the ID 5 and Volvo EC40 in this area.

What's the Cupra Tavascan like inside?

In short, very minimalist. The majority of the car’s functions are operated via the central 15in touchscreen, which houses Cupra’s latest infotainment system. Thankfully, it’s quick to respond and easy to use, with a simple layout and crisp graphics.

Cupra Tavascan interior 2024

If you like physical buttons, you might not get on too well with the Tavascan’s interior. Only three are visible directly in front of you: the two circular drive mode buttons on the steering wheel and the hazard warning light switch. Otherwise, there are the fiddly touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel, and sliders below the infotainment screen for the climate and volume controls, which are difficult to use while driving and not that responsive.

On the plus side, the minimalism does free up a lot of storage space. The design is very slick, with a large central "spine" acting as a bridge between the centre console and dashboard.

Build quality is mostly good, with an interesting use of a neoprene-like material and copper-coloured plastic on the dashboard, centre console and doors.

Cupra Tavascan rear seats 2024

Despite the sloping roofline, there’s plenty of head and leg room up front for the driver and front passenger, and there’s plenty of the same in the back, too – even for those over 6ft tall. A flat floor helps with matters further for a middle rear passenger, offering plenty of foot space.

It’s a similar story in the boot, because there’s a large cargo area with a flat, adjustable boot floor. In total, there’s 540 litres of space, which is similar to the Peugeot e-3008 but less than a Model Y. Unlike the e-3008, the rear seats only fold in a 60/40 split (as opposed to 40/20/40), but there is a small central ski hatch for carrying longer items.

Cupra Tavascan boot space 2024

Our verdict on the Cupra Tavascan

The Tavascan is a good addition to the electric SUV class. It offers far more dynamic and visual appeal than the closely-related Audi Q4 and VW ID 5, plus it remains quiet and comfortable to drive for everyday use – even in dual-motor, VZ form.

Despite that, we suspect the rear-wheel drive Endurance model will be the version to go for. It has a slightly longer range than the VZ, plus it will be cheaper to buy.

What Car? rating  4 stars out of 5

Cupra Tavascan VZ price and specs

Price £57,000 (est) Engine Two electric motors Power 335bhp Torque 402lb ft Gearbox 1-spd automatic, 4WD Battery size 77kWh (usable) 0-62mph 5.5sec Top speed 112mph Range 324 miles CO2/tax 0g/km, 2%

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Read more: All the electric cars coming soon

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