New DS 4 vs Audi Q3 vs Cupra Formentor: practicality

With names like E-Tense, TFSIe and eHybrid, these SUVs are eager to promote their electrification and efficiency. But which one’s the boss?...

New DS 4 rear space

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

The DS 4 has the least head room of our trio by quite some margin, but in reality, unless you’re way beyond six feet tall, you’ll fit just fine in the front of all three. Oddment storage is impressive, too, with each car having lots of cubbies, including a useful tray in front of the gear selector that’s large enough for a wallet, keys and your favourite chocolate bar. This tray is covered in the DS 4.

As for the rear seats, the DS 4 is quickly relegated to last place. Access is awkward, because the narrow footwells trap your feet, and those approaching six feet will find their knees rubbing on the backs of the front seats. With those shallow rear windows and the narrowest interior, the DS 4 also feels rather claustrophobic next to its rivals.

Audi Q3 rear space

The other two have plenty of head and leg room, but the Audi Q3 offers up some key advantages with more supportive rear seats (the Cupra Formentor’s lack adequate under-thigh support) and a broader interior; this makes it the best for carrying three in the back. The Q3’s second row can also be slid fore and aft to vary leg room or boot space as required, and the seatbacks can be reclined, allowing passengers to stretch out a little.

The Q3’s rear bench splits in a 40/20/40 ratio as standard, giving you the option of slotting something long and thin, such as a pair of skis or a golf bag, through the middle while still carrying a rear passenger on either side. The Formentor and DS 4 have to make do with a more traditional 60/40 split, but they do get ski hatches, so don’t go cancelling your trip to the Alps just yet.

Cupra Formentor rear space

But what about the boots themselves? Well, the Q3 has the most usable space, the largest aperture and virtually no lip at the entrance to heave bulky items over; its boot can swallow six carry-on suitcases beneath its parcel shelf – one more than its rivals can accept.

The Formentor and especially the DS 4 have larger load lips to contend with, while the latter has the narrowest boot opening; these things can make loading and unloading items a bit of a challenge. The Q3 and Formentor come with electric tailgates (an £850 option on the DS 4, as part of a Comfort Pack that also adds a 360-degree camera), but only the DS 4 gets an underfloor storage area large enough to carry charging cables.

Boot space

DS 4 

New DS 4 boot space

Boot 390-1190 litres Suitcases 5

Audi Q3

Audi Q3 boot space

Boot 380-1375 litres Suitcases 6

Cupra Formentor

Cupra Formentor boot space

Boot 345-1415 litres Suitcases 5

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