Cupra Formentor 1.5 TSI 150 V2 5dr DSG

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 40.4 mpg
  • 5 door suv
  • 157 g/km CO2
  • 157 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 40.4 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 8.9 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 150 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

The CUPRA performance brand's first bespoke model was this one, the Formentor, a lively Spanish take on the mid-sized performance SUV concept. It's now been usefully improved.

Background

When in 2018, Spanish maker SEAT announced that CUPRA would become a stand-alone brand, we were first served up merely a performance variant of the Iberian maker's Ateca Crossover. This Formentor model in contrast, launched in 2021, was a completely new design - well almost anyway. It did share a platform and some mechanicals with the Ateca, but everything else felt much more bespoke. Now, SEAT wants CUPRA to mean more, creating, in its words, 'a range of unique, sophisticated performance models designed to captivate car enthusiasts.' The idea here, says the company, is 'to create cars not founded in nostalgia but rooted in the present'. Presumably, that's meant to be a dig at directly competing brands like Alfa Romeo and MINI, both of which produce products this Formentor model sets out to directly target: namely, quick, charismatic petrol-powered mid-sized SUVs, cars that offer a lot of what you get in, say, a Porsche Macan for a great deal less money. Is that what we've got here, with this revised Formentor model launched in Summer 2024? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

It should be no surprise given CUPRA's mantra as a performance brand that drive dynamics are the Formentor's main focus. For this updated model, the brand claims to have tuned this car for an even sportier dynamic character. And the top 2.0-litre turbo model gets 23PS more power (333PS) and sees the previous Haldex differential swapped for a torque-splitter with a multi-plate clutch at either end of the driveshaft to vary power delivery across the rear axle. There's an entry-level front driven 1.5-litre TSI 150PS variant too, but if budget permits, a better choice for efficiency would be one of the two front-driven e-Hybrid PHEV plug-in derivatives, both now usefully improved and offering either 204 or 272PS. In both cases, a 150PS 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine is mated to a 6-speed DSG auto gearbox and an 85kW electric motor powered by a now-larger 19.7kWh lithium-ion battery with a WLTP-rated all-electric driving range now quoted at 62 miles - nearly double that of the previous 13.0kWh version of this model. The top 2.0-litre turbo version, like other Volkswagen Group models using this 333PS unit, gets 4-wheel drive and adaptive damping as part of a very accomplished package. 62mph from rest here takes well over 5s and drive is via the usual VW Group 7-speed dual-clutch paddleshift auto gearbox. And there are five selectable drive mode settings - 'Comfort', 'Off Road', 'Sport' and rorty 'CUPRA', with an extra 'Individual' menu if you want to set your own parameters. Handling through the turns is accomplished, thanks to the 4Drive electro-hydraulic multi-disc system's reassuring levels of traction, its software constantly monitoring numerous sources - steering angle, wheel speed, the yaw of the vehicle and road conditions in real time - so as to always deliver power to the wheels with most traction.

Design and Build

As with the latest CUPRA Leon, this updated Formentor gets the brand's latest 'shark nose' front end that sees the car gain a boader grille and triangular-shaped LED headlights. The rear CUPRA badge is now illuminated. As before, the Formentor sits a little lower than most other performance SUVs and Crossovers. In fact, it's a full 150mm lower than the Ateca that it is based on and only 50mm higher than the CUPRA Leon hatchback. In terms of size, think Volvo XC40 or Audi Q3, but it has more pavement presence than either of those two cars, the design emphasis being on a long bonnet, which coupled with the lower height, gives the car a very dynamic appearance - and one that is completely distinctive. Inside, the main change with this updated model is the adoption of a larger 12.9-inch central touchscreen which runs new operating software. The touch-sensitive slider controls for temperature and volume are now back-lit too. And the cabin materials are more environmentally-conscious; the cloth upholstery on the optional bucket seats is, for instance, now made from a 73% vegan textile. As before, there's lots of brushed, dark aluminium with copper accents. And a fully-customisable 10-inch digital instrument binnacle; sitting behind a flat-bottomed steering wheel that houses both the engine start button and the 'CUPRA' driving mode buttons. There's the usual stubby VW Group auto gear lever. And a lovely orange LED strip that circumnavigates the top of the dash, flowing into the doors. The rear seat could comfortably take a couple of adults - but three would be tight. And out back, there's a competitively-sized 420-litre boot in the conventionally-engined models. It's 345-litres in the e-Hybrid version.

Market and Model

You'll probably need a budget starting at well over £33,000, even for the entry-level 1.5-litre TSI model. Lesser variants have 'V1' and 'V2' trim options. The e-Hybrid model starts from around £43,000 and comes with most of the available trim levels. The top 333PS 2.0 TSI 4Drive flagship version sticks with the top 'VZ2', 'VZ3' and 'VZN' trim options, and prices from just over £45,000. The name VZ comes from the word 'Veloz' in Spanish, translating as 'Speed' or 'Fast'. Even with base 'V1' trim, customers get quite a lot: 18-inch alloy wheels, a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen with connected navigation, a 10-inch digital driver binnacle, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, Adaptive Cruise Control, a wireless smartphone charger, a leather steering wheel and rear parking sensors. With the 'VZ2', you also get 19-inch wheels, a powered tailgate, a heated steering wheel and a rear view camera. From 'VZ2' trim upwards, there's leather upholstery, powered front bucket seats, leather trim for the dash and doors. There's also a 'Safety and Driving Pack', which gives you Dynamic road sign display, High Beam Assist, Side Assist (effectively a blind spot monitor), Exit Assist (offering audible and visual warnings of approaching traffic when opening doors), Lane Change Assist and Emergency Assist. The 'VZ3' adds 19-inch 'Exclusive' copper/black alloy wheels and Brembo brakes.

Cost of Ownership

The next generation Formentor will be an EV. For the time being though, if you really care about efficiency in a Performance SUV and want this CUPRA, then it's to the 'e-HYBRID' Formentor models you'll be looking. We already mentioned that these now offer a much-improved electric-only range of 62 miles on the WLTP cycle. Powering a PHEV CUPRA Formentor up from a domestic socket would take around five hours, but using a garage wallbox, you'll be able to reduce your charging time period to around three and a half hours. At the other end of the scale sit the 2.0 TSI 333PS 4Drive versions of this car with their DSG auto transmission. These return just over 30mpg on the combined cycle and just under 200g/km of CO2. The base 1.5 TSI version manages up to 44.8mpg and 143g/km in manual form. Less impressive is the three year/60,000 mile warranty cover. The paintwork warranty lasts for three years and, as you'd expect, this car is protected by a 12-year anti-corrosion package. The Formentor e-HYBRID has a separate eight year battery warranty, which also covers the battery for up to 100,000 miles. For insurance purposes, Thatcham rate the 2.0 TSI DSG-auto 4Drive 333 model in group 33P.

Summary

With this Formentor, the story of the CUPRA brand began in earnest. It's difficult to forge your own identity when you've spent most of your time helping to define performance models from another brand, in this case SEAT. But with this car, the whole 'Iberian Alfa Romeo' thing started to make some sort of sense. After all, the Formentor is (potentially) fast, practical, interesting to look at and you might even think it to be a touch exotic, especially in this usefully updated form. Whether you actually get what's been promised here - essentially a Porsche Macan, a BMW X4 or a Mercedes GLC Coupe distilled down into something more affordable - is a judgement you might actually rather enjoy making. We're not quite convinced, but we have seen enough to feel hopeful about the CUPRA brand's future. Can there really be 'latin spirit in every one'? If the marque can continue to deliver that, there's a place for it in the market.

  • Start/stop system with regenerative braking
  • Wireless phone charger
  • 2 front and 2 rear USB type C sockets
  • Auxiliary input socket
  • DAB radio
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Gloss black roof rails and window surrounds
  • Rear diffuser with black simulated exhaust pipes
  • Rear side wing doors
  • 12v power supply in centre console
  • 12V socket
  • 12v socket in loadspace
  • 230V socket
  • Black headlining
  • Front centre armrest
  • Height/reach adjust steering wheel
  • Illuminated interior front door sills
  • Leather multi function heated steering wheel with gear shift paddles
  • Luggage tie-down hooks
  • Variable luggage/load compartment floor
  • Genuine Nappa leather Pack - Cupra
  • 3 point seatbelts on all rear seats
  • Child proof door locks
  • Driver and front passenger airbags with front passenger airbag de-activation
  • Front side curtain airbags
  • Public e-call
  • Seat belt reminder for front and rear seats
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Anti theft alarm system
  • Keyless entry and start system (KESSY)
  • Locking wheel bolts
  • HC+NOx: N
  • NOx: 0.014
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 157
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 163
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 157
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 163
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 136
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 200
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 154
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1498
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 74.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 85.9
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 8.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 6.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 40.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 39.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 40.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 39.2
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 47.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 31.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 41.5
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Badge Power: 150
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: TSI
  • Coin Series: V2
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 20E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 93
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 88
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 68
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 80
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 90000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.9
  • Engine Power - BHP: 150
  • Engine Power - KW: 110
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 184
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 25.5
  • Engine Torque - NM: 250
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Top Speed: 126
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 245/40 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 245/40 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: EXCLUSIVE MACHINED SPORT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Height: 1520
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4446
  • Wheelbase: 2679
  • Width: 1839
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 50
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1980
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 450
  • Max. Loading Weight: 597
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1700
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 720
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1383
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.7