2023 Cupra Formentor review: VZ, VZe

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Cupra is lastly right here. After a protracted teaser marketing campaign and a flashy model launch, the primary members of the sporty Spanish model’s vary have touched down in Australia.

There are three vehicles on provide at launch, the Formentor is the one ground-up Cupra. The place the Leon and Ateca are variations of vehicles provided by SEAT, the Formentor is a standalone model with its personal design and badge.

It’s comfortably the best-selling Cupra worldwide, and accounts for almost all of expressions of curiosity into the model in Australia. If you test it out in particular person, it’s straightforward to see why.

It’s a good-looking beast, with crisp strains and tight proportions that recall to mind every thing from the Porsche Macan to the Lamborghini Urus. It has the efficiency to again these appears to be like up; even the slowest hits 100km/h in a claimed 7.1 seconds, and the flagship VZx takes 4.9 seconds.

Don’t be fooled into pondering it’s a very bespoke automotive, although.

Beneath the pores and skin, the Formentor shares its MQB chassis with the Volkswagen Tiguan. Its engines are all used elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group, and a lot of the particular person elements making up its cabin characteristic on its company companions.

Is the Formentor a worthy flagship for Cupra in Australia, or does it really feel like extra of the identical from the automotive large that introduced you Volkswagen, Skoda, and Audi?

How a lot does the Cupra Formentor value?

Cupra is launching with drive-away pricing throughout its vary. The Formentor vary kicks off at $54,990 drive-away, and extends to $66,490 drive-away for the flagship VZx.

Pure rivals are arduous to return by, given Cupra is pitching the Formentor as a sporty various to extra sensible mid-sized SUVs just like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Skoda Karoq.

On the backside finish, it’s priced in keeping with the Mazda CX-5 GT SP 2.5T AWD ($51,490), whereas the top-end VZx undercuts the Volkswagen Tiguan R ($68,990).

The plug-in hybrid VZe is aligned with the Ford Escape ST-Line PHEV ($54,440).

2023 Cupra Formentor pricing:

  • Cupra Formentor V: $50,690 ($54,990 D/A)
  • Cupra Formentor VZ: $53,790 ($58,490 D/A)
  • Cupra Formentor VZe: $60,990 (D/A costs vary, listed right here)
  • Cupra Formentor VZx: $61,990 ($66,490 D/A)

Costs exclude on-road prices until specified

What’s the Cupra Formentor like on the within?

The Formentor is the primary standalone Cupra, and as such its inside appears to be like and feels extra attention-grabbing than the Leon or Ateca. It nonetheless shares bits with the Volkswagen Golf or Audi A3, although.

The driving place is great. Each Formentor comes with sporty seats packing extra bolstering than is customary in most mid-sized SUVs, and the seats themselves are set low within the cabin. They’re gorgeous in petrol blue, however that’s for the VZx solely.

As you’d count on of a contemporary Volkswagen Group cabin, screens are the showpiece right here. The central touchscreen is a 12-inch unit working Cupra’s tackle the software program rolling out throughout the brand new Golf and Octavia ranges, backed by the identical irritating contact sliders under for quantity and temperature management.

Factors to Cupra for permitting house owners to drop a widget on the house display to regulate fan velocity for the air-con, and for making shortcut buttons characteristic prominently on the base of the show – it’s simpler to leap across the system than the equal within the Golf – nevertheless it’s nonetheless fiddly at occasions.

The digital cockpit is good-looking, and options distinctive graphics consistent with Cupra’s sportier remit. The steering wheel itself feels nice in your arms, and has correct buttons as a substitute of the contact controls rolling out elsewhere.

Choosing the VZx will get you a begin/cease button and drive mode controller on the wheel; different fashions bury their drive modes within the touchscreen. The actual fact it’s essential to dive by way of a display for Sport mode in most variations of the sportiest Cupra crossover is tough to know.

All the basics are stable. The stubby shifter rolling out by way of the Volkswagen Group options right here, and there’s loads of storage underneath the sprint, on the transmission tunnel, and within the door pockets.

Rear seat area is surprisingly good. The Formentor appears to be like fairly compact on the surface, nevertheless it has sufficient headroom with no sunroof for six-seven me to sit down with out my hair on the roof.

Legroom behind normal-sized drivers is spectacular, and the air vents and twin USB-C ports make it fairly child-friendly – though the rising belt line limits outward imaginative and prescient relative to the extra upright Tiguan.

There’s additionally a fold-down central armrest with a ski port again there. The bench folds 60/40, increasing boot area from 345/420/450 litres (VZe/VZx/all others) to accomodate larger objects.

What’s underneath the bonnet?

Every member of the four-strong 2023 Cupra Formentor vary comes with its personal powertrain. We drove the VZ and the VZe on the launch; they’re detailed under. For extra on the V and the VZx, take a look at our worth and specs breakdown right here.

The Formentor VZ is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine shared with the VW Golf GTI, producing 180kW and 370Nm driving the entrance wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch computerized.

Claimed gasoline financial system is 6.9 litres per 100km on the mixed cycle.

The Formentor VZe mates a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine with an electrical motor, for whole system outputs of 180kW and 400Nm. It makes use of a six-speed moist dual-clutch auto.

Claimed electrical vary from the 12.8kWh lithium-ion battery is round 50km, and claimed gasoline financial system on the mixed cycle is 1.9L/100km – though as with all PHEVs, that’s very depending on battery degree.

We noticed 3.7L/100km on a 46km drive throughout metropolis, freeway, and mountain roads, having hopped right into a automotive with slightly below 50 per cent battery.

How does the Cupra Formentor drive?

Our time was spent within the Formentor VZe plug-in hybrid, and the Golf GTI-powered VZ. Alborz has already pushed the VZx on observe; take a look at his ideas right here.

Cupra’s pitch is that it presents a sportier edge than the likes of Volkswagen and Skoda, and the Formentor delivers on that promise.

The powertrain within the VZe has been round for some time within the Volkswagen Group world, nevertheless it’s new to Australia. It makes a great first impression, too.

Claimed electrical vary is round 50km relying on how your drive, and there’s a 1.4-litre petrol engine (shared with the Volkswagen Golf) readily available to energy the wheels (both alone, or together with the e-motor), or to cost the lithium-ion battery.

In its default hybrid mode, the automotive defaults to the e-motor off the mark. It’s in a position to do a convincing EV impression as much as round 80km/h, providing first rate efficiency and permitting the motive force to dip comparatively deep into the throttle pedal’s journey with out the petrol engine firing.

When it does fireplace, the engine is properly refined. The handover is clean by PHEV requirements, and the VZe packs some methods to ship a clean, punchy really feel from behind the wheel.

Put your foot down and generally it’ll run by way of the gears, nevertheless it’s additionally able to retaining the engine revs fixed and leaning on the electrical motor for additional punch.

Accelerating uphill from 80 to 100km/h it sat at a relentless 2000rpm, with the electrical motor offering the additional shove required to speed up as a substitute of the petrol engine. The brake pedal often has the picket, barely awkward really feel that plagues most PHEVs, nevertheless it’s typically good and linear.

It could actually’t match the quick shove of a pure EV nor the aggressive character of high-output 2.0-litre engine, however the PHEV within the Formentor is wise sufficient, and presents sufficient efficiency, that it doesn’t really feel like a poor relation.

It handles higher than you’d count on of a 1700kg automotive, too. Some plug-in hybrids really feel heavy and free because of the weight of their batteries, however the Formentor feels eager on the entrance finish on flip in, and doesn’t have the identical secure however barely uninteresting stability you get in common variations of the Tiguan.

The experience and dealing with stability is spectacular. The roads round Wollongong have seen higher days due to Sydney’s soaking yr, however the VZe didn’t really feel terse over potholes and hastily-repaired roads. It additionally didn’t really feel floaty, or wallow round like a few of the different plug-in hybrid SUVs we’ve reviewed lately.

Somebody at Cupra HQ in Barcelona has performed a wonderful job tuning the suspension, no matter which mode it’s in.

As for the VZ? It’s not as intelligent because the VZe, nevertheless it’s extra enjoyable. It feels a bit lighter on its ft, and the two.0-litre engine (shared with the Golf GTI) delivers a wholesome shove within the again if you put your foot down.

Even in Consolation mode there’s a good bark to the exhaust notice within the cabin, and the default suspension tune balances experience and dealing with effectively sufficient that you just don’t have to go diving into the automotive’s infotainment system to alter mode if a sudden urge to drive quick strikes.

Traction is first rate, though aggressively pulling away with some steering lock utilized will get the entrance wheels spinning, and the dual-clutch transmission is each bit as fast and intelligent as we’ve come to count on from Volkswagen.

Is it the candy spot within the vary? You would actually make that argument, though we’ll have to spend a while with the VZx on-road to know for certain.

What do you get?

Formentor V highlights:

  • 18-inch black-and-silver alloy wheels
  • Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
  • LED headlights and daytime working lights
  • Fog lights with cornering perform
  • Automated high-beam
  • Automated headlights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Rear privateness glass
  • Adaptive dampers
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Wi-fi cellphone charging
  • Wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Two entrance and two rear USB-C ports
  • Material upholstery
  • Tri-zone local weather management
  • Leather-based-wrapped, heated steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters
  • Keyless entry and begin

Formentor VZ provides:

  • 180kW/370Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre engine
  • Entrance-wheel drive
  • 19-inch Unique Sport black-and-silver alloy wheels
  • 18-inch space-saver spare

Formentor VZe:

  • 180kW/400Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged plug-in hybrid powertrain
  • Tyre restore equipment
  • Mode 3 charging cable

Formentor VZx:

  • 19-inch Unique Sport black-and-copper alloy wheels
  • Palms-free energy tailgate
  • Quad exhaust
  • Petrol Blue leather-based upholstery
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Energy driver’s seat with reminiscence
  • Mirror reminiscence
  • 9-speaker Beats sound system
  • 360-degree digital camera system
  • Supersports leather-wrapped steering wheel with extra buttons

Is the Cupra Formentor secure?

The Cupra Formentor has a five-star ANCAP security score, primarily based on Euro NCAP checks carried out in 2021.

The Formentor scored 93 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 88 per cent for baby occupant safety, 68 per cent for weak street person safety, and 80 per cent for security help.

Customary security options embrace:

  • AEB with pedestrian and bike owner detection
  • Lane-keep help with freeway lane centring
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Secure exit warning
  • Reversing digital camera
  • Entrance and rear parking sensors
  • Emergency Help
  • Adaptive cruise management
  • Driver fatigue monitoring

A surround-view digital camera is newly customary in 2023 VZx fashions.

How a lot does the Cupra Formentor value to run?

The Cupra Formentor is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Cupra additionally contains three years of free servicing within the buy worth, overlaying as much as 45,000 kilometres.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Cupra Formentor

Sure, the Formentor is a worthy flagship for Cupra.

Of the three vehicles on provide at launch it feels essentially the most bespoke, with an exterior that turns heads and a cabin that does a great job of creating its shared DNA with the VW Golf and Skoda Octavia really feel a bit extra particular.

There’s no hiding its roots, however the Formentor does a great job distancing itself from the group of SUVs on provide elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group on the street, too.

It feels lighter on its ft than a Tiguan, and even the VZe with its heavy plug-in hybrid powertrain has a chassis that encourages you to get caught in when the street will get attention-grabbing.

What’s the candy spot within the vary? We’ll have to spend some extra time with the VZx to know for certain, however the VZ is a fairly interesting bundle with its Golf GTI engine, luxurious inside, and sharp beginning worth.

Cupra has some fairly daring targets in Australia, and the Formentor might want to succeed if it’s to satisfy them. On first impression, it’s greater than adequate.

Click on the photographs for the total gallery

MORE: All the things Cupra Formentor

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