SEAT

2021 Cupra Formentor Review

2021 Cupra Formentor will have a starting price of RUR 44,670. Just a little more expensive than the Ateca, this coupe SUV promises a decent sale.

Like the DS with Citroën, or Polestar with Volvo, the Cupra brand spun off to independently and market its own car. If the Cupra Ateca is still just a more powerful model, then Formentor has to come up with the completely new idea, because it is the first standalone model  of the young German-Spanish manufacturer.

The CUPRA Formentor is named after cape Formentor on the Spanish island of Mallorca, one of the most beautiful and wild areas in the Balearics, and it’s those attributes that lend themselves to the high-performance crossover’s character and personality.

Exterior design

The CUPRA Formentor production car remains true to the concept presented in Geneva Motorshow 2019. Now and then, the CUPRA Formentor is full of character, sculpted to emphasise its varied attributes, mixing sophistication and exuding emotion.

The dynamic proportions of the CUPRA Formentor are heightened by the visual emphasis placed towards the rear of the vehicle which accentuates the length of the bonnet.

The appearance of these proportions was a purposeful move by the design team to give the CUPRA Formentor an even greater feeling of performance and style. And the side profile of the high-performance crossover coupe alludes to the power found under the bonnet and the overall dynamism of the vehicle.

The body tone is reminiscent of a robust all-terrain vehicle, but the CUPRA Formentor uses this design technique to lighten the vehicle’s silhouette, giving it a more svelte appearance, one that reflects the performance it delivers. This attribute is continued thanks to its compact and sporty aesthetics, closer to that of a hatchback, but in a coupe crossover, and its merging of all-terrain attributes expected from a traditional SUV.

The front of the CUPRA Formentor is strong and determined, but elegant and refined with the large front grille home to the famous CUPRA copper badge and book marked by the full LED front headlights that use the signature design. Fog lamps sit separately below.

Below the headlights are two air intakes that not only emphasise the vehicle’s face but also direct air through the vehicle and help not only air flow but also performance, cooling the brakes when driving becomes more adventurous.

Over the bonnet, sculpted lines draw emphasis both down to the CUPRA badge on the grille, but also help the eye sweep backwards towards the A-pillar and beyond.

The elegant yet strong design continues at the rear with the integration of rear dynamic blinkers as well as a rear coast-to-coast light with a welcome ceremony that creates a visual width to the vehicle and gives not only a now signature look, but also helps the vehicle standout. “Formentor” name is also mentioned in the rear light. Those approaching from behind quickly understand the CUPRA Formentor is a performance vehicle, helped too by the quad exhaust system (CUPRA Formentor VZ 2.0 TSI 310PS).

The bold design is enhanced by the vehicles’ specific bumper, rear spoiler, rear diffuser and exclusive 19″ alloy wheels that frame its 18″ copper Brembo brakes.

The CUPRA Formentor benefits from a wide colour palette chosen to complement the design, including exclusive matt paint options (Petrol Blue Matt and Magnetic Tech Matt) that bring an additional visual elegance and personality to the vehicle. The colour palette is complemented by four soft metallic paints (Urban Silver, Midnight Black, Magnetic Tech and Candy White) and three special paints (Graphene Grey, Dark Camouflage and Desire Red).

Thanks to its dimensions, the CUPRA Formentor is ready to meet the needs of today’s customers. At 4,450mm long and 1,839mm wide and with a height of 1,511mm it provides excellent headroom for all the passengers while the wheelbase of 2,680mm offers significant legroom for rear occupants and a boot capacity of up to 450 litres (420l for the 4Drive version and 345l for plug-in hybrid versions) – making it a practical option too.

Interior design

The CUPRA Formentor’s expressive exterior design is matched by its high-quality interior. The vehicle’s cabin provides a sense of modernity and sportiness with a unique take on the feel of the CUPRA brand.

As the driver unlocks the vehicle, the CUPRA Formentor greets the driver and passenger with a welcome ceremony, projecting the CUPRA logo onto the ground. And as the occupants enter the CUPRA Formentor, the doorstep is illuminated with the CUPRA lettering. Once inside, occupants are cocooned by high-quality materials, with brushed dark aluminium and copper accents making the cabin feel modern and contemporary.

The cabin instantly communicates the character of the car, with a sophisticated, sporty design. The sports bucket seats, available in both Petrol Blue and Black leather, are mounted low in the cabin to maximise space and are designed to allow for a more ergonomic seating position, giving a sense of the dynamic performance before a wheel has even turned.

As the driver takes hold of the new CUPRA steering wheel, another indicator of the spirit of the CUPRA Formentor, housing the engine start and CUPRA mode select button, they will instantly understand they are taking control of a different type of vehicle. And the inclusion of a “ESP off” button in the middle console reinforces even more this spirit.

The CUPRA steering wheel, a nod to the Racing bloodline, will make drivers feel more connected to the vehicle, with its tactile, solid feel. Larger shift paddles make changing gear simpler and more natural, and the multifunction buttons add to the hi-tech feel.

The CUPRA button gives access to the different drive modes: a short press scrolls through Comfort, Sport, CUPRA and individual, while long press takes you directly to CUPRA mode.

The high-performance crossover coupe mixes the traditional with the digital, augmenting the tactility and feedback of the steering wheel with the modernity of the customisable Digital Cockpit. Developed specifically for CUPRA models, a sporty view is also available, offering more focused display that allows the driver to see the speed and revs more clearly.

In the interior, the leather dashboard with copper stitching appears to float, an impression created by the horizontal full-LED wraparound ambient lighting which runs the width of the dashboard and in both front doors. This light is not only an aesthetic feature, but also provides safety functions too linked to the onboard driver’s assistant systems; flashing orange when Exit Assist is activated or red when the door is open for instance.

The centrepiece of the interior is the 12″ infotainment touchscreen which provides the functionality and connectivity to all occupants and reduces button count. The simplicity and elegance of the interior is achieved in part thanks to the inclusion of the shift-by-wire DSG transmission technology, which helps declutter the interior, creating greater space.

Finally, the CUPRA Formentor can also be configured with BeatsAudio sound system, including 10 premium loudspeakers with a 340W power amplifier, and a 10l bass box located in the boot.

Powertrain

The CUPRA Formentor will be available with a wide range of powertrains, including two high-performance plug-in hybrid versions.

At the top of the range and available from the launch, is a 310PS petrol unit that offers the ultimate expression of the CUPRA brand’s DNA, with an emotional sound that adds to the allure of the vehicle.

In addition to this version and in order to conquer an even wider audience, the CUPRA Formentor will also be available in the coming months with a wider range of powertrains, including three different technologies: TSI (petrol), TDI (diesel) and plug-in hybrid. In total, it will be offered in seven different variants, from 150PS to 310PS. All delivering dynamic behaviour without compromising.

The CUPRA Formentor will split its line-up into two categories: CUPRA Formentor, versions with an output power below 245PS and CUPRA Formentor VZ, versions with an output power from 245PS.

The VZ names translates into Veloz in Spanish, meaning quick or fast, the perfect moniker for the most powerful versions of the CUPRA Formentor.

Included in the lower power variants of the range, are the diesel CUPRA Formentor 2.0 TDI 150PS (110kW), petrol CUPRA Formentor 1.5 TSI 150PS (110kW) both available with either manual or DSG automatic transmissions, CUPRA Formentor 2.0 TSI 190PS (140kW) DSG 4Drive and the plug-in hybrid CUPRA Formentor e-Hybrid 1.4 TSI 204PS (150kW), again with a DSG transmission.

These vehicles form the entry point of the CUPRA Formentor range, with a personality true to the brand.

With the step up in power, the VZ name finds its way onto the CUPRA Formentor VZ 2.0 TSI 245PS (180kW) DSG Front-Wheel-Drive first, and is joined by the plug-in hybrid CUPRA Formentor VZ e-Hybrid 1.4 TSI 245PS (180kW) DSG Front-Wheel-Drive and the CUPRA Formentor VZ 2.0 TSI 310PS (228kW) DSG 4Drive finishing the line-up.

CUPRA Formentor VZ 2.0 TSI 310PS DSG 4Drive

The ultimate expression of CUPRA’s performance promises to be the 2.0-litre TSI turbocharged petrol engine with 4Drive all-wheel drive technology and 7-speed DSG gearbox. The pulse-raising engine provides a power output of 310PS (228kW) and 400Nm of torque.

The 4Drive system constantly monitors numerous sources – steering angle, wheel speed and yaw of the vehicle – to deliver power to the correct wheel at the precise time, giving a sense of confidence in any driving scenario.

It means that the performance on offer is accessible and allows the CUPRA Formentor to reach 100km/h in only 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 250km/h*.

The shift-by-wire technology is designed so that the gear selector is no longer mechanically connected to the gearbox, instead using electronic signals to indicate a shift.

The efficiency of the entire powertrain also means that carbon emissions are 186-203 g/km and fuel efficiency is 8.2-9.0 litres/100km based on the official WLTP test cycle.

CUPRA Formentor e-Hybrid

The CUPRA Formentor is the next step in the brand’s electrification offensive, with two high-performance plug-in hybrid versions available shortly after launch.

The CUPRA Formentor VZ e-Hybrid 1.4 TSI 245PS (180kW) DSG delivers a total peak power of 245PS (180kW) and 400Nm of torque. The 1.4-litre TSI 150PS (110kW) petrol engine is paired to a 115PS (85kW) electric motor, with energy delivered by a 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack, allowing the CUPRA Formentor to deliver eco-conscious performance.

The CUPRA Formentor will also be available with an additional plug-in hybrid version, delivering 204PS (150kW) and 350Nm of torque.

Chassis

The CUPRA Formentor maintains the relationship between powertrain and chassis to deliver a dynamic drive. The chassis and steering offer the most precise, involved drive possible, no matter which powertrain option is under the bonnet.

Engineered using the MQB Evo architecture, a starting point that allows the easy integration of a variety of technologies to offer the most uncompromised experience possible.

The front MacPherson struts and rear multilink (versions of more than 150PS) setup balance the competing needs of comfort for daily driving and the response in more energetic scenarios. The precise tuning of the spring and damper rates means the chassis can easily cope with changes in loads, aided by the vehicle’s evenly distributed weight and an overall weight of 1,644kg (2.0 TSI 310PS DSG 4Drive).

The CUPRA Formentor VZ 2.0 TSI 310PS integrates Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) as standard, which continually provides the best damping force for each wheel depending on the driving conditions and the driving mode selected by the driver (Comfort, Sport, Individual, CUPRA and Offroad).

Profiles are easily selectable using the CUPRA mode select button on the new CUPRA Steering wheel, changing the vehicle’s character, from daily drive to performance-focused, expanding the CUPRA Formentor’s breadth of abilities.

The CUPRA Formentor also features a DCC slider (available in the individual mode), giving even more control over the dynamic characteristics of the crossover (up to 15 steps), changing not only the damping force level of the shock absorber but the chassis controller setting too.

From behind the wheel, the steering is progressive maximising not only agility but also confidence for the driver, even in the most challenging conditions. Reassurance is amplified with the inclusion of 18″ Brembo brakes, so dynamics are as intuitive when entering a corner as when exiting.

The CUPRA Formentor VZ 2.0 TSI 310PS DSG comes with 4Drive, a system that is designed to complement the driving experience.

The 4Drive electro-hydraulic multi-disc traction system analyses road conditions in real time and can deliver power to maximise traction. Torque can even be controlled between wheels on either side of the vehicle thanks to the EDS electronic aid which locks the slipping wheel relative to the opposite side, meaning no transversal torque is lost.

The system is integrated into the rear axle and sits at the end of the drive shaft in front of the rear differential, improving weight distribution and reducing inertia and reaction time, meaning the new CUPRA Formentor can react to scenarios with even more assurance. Even the 310PS of power delivered by the 2.0 litre TSI unit can be harnessed with utter confidence.

The CUPRA Formentor is equipped with an electrical brake booster which provides a faster response than a conventional system, the possibility to recover the braking energy through the blending function (specific for the plug-in hybrid version of CUPRA Formentor) and a better active security due to the duplicity systems (ESC and electrical brake booster). The electrical Brake Booster has been specifically adapted for the high powered CUPRA models.

Connectivity

The CUPRA brand is renowned for offering the pinnacle in performance, but that is matched by its determination to offer the highest levels of connectivity and digitalisation.

The CUPRA Formentor integrates the most advanced infotainment and connectivity solutions to keep customers in touch, able to bring their digital lives with them into the vehicle, offering a more integrated approach to daily life and life behind the wheel, but never distracting from the pleasure of driving.

Inside the cabin the pixel-dense 10.25″ Digital Cockpit epitomises the approach to the digitalisation of the interior. The system provides greater functionality, allowing drivers to view everything from classic information found on analogue dials, such as speedometer and tachometer, to full-colour maps and navigation.

Completely customisable so individuals can show the information they need; the 1,280 x 480 pixel TFT display provides an additional Sport View mode, specifically developed by CUPRA, putting information including RPM, torque, power, turbo pressure and G-acceleration giving greater clarity and creating a more emotional, focused display.

But the Digital Cockpit is only part of the story. The cluster is augmented by a 12″ infotainment system built on the MIB3 platform. Incorporating a 1,560 x 700-pixel capacitive display, 3D online navigation, a reduced number of hard buttons, and new interaction methods, with both voice and gesture control.

The system combines the Wireless Full Link system making it compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. So, whether you want to bring your contact list, music or mapping systems into the car, they’re all available, and can be accessed in a controlled, intuitive, safe manner.

Capacitive touch technology improves interaction, making the use of the system responsive and precise. Touch sliders add to the ease of use, allowing control of the Climatronic as well as volume control.

Voice recognition is arguably one of the most natural ways to interact with devices, meaning less chance of distraction from the act of driving because there is no need to look away from the road ahead. It’s especially attractive as we become increasingly used to home assistants from the consumer electronics world.

The system can be used to control the Climatronic, find navigation information or search for music in a safer and easier way. Simply say the wake-up words “Hola, Hola” and the system is ready to interact with. Occupants use natural language and commands, making corrections and referencing previous commands.

But it’s the connection with the outside world that is growing in importance. CUPRA Connect brings online services directly into the vehicle thanks to an embedded SIM. The service allows customers to access downloadable apps, online radio and an expanding ecosystem of functionality meaning the system will always be up to date.

And when users are away from their vehicle, they can access vehicle information including driving data, parking information, vehicle status and set up speed alerts using the CUPRA Connect app. And for the plug-in hybrid versions, there are additional features too. Drivers can manage the charging process and control the Climatronic remotely as well as manage departure times, all from their fingertips.

The embedded SIM isn’t only about maintaining contact with our digital lives, it also brings improved safety into the vehicle as users benefit from the eCall service. If an accident occurs the vehicle can directly contact the emergency services either manually or automatically. And should the worst happen the vehicle can relay important data including car position, engine type, and number of passengers making it easier for them to assist.

And, to make sure connections are never lost, the CUPRA Formentor includes Qi standard protocol inductive charging for mobile devices (Connectivity Box), as well as four USB-C ports (two in the front, two in the rear) and Bluetooth connectivity so you’re never out of touch.

Safety and comfort

A suite of safety and convenience technologies make the CUPRA Formentor easier and safer to live with in daily life and make it one of the safest vehicles in the segment.

The onboard systems use data supplied both from an array of sensors integrated on the vehicle and information fed from outside sources, highlights include Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Travel Assist, Side and Exit Assist and Emergency Assist.

The Predictive ACC system can position the vehicle based on route and GPS data delivered from the navigation system, allowing it to correct its speed depending on the road layout ahead – bends, roundabouts, junctions, speed limits and built-up areas. And using input from the front mounted camera and traffic sign recognition, it can adjust vehicle speed when limits change.

The Travel Assist feature uses information from the ACC and Lane Assist to actively keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane and adjust speed to the flow of the traffic – providing assisted driving at speeds of up to 210km/h.

Side and Exit Assist technology detects what your eyes can’t with blind spot detection and adds an Exit Warning when you’ve parked and want to leave the vehicle, giving an acoustic caution if someone or something is approaching.

One of the biggest additions is the introduction of Emergency Assist, making sure the driver remains focused on driving and doesn’t become distracted with visual and acoustic warnings. If there is no reaction from the driver, the system can initiate braking jolts, if there is no change the vehicle can come to a complete stop and activate the warning lights. Once parked, the CUPRA Formentor can directly contact the emergency services using the eCall system.

The mix of technologies creates an incredible level of safety but have been integrated in a manner that brings convenience without the feeling of control being taken away from the driver. An important consideration in a CUPRA, a brand that always seeks to position the driver’s needs as the central priority.

The result is a vehicle that can meet the dynamic needs of the CUPRA brand, while providing the safety standards demand that the market increasingly sees as a requirement.

The CUPRA Formentor also excels in comfort and convenience, including park assist, keyless, virtual pedal, Climatronic three zones, parking heater, heated seats and steering wheel, driver’s electric seat with memory, and a 230V charger in the boot.

Only more expensive than Cupra Ateca
The price is relatively close between the model. Ateca starts at € 43,900, while Formentor starts at € 44,670, with the same 310-hp 2.0-cylinder mated to an all-wheel drive and a DSG7 dual-clutch transmission. As a result, both models outstrip one of the rare rivals, the BMW X2 M35i, which has a strong 306 horsepower and a starting price of € 58,900. The latest Cupra model at this price point has been equipped with a number of interesting features: Park Assist automatic parking assist, 19-inch alloy wheels, a digital cockpit … etc. Premiere Edition premiere version, Sold from € 52,815, the addition of massive Brembo brakes, a Beats sound system and a matte blue paint finish.

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