What Car? says...
Cupra Formentor. Now, if you know your cars and you’re thinking “hang on, a performance car with a Spanish name; is it a Lamborghini?” that’s a good guess. But wrong. Yes, Lamborghini does name its cars in Spanish, but Cupra is a Spanish brand in its own right – the performance offshoot of Seat – and the Formentor is its second sports SUV.
The first was the Cupra Ateca, which is a very good car: quick and handy around corners, but, as far as looks are concerned, not dramatically different to the regular Seat Atecas. The Formentor is a whole different ball game. As you can see, it’s a visual feast of chiselled lines, muscular hunches and dramatic swoops. Now, we’re not getting carried away with ourselves and saying it’s a mini Lamborghini Urus, but put it this way: there’s nothing for the price that looks more like the Lamborghini.
Because the Formentor is such a new model, Cupra hasn’t confirmed all the details yet. We do know there will eventually be a breadth of engines starting with a 1.5 TSI 150 turbocharged petrol, two plug-in hybrids (called eHybrid and with 202bhp or 242bhp), plus 2.0-litre petrols ranging from 187bhp to the top-spec 306bhp 4Drive – that’s four-wheel drive in Cupra speak.
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The only pricing that’s been hinted at is for the 2.0 TSI 310 4Drive, which will be a few hundred pounds more than the Cupra Ateca and about the same as the Volkswagen T-Roc R. That leaves the BMW X2 M35i as a pricier alternative for any cash buyers looking for real performance, but the Formentor will come in much cheaper varieties, like the 1.5 TSI 150.
We won’t know the PCP finance costs yet, but with the Formentor’s extremely strong predicted resale values, expect the monthly payments to be competitive.
Even the entry-level V1 trim looks to have niceties including 18in alloy wheels and the infotainment, parking aids and LED headlights we’ve discussed already. As you progress up the trims to the next rung to V2 you get bigger 19in alloys, a powered tailgate and leather trim (with those bucket seats we said were super supportive), and further up the add-ons include bigger Brembo brakes, a heated steering wheel and a sunroof.
Having driven the most powerful version, we can say that the Formentor offers the firepower and handling prowess to keep pace with its sports SUV rivals, and also offers decent practicality and a nicer interior for the money. In fact, it looks like a strong challenger for class honours and with cheaper models to follow, including a plug-in hybrid, there’s the potential to be a Formentor for everyone.