New Cupra Formentor and Volvo XC40 hybrids vs BMW X1 25e: verdict

A plug-in hybrid SUV could make a lot of sense for families with an eye on running costs. Let’s see who makes the best one: BMW, Cupra or Volvo...

BMW X1 vs Cupra Formentor vs Volvo XC40 rears

Our verdict

A last-place finish for the Formentor might lead you to think that it’s a bit of a disappointment – but there are mitigating factors. Firstly, this is the least recommendable model in the line-up, with the heavy battery blunting the tidy handling you can enjoy in pure petrol versions. Secondly, it loses out to a couple of very fine premium alternatives, and there’s no shame in that.

The X1 has always offered practicality in spades, plus it has a classy interior and a brilliant infotainment system. Excellent performance and handling that’s only slightly compromised compared with regular petrol versions also count in its favour.

It doesn’t do quite enough to see off the XC40, though. This is a car that, appropriately, focuses more on comfort than either rival, and it outdoes even the X1 for practicality and interior quality. No, it isn’t particularly speedy and it’ll cost you a little extra in BIK tax if you’re a company car driver, but in other respects it’s actually the cheapest choice.

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1st – Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 Recharge T4 2021 front pan

For Comfiest ride; quietest at speed; strong safety score; best interior quality; cheapest to buy and run privately; most practical boot
Against Not much fun to drive; rear visibility could be better; shortest electric range; most expensive company car Recommended options Versatility Pack (£475)

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

Read our full Volvo XC40 review >>

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2nd – BMW X1

BMW X1 xDrive25e 2021 front pan

For Strong performance; sharp handling; well-finished, practical and user-friendly interior
Against Firm ride; tight rear head room; thirstiest when battery is flat; pricest to buy on PCP finance
Recommended options Comfort Pack 2 (£1000), lumbar adjustment (£230)

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read our full BMW X1 review >>

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3rd – Cupra Formentor

Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid 245 2021 front pan

For Quick; really well equipped; strong safety score; best electric range; cheapest company car
Against Very low driving position for an SUV; so-so handling; least rear space; smallest boot; high finance costs
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 3 stars out of 5

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Specifications: Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid 245 VZ2

Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid 245 2021 side

Engine 4cyl, 1395cc, turbo, petrol, plus electric motor
Peak power 242bhp (combined)
Peak torque 184lb ft @ 1550-3500rpm (petrol engine only)
Gearbox 6-spd automatic
0-60mph 6.1sec
30-70mph 5.0sec
Top speed 130mph
30-0mph 8.0m
70-0mph 44.1m
Noise @ 30mph 61.0dB
Noise @ 70mph 67.8dB
Kerb weight 1704kg
Wheels/tyres (std) 245/40 R19
Fuel tank 40 litres
Official economy 188.3mpg
Test economy 41.5mpg (with battery depleted)
Official electric range 34 miles
Test electric range 24.0 miles
Battery capacity 12.8kWh
Peak charging rate 3.6kW
Charging time 3hr 20min (0-100%)
CO2 emissions 33g/km

Specifications: Volvo XC40 Recharge T4 R-Design

Volvo XC40 Recharge T4 2021 steering wheel

Engine 3cyl, 1477cc, turbo, petrol, plus electric motor
Peak power 127bhp (petrol), 81bhp (electic)
Peak torque 181lb ft @ 1600-3000rpm (petrol engine only)
Gearbox 7-spd automatic
0-60mph 7.5sec
30-70mph 6.9sec
Top speed 112mph
30-0mph 8.6m
70-0mph 47.3m
Noise @ 30mph 61.0dB
Noise @ 70mph 66.2dB
Kerb weight 1812kg
Wheels/tyres (std) 235/55 R18
Fuel tank 48 litres
Official economy 134.5mpg
Test economy 45.9mpg (with battery depleted)
Official electric range 28 miles
Test electric range 20.4 miles
Battery capacity 10.7kWh
Peak charging rate 3.7kW
Charging time 3hr (0-100%)
CO2 emissions 47g/km

Specifications: BMW X1 xDrive25e M Sport

BMW X1 xDrive25e 2021 steering wheel

Engine 3cyl, 1499cc, turbo, petrol, plus electric motor
Peak power 217bhp (combined)
Peak torque 162lb ft @ 1500-3800rpm (petrol engine only)
Gearbox 8-spd automatic
0-60mph 6.0sec
30-70mph 5.7sec
Top speed 120mph
30-0mph 9.1m
70-0mph 49.5m
Noise @ 30mph 64.8dB
Noise @ 70mph 66.7dB
Kerb weight 1820kg
Wheels/tyres (std) 225/50 R18
Fuel tank 36 litres
Official economy 156.9mpg
Test economy 35.4mpg (with battery depleted)
Official electric range 32 miles
Test electric range 21.8 miles
Battery capacity 10kWh
Peak charging rate 3.7kW
Charging time 3hr 12min (0-100%)
CO2 emissions 42g/km

Cars pictured

Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid 245 VZ2 with Magnetic Grey metallic paint (£555)

Volvo XC40 Recharge T4 R-Design with Fusion Red metallic paint (£585)

BMW X1 xDrive25e M Sport with Mineral White metallic paint (£560)

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