Cupra Formentor long-term test: report 2

The Cupra Formentor is great to drive and striking to look at, but how easy is it to live with? That’s what we’ll be exploring over the next few months...

Cupra Formentor Rear

The car Cupra Formentor 2.0 TSI 310 4Drive DSG VZ2 Run by Neil Winn, hubs editor

Why it’s here To find out if a sports SUV makes for a better day-to-day companion than a traditional hot hatch

Needs to Offer the driver both thrilling performance and impressive levels of practicality 

Mileage 1753 List price £39,870 Target Price £39,292 Price as tested £40,670 Official economy 33.2mpg Test economy 29.9mpg 

27 May 2021 – Limbering up 

Contrary to popular belief, most new cars don't require running-in, with the process taking place on a 'bench' at the factory. However, as a motorcyclist, I’ve had it drilled into me that you should always take it easy for the first few hundred miles, to give the engine time to bed in before it's put under stress. It’s actually become something of a habit, so my first few hundred miles in the Cupra Formentor have been rather sedate.

Now, this might sound like a rather painful process, especially with the temptation of having 306bhp under your right foot, but it’s actually given me time to assess the Formentor as an SUV, and initial impressions are overwhelmingly positive.

Cupra Formentor LT NW Side Profile

The roads on my local commute are in a pretty dire state of repair, but with the Formentor’s standard-fit adaptive dampers in Comfort mode, it does a truly fantastic job of soaking up the long stretches of battered bitumen. And because its driving position is uncharacteristically low for an SUV (something that I actually see as a benefit) you never find your head being tossed from side to side like a pendulum as you drive along uneven roads – an effect that is rather pronounced in SUVs like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and BMW X3 M40i

Even its aggressive-looking one-piece bucket seats are surprisingly comfortable, with their wide range of adjustment and standard-fit lumbar support helping me fend off back pain on longer journeys.

Talking of longer journeys, at motorway speeds the Formentor is capable of returning around 35-36mpg, which I reckon is completely acceptable considering the performance on offer. However, if most of your journeys take place in a city, fuel consumption tends to hover around 20-26mpg – I’ve even seen it drop as low as 17mpg. That’s meant I’ve been spending a little more time at petrol stations than I first expected. 

Cupra Formentor Shell Garage LT NW

With a trip planned to Scotland next month that will take in some of the country’s best driving roads, I doubt the fuel economy will improve, but I reckon the bills will be worth it as I’ll finally be able to explore the Formentor’s performance in an appropriate environment. And just think of the Shell Points ...

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