Reviews

CUPRA Formentor VZ2 UK model review

Going deep with CUPRA's first home grown model. 310HP of fun on the UK's roads.

We’ve been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to road test the new CUPRA Formentor in right-hand drive, after being given an early preview last year.

Hopefully, this review will help answer some questions for those who are looking to buy one, or for those just interested in knowing a bit more about the car.

What is it?

We got our hands on the Formentor VZ2 2.0 TSI 310PS 4Drive 7-speed DSG model. For the UK, this is the most powerful engine that the Formentor will bring, unlike our lucky EU friends – who will be able to marvel in the VZ5 monster. Our VZ2 is in Midnight Black and has the Petrol Blue Nappa Leather with copper stitching interior. It comes packed with technology and plenty for us to test.

Verdict

This coupe SUV innovation is a great addition to the CUPRA lineup. It combines performance, luxury and practicality into one exquisite, technology rich icon, which proudly demonstrates CUPRA’s intentions for their place on the car market. I’m off to buy one…

Our rating

5 stars out of 5

What we didn’t like

  • Excessive wear on the leather seats
  • Sensitivity of lane assist and front assist
  • Fake engine noise in CUPRA mode
  • Intermittent wireless charging issues

First Impressions

When I received the call to say the car was outside, I rushed down the stairs (exactly like a kid waking up on Christmas Day) and stood in awe as the car was being reversed onto my drive. Initially, the car looked a lot smaller than I expected, as I’d only seen pictures, and briefly had one go past me on the road. I was expecting something similar sized to the Ateca perhaps. The colour isn’t something that’s new to me; my previous CUPRA was Midnight Black, and it looks stunning when clean. At first, I wasn’t sure about the glossy silver front intakes, side trim and rear number plate trim, but it did grow on me over time.

The bright white twin reverse lights and slight exhaust burble piqued the interest of a couple of neighbours, who popped their heads out to see what they thought was my new car. None of them had even heard of the brand ‘CUPRA’ but were fully aware I had previously owned two modified Mk3 Leon CUPRAs. They become very inquisitive of what it was; Was it an SUV, was it a hatch, was it an estate? All these questions were asked, and they were very confused when I answered, ‘it’s a coupe SUV’.

How many cars go by you every day and you don’t think to take another look? With the Formentor, I didn’t see one person who didn’t take a second or third look as I drove past or parked up. Some of the looks will be people trying to work out what the logo is, but the styling of the Formentor is naturally going to turn heads.

Exterior

Even though I initially thought the Formentor looked quite small, it certainly isn’t when you look at the dimensions.

  • Length: 4450mm
  • Width: 1839mm
  • Height: 1511mm
  • Wheelbase: 2680mm

However, parked up next to a BMW X5, the Formentor looks tiny!

With the Formentor being CUPRA’s first solo project, it does share the same chassis as the Mk4 Leon and Ateca. The styling is of the car is something that the designers at CUPRA have spent a lot of time thinking about. How to create the look and feel of a large SUV, without making a large SUV? Every detail has been carefully thought through, and the results are outstanding.

The Midnight Black is a £555 metallic paint option, but everything else is standard on this VZ2 model.

Front

A black car, black grill, and a large copper logo embedded in carbon fibre, dead centre. It looks mean, aggressive, yet somehow luxurious and elegant.

CUPRA Logo

When the logo is at eye level, you can get a real sense of just how much road presence this car will have. The lights are angled in a way to look like a wild lion about to pounce on its prey, especially with its flared, long bonnet. The wider arches and intakes on either side and the overlaying trim on the front bumper, give the car a very wide and low looking stance. All the trim and panel lines just flow into each other. Nothing looks out of place, and everything feels very solid. The gloss black panel inserts and the gloss silver trim covers just set the car off nicely, really accenting the lines of the car, especially with the ‘wide mouth’ look at the bottom of the bumper.

CUPRA Formentor front
CUPRA Formentor front
CUPRA Formentor lower grill accent

The full LED lights and nested indicators are very bright and designed like the Tarraco and new Mk4 Leon headlights. Unfortunately, there are no dynamic indicators for the headlights, which would have been nice to see.

CUPRA Formentor indicator

Side

Looking at the car side on, you can see how the body lines join the front and rear seamlessly. The traditional sloping up from the front to the rear, really giving it the ‘coupe’ look and feel. The wheel arches are highlighted in gloss silver, and these flow into the lower door trim, proving a bottom ‘outline’ of the car’s exterior all around.

CUPRA Formentor
CUPRA Formentor

There are a few CUPRA ‘Copper’ highlights to be seen, on the wheel centre caps and the ‘CUPRA’ text on the brake callipers. It’s subtle but still very noticeable.

CUPRA Formentor

The VZ2 champions the exclusive 19” machine sport matte black and silver alloys as standard, wrapped in 245/40/19 Bridgestone tyres.

At night, you can see the ‘CUPRA’ logo puddle lights, which is an extremely nice touch!

CUPRA Formentor puddle light

Rear  

Personally, I think the rear is the best part of the exterior. A sloping roof, extended by the large spoiler, overshadow the dark tinted rear window, which is small in comparison to the size of the car.

It’s hard to draw attention away from anything other than the rear light cluster which sweeps across the entire rear of the car, looking futuristic, but also gives the Formentor a feel of a larger car. The lights protrude from the rear which gives it that extra eye-drawing attention it needs.

CUPRA Formentor rear

Just like at the front, there is a large copper ‘CUPRA’ badge embedded in Carbon Fibre, and the rear is finished off with the gloss silver bumper trim, and a gloss black diffuser that houses the quad exhausts.

CUPRA Formentor Exhausts

Unlike the front headlights, the rear does have dynamic indicators and at night, the rear lights certainly make you more distinguished on the road, compared to most other cars.

Interior

After owning two MK3 Leon’s previously, jumping into the Formentor was like time travelling forward 20 years. I never considered the MK3 Leon to have an outdated interior, but the Formentor really did open my eyes. The interior is sleek, tidy, spacious, and just a pleasant place to be. The blue leather dashboard combined with the brushed aluminium effect trim just ticks all the boxes for a great interior. All of your attention is drawn to either the steering wheel or the gigantic 12” touch screen on top of the dash.

CUPRA Formentor interior

All the VZ models of Formentor come with a choice of two leather interiors: Black or Petrol Blue Nappa leather. This one has the blue, and I must admit, I’m a huge fan of it. The bucket seats aren’t too dissimilar to the ones I’ve previously had in my Leons in terms of the styling, but they are up to the next level with regards to quality and comfort.

The seats are very comfortable, the leather is incredibly soft to touch. The copper stitching just adds that little bit of detail to make you feel like you’re sat on a top-quality product. The embroidered CUPRA logo in the headrest finishes the look off perfectly. The leather is continued to the centre armrest, the door armrest and even the floor mats! The top of the dash is also completed in the same leather option which gives the car an expensive and executive type of feel.

CUPRA Formentor seat
CUPRA Formentor interior detail

There’s a splash of copper accents around the air vents and steering wheel buttons, and the interior is completed with black plastic for most of the hard-wearing areas that are most likely to get scratched or grubby.

CUPRA Formentor interior dash and vent detail

You’d be forgiven for thinking the steering wheel, control stalks, and virtual cockpit, and pedals were all lifted directly out of an Mk3.5 Leon CUPRA. Other than a few additional buttons on the steering wheel (not including the Start Engine or CUPRA buttons) – it all looks identical.

CUPRA Formentor driver’s view

The main difference from previous DSG cars I’ve driven in recent years is that there’s a switch for selecting the gear (P, D, N, R) rather than a lever. Previously in my Mk3 Leon DSG, I would still use the lever as a place to rest my hand when cruising. I’m not too sure how this will work now, as I think it’s more of a ‘thumb rest’ than anything else now! I prefer the newer switch. It de-clutters the interior and it’s one less thing catch or knock against.

CUPRA Formentor centre console

There’s plenty of storage options around the front – the front door pockets, glove box, centre armrest, cup holders and phone compartment in the centre of the console. There are some odd-shaped compartments around the gear selector for small items.

The rear offers plenty of legroom, even when the front seats are in their furthest back position, and there’s ample room for a large baby seat, leaving decent legroom at the front of the car.

CUPRA Formentor rear
CUPRA Formentor rear legroom

The headspace, however, is the biggest surprise. Somehow there’s so much headspace, in a car that looks small on the outside. It’s like a Tardis! CUPRA has certainly made intelligent use of the space inside.

Your rear passengers will no longer complain about being too warm or too cold as they’ll have their own climate controls and gone are the days where a long journey results in a phone USB cable trailing across the centre of the car so that the rear passengers can charge their phone – they now have their own USB ports too! And if that wasn’t enough, the rear passengers can also make use of some cup holders in the centre rest that work, unlike the ones at the front of the car.

Boot

The space in the boot is a generous 420 litres – it could fit a chunky pram in there and still have plenty of room for my weeks’ worth of shopping.

CUPRA Formentor boot
CUPRA Formentor boot

There’s a couple of pockets either side of the door for additional storage, and the raised floor covers up the space saving spare wheel with tools and jack to change the wheel if you need to.

There’s a small amount of storage for under the raised floor for tow rope, jump leads etc if you wanted to keep them in the car but out of sight.

CUPRA Formentor spare wheel

There’s a handy lever on either side of the boot to flatten the rear seats for when you need the additional space for those dreaded trips to IKEA. The entire boot is lit up by one LED light on the right-hand side – another light on the right-hand side certainly wouldn’t go amiss and would help in the night, when rummaging around the boot for that one thing you forgot to bring in after going shopping.

CUPRA Formentor boot with the seats down

The tailgate can be opened one of three ways; press the button just above the rear registration plate, or by pressing and hold the boot release button on the car key fob. There’s a button on the driver’s side that also remotely opens and closes the boot. Closing it when not in the driver’s seat is as simple as pressing the button at the top of the tailgate.

Technology

Not only does the interior look the part, but it is packed with new and reworked technology.  As standard, the Formentor comes with the following:

  • Interior Ambient Lighting
  • Auto-Dimming rear-view mirror
  • Three-zone air conditioning with control panel in the rear
  • Dynamic Range Control Headlights
  • Electrically adjustable, folding, and heated wing mirrors with welcome light
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Front fog lamps with cornering function
  • Digital cockpit with 10.25” display
  • 12” Navigation System, with Full Link, 2 front & 2 rear USB-C sockets
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Driving Profile Selection
  • Electronic front differential with dynamic traction support
  • Anti-Theft Alarm
  • Predictive & Adaptive Cruise control with speed limiter
  • Keyless Entry and Start (KESSY)
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring
  • Lane Assist
  • Forward Collision Warning with automatic braking
  • Safety and Driving pack (medium); Dynamic Road sign display and high beam assist
  • CUPRA Connect Services comprising of Safety & Service: 10 Year Private emergency call, breakdown call, service scheduling, remote access, 12-month driving data, parking position, remote lock and unlock, anti-theft/area/speed alert and online infotainment for 12 months of map updates, online traffic updates, online route calculation, parking and petrol stations.

I think you’ll agree that the standard spec is substantial. In the VZ2 that we have for review, we have all the above, and these additions:

  • Electrically adjusted with memory function heated bucket seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Safety and Driving pack (XL); same as the medium pack, plus side assist exit assist, lane change access and emergency assist.
  • Dynamic Chassis Control
  • Rear View Camera
  • Front and Rear Parking sensors
  • Park assist
  • Electronic tailgate

CUPRA actually offer very few additional options to spec and bundle the cars very well. The choice of colour is the only ‘option’ on the car we have for review.

For me, it’s the steering wheel that wins the ‘Best Feature’ for the interior. More specifically, the ‘CUPRA’ and ‘Start Engine’ buttons. Nothing satisfies your inner race driver more than getting in a car and pressing a button on the steering wheel to start the car, and then being able to switch driver modes is a huge plus point, although if it were my car, I’d rarely be out of CUPRA mode.

Engine

Some of the eagle-eyed readers will notice that the engine bay looks remarkably like the MK3 Leon CUPRA. The main difference under the bonnet is a new turbo, slightly redesigned intercooler, and a few other subtle tweaks to make the engine a bit more efficient. The only bad thing about the engine bay is that engine cover!

CUPRA Formentor VZ2 engine bay

306BHP / 310PS is certainly a hefty lump of power at your disposal. The car is no slouch, combining its power, 7-speed DSG, 4Drive and 400nm of torque to launch you to 62mph in around 4.9 seconds. The car will top out at 155mph and unless you’re redlining the car everywhere, you should expect to get around 33 mpg from the 55-litre fuel tank.

On the road

Having had the pleasure of owning a CUPRA 290 DSG and a CUPRA R 310 Manual, I was optimistic for the 310PS engine in the Formentor. I’d heard mixed reviews about the 7 Speed DSG across the VAG owners’ groups, but I was still excited to see how it performed.

I got into the car for the first time, had my giddy 10 seconds or so to get over the buttons on the steering wheel, and then started the car. Immediately, I switched the car into CUPRA mode, and the car started to growl at me. This is the sound actuator, which usually on my own car, I’d turn off. However, I was remaining optimistic and tried not to hate it instantly. I used the electric seat controls to get my optimal seating position sorted, and off I went.

The moment I started the first journey in the Formentor, I quickly realised how much I had missed the DSG in my most recent Leon. The gear changes were so slick, quick, and un-noticeable from the get-go. The car was just so smooth to drive – from the accelerator pedal feel, through to the steering.

I went for a 25 miles loop on some local A-roads and tried to utilise all driving modes the car has to offer; Comfort, Sport, CUPRA, Off-road and individual. With each of these modes, there’s always the choice to switch the car from ‘Drive’ to ‘Sport’ when you need that extra bit of responsive power. I also wanted to try driving with the flappy paddles and see how much the car’s technology wanted to interfere with driving.

I found myself constantly switching the car back to CUPRA mode within a few seconds – I preferred the heavier steering, stiffer suspension and the exhaust burble/pops on the overrun that accompanied CUPRA mode. Although the suspension was stiffer than Comfort or Sport, it was still extremely comfortable. The other modes just felt ‘floaty’. The stop-start system drove me insane, and annoyingly there’s no button to quickly disable it – so you have you go through the infotainment screens to turn it off each time you start the car. It activated too quickly, so approaching a set of lights, coming to a stop, and it always seemed to kick in just as I wanted to begin accelerating again.

In the 5 days, I had the Formentor, I never found a use for the off-road setting – whenever I selected it, I instantly felt the drop in power to the wheels, and I’m sure there’s someplace in the UK that will require it, or some weather condition that will benefit from it, but I just didn’t encounter anything that needed it. I don’t think SEAT would have appreciated me diving into some quarries to see if I can climb back out, just to see how the off-road mode performed.

“What happens when you put your foot down?!”, I hear you ask. Well, it draws a massive smile. It takes you by surprise at just how quickly it moves. It’s not a small car by any means, and it’s heavy at 1644KG as standard. When you’re driving the car, you forget that you’ve got 306BHP on tap, as the car feels so planted and sophisticated. But when you remember, and you twitch that right foot, get ready to peel yourself out of the seat.

After the first few hard accelerations in CUPRA mode, I’d had enough of the fake engine sound. It was like I was constantly being reminded of ‘this is what you could have had in regard to the V5 2.5 engine that isn’t coming to the UK. I configured the individual profile mode to be CUPRA mode, but with the engine sound off. Weirdly, I didn’t get any exhaust pops or overrun with this setup, but as soon as the car was back in CUPRA mode, they came back. I do like the overrun feedback from the car, so I put up with the fake engine sound inside the car for the rest of the time I had the car. One downside I found in CUPRA mode was that the car just revved too high, no matter how slow or fast you’re going, the car just holds the revs at an uncomfortable level. I often found myself using the paddles to change down or up to prevent this.

On the motorway, I was shocked at just how quiet the inside of the Formentor was. There was still an element of road noise from the tyres coming through, but I could have a conversation with passengers easily at a noticeable reduction in voice volume compared to other cars I had been in recently, which weren’t all SEATs or CUPRAs. The car felt planted and sturdy at 70mph and just lapped up mile after mile easily. I previously had cruise control on my CUPRA 290, and I had an adaptive cruise on my CUPRA R. I wish there was a way to combine the two, as sometimes I despise the adaptive cruise, but other times I love it. My main issue with it is how panicky it is when a car goes past you and pulls into your lane a good 3 or 4 car lengths ahead. The Formentor applies the brakes which in some instances, slows you down more than the traffic in the left lane, and really annoys the drivers behind you. Yes, you can amend the distance the car tries to maintain between you and the car in front, but you aren’t in control of the car in front as it overtakes you, or when it starts to cross over into your lane. The Formentor seems to detect the moment the first millimetre of the tyre wall of the passing car, crosses over into your lane and reacts accordingly. Yes, it’s a safety feature, but it’s also a hazard if you’re causing other drivers to move around you for what seems to be for no reason.

After 340 miles of motorway driving, and 27 miles of non-motorway driving, I was still comfortable, awake and still wanted to drive some more. The car had performed well, averaging 35.8mpg, and showed 50 miles left in the tank. However, I had a few hiccups on this journey – the front crash detection system was a bit trigger happy, activating 8 times, and applied the brakes 6 of those times. Most of the time, the vehicles it was worried about were nowhere near me, or I was passing by in another lane. However, I believe there is a software update to address this.

The lane assist is also a bit sketchy, with it trying to force me to stay in lane even when I’m trying to avoid an obstacle in my lane, like go around a parked car on the side of the road. I can only assume that the UK roads are just a bit too narrow for this tech to work properly.

The next drive was around some local back roads, some barely wider than the Formentor itself. It had also been raining, so it would be a good test of the handling and performance on slippery roads. In short, the car performed perfectly. No issues at all. Responsive steering, gripping the road and just eating everything thrown at it. My only bugbear was that I couldn’t push the car harder due to the number of potholes in all of the roads – but that’s no different to any other UK road! I’d hoped to have found some use for the off-road mode on this route, but even the steep, flooded hills I was climbing was no problem for the Formentor. The 4Drive system certainly came into its own as I pushed the car through soggy Lancashire farm roads. I tried time, and time again to get the wheels spinning and the car struggling for grip, but it wasn’t to be. It’s almost as though the car is just egging you on to throw more at it.

I decided to leave testing the more advanced tech until the sun had set. I wanted to test the adaptive main beam and assisted parking with fewer cars around, naturally.

For the main beam assist – I was pleasantly surprised. I was concerned that the car wouldn’t react or notice other cars that I could see in the distance, but the car would dip the beam before I would even do it manually without that tech in the car. And as soon as the other car was gone, the beam was extended again. It worked flawlessly every time, even when passing through built-up areas with street lighting, it would dip the beam.

The park assist was definitely something I was worried about trying. I’d just read a review of someone doing it on their new Formentor, and they ended up curbing their wheels. I decided to try the front driving bay parking, and reverse bay parking in an empty Tesco car park. I drove into the car park, activated the park assist and drove around the car park. To my frustration, it wasn’t noticing any parking bays, until I drove past a bay that was empty between two parked cars…a brand new Mercedes S Class, and a BMW X5 – nothing too expensive to risk allowing a car to park itself between them, in the dark, with someone who hasn’t tried this technology before. What could go wrong?! Luckily, the car had more confidence than me in its abilities. Once it detected the space, I selected the manoeuvre on screen that I wanted it to perform, and it barked instructions at me to assist it (select reverse, apply brake etc). Once the first manoeuvre was complete, I went back around the car park, back to the same bay and tried the front-facing drive parking. The same result – perfect parking with equal distancing between the cars on either side. I don’t think I could’ve done any better myself.

On to the parallel parking, and this was the biggest worry. I found a residential road, and slowly coasted down the road with park assist scanning for possible parking spots. It certainly has more confidence in what it can do than I do as some of the spots it located, I didn’t think the car would fit, and wasn’t going to try in a car that isn’t mine. I eventually found a spot that was maybe 1.5x the car length and decided to give it a go. I selected the manoeuvre on the screen once more, and off the car went. I was constantly on the brake, waiting to hear the dreaded wheel crunch against the curb. To my amazement, the car beeped to confirm the parking was complete. I got out, and was astonished at how close the car was to the curb, but also how precise the parking was. Again, I don’t think I could have done any better myself. I tried this manoeuvre at a few more spots on the way back home and had the same results every time. It’s safe to say, I was very impressed!

The detailed SEATCUPRA.NET review of the CUPRA Formentor VZ2 - we go deeper than anyone else.
CUPRA Formentor VZ2 Key

Response to questions from members

  • Does the car remember the mode it was left on and if it does, does it open the exhaust valves after warming up in CUPRA mode?
    • It does remember the mode, however, it’ll always start the car in ‘drive’ and not ‘sport’. The exhaust isn’t valves, but it does have a bit of grunt to it once warmed up. There’s a couple of burbles/pops on the overrun.
  • Did the wheel hubs get rusty?
    • The car we had, had done over 3,000 miles and the hubs were still silver!
  • Compared to the Leon Mk3 FR, how is the ride comfort and steering feel?
    • I’ve personally never driven an Mk3 FR, but compared to an Mk3 CUPRA, the ride is much comfier. The suspension has just the right stiffness in CUPRA mode (in my opinion) which doesn’t make the car feel like your bouncing/floating all the time, and the steering is just heavy enough.
  • What was your long term normal usage MPG?
    • I used two full tanks in 5 days – one tank went on 90% motorway driving with minimal traffic, sat on cruise control of 70mph. I got around 34mpg, 410 miles for the full tank. The second tank was used for A and B roads, in mixed weather conditions. I got around 29mpg for this second tank and a total of 340 miles from the tank.
  • What’s the condition of the bolsters on the driver’s seat after you’ve got in and out of it a few times?
    • Not the best really. The seat base is very saggy, and the sides are very creased. I don’t think they’ll wear very well.
  • What do you think of the ‘Fake’ sound in the cabin in Sport or CUPRA modes?
    • I’m not a fan at all. It does feel like CUPRA are rubbing it in your face that we can’t have the VZ5. If they need to make a fake engine sound, they could just make the current engine/exhaust a bit more beastly instead.
  • Can an adult or teenager fit in the rear with the driver’s seat in its rearmost position?
    • Yes, definitely. I’m 5’11 and can fit comfortably in the rear seats with the driver seat fully back.
  • If you are able to test and use Alexa, how does it work in the car? Is the Alexa app able to call other Alexas you own?
    • I only found Alexa being able to search for things on the web or try to persuade me to buy Amazon music. I didn’t get to test it too much, but not sure what good would come from being able to talk to other Alexa devices.
  • Are you able to remotely start AC using the CUPRA app?
    • I would have loved to have tested the CUPRA app but I was unable to register the car in the app due to needing to get approval from SEAT etc. However, reading up on the app, you can have the car warm up for set times and defrost etc.
  • Is it possible to fit two people next to a child seat in the back?
    • It is possible, but it would not be comfortable for anyone. However, I could only test with a very large swivelling child car seat. Two people alongside a booster seat would be a lot better!
  • Is there a difference in external sound between Sport and CUPRA modes?
    • The only difference externally that I could tell was that CUPRA mode was the only mode that seemed to allow overrun/pops.
  • Is there any ambient lighting for the rear doors?
    • Unfortunately no. It would have been a very nice touch.

Cost

This VZ2 has an on the road price of £39,830, with £555 of options (the metallic Midnight Black paint). That’s a total of £40,385.

Due to the on the road cost of the car, the first year of road tax (included in the on the road price) is a whopping £1,305. Years 2 through to 5 are then £475 a year, and then it drops to £150 a year from year 6 onwards.

The insurance group for this car is 33E, so at the medium/high end of the spectrum.

Running Costs

Be prepared to shell out £70 per tank, and only get 350 miles in return. This is very dependent on how you drive, the roads you drive on and what fuel you use. But you should budget for the worst-case! If buying a VZ2, and you only do short journeys, it may be worth looking at one of the hybrid models. Saves in fuel and tax!

Comfort

The Formentor is a very comfortable car. The interior is such a nice place to be – light, spacious and uncluttered. The general ride of the car is very smooth, but I do prefer the suspension on the firmer side when in CUPRA mode. Even when in CUPRA mode, the car is much comfier than any of my previous Leon CUPRAs. The tyres play a huge part in that too!

Power

The engine compliments the styling perfectly. The car puts the power down really well, with the 4Drive system ensuring maximum traction. The DSG box handles the changes mostly well, I just feel that the changes could happen sooner when in CUPRA mode. There’s plenty of power there for overtakes and the odd traffic light F1 start.

Styling

I think the styling is what makes the car appeal to everyone. I know a few people who have said they’ll never have an SUV or they aren’t ready to consider an SUV – but have said they would look at a Formentor. It does a great job of making an SUV not look or feel like a traditional SUV. During the road test, I had two people ask me if it was a Lamborghini Uris…That can’t be a bad thing!

Tech

The car is brimming full of tech. My favourite piece of tech is probably the simplest item – the blind spot indicators. They’re integrated with the ambient lights in the door cards, and it’s just one of those things that make you think ‘the person who thought of and designed that is a genius’.

I have a few gripes around the lane assist and front crash assist trying to kill me every now and then, but it keeps you on your toes!

The parking assist takes some getting used to, and I challenge anyone to try to use it without reading the manual 30 times to make sense of what to do.

I don’t really get the reason or need for the climate controls below the infotainment screen. They don’t illuminate and are invisible in the dark, and you brush them with your hand and alter the temp of the car constantly when trying to use the screen. The climate controls are also on the top of the infotainment screen, so the ones below the screen just seem redundant to me.

I had a few arguments with the wireless charging and wireless Apple CarPlay. My phone calls would always cut out if I was using CarPlay, so I had to revert to Bluetooth. Not sure if others have reported this issue, but I tried it with two different iPhones, running the latest iOS at the time. The wireless charging would decide to charge fine, and then 20 mins later, reject my phone and then began a game of hokey-pokey in trying to get it to charge again.

The CUPRA mobile app unlocks that inner geek for the owners. There’s so much you can do through the app, unlock/lock the car, remote AC, driver location alerts etc. It’s a very nice addition to all the tech in the car. Although it does have a lot of telemetrics and geometrics, it’s worth noting that you shouldn’t declare the car as having a tracker to the insurance companies. You will still need to get a Thatcham approved tracker if you want to declare a tracker.

CUPRA Formentor interior lighting

Would I buy one?

Once the car was collected, I immediately started messaging dealers to gauge the possibility of buying one. I was sold on the car from the moment I first started and drove it. There are some cracking deals to be had, and I’m sure that in the not so distant future, I will get one. I’d definitely never get a car in Black again though – after seeing swirls develop before my eyes, I just couldn’t go through the pain of trying to correct them constantly. I’m swaying towards the Petrol Blue Matte with Petrol Blue Interior and a panoramic roof.

Mike the_cupra

Active Member
May 29, 2020
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Interesting read. I'm surprised at things like the auto-braking, not something I've had an issue with at all on the Ateca but I guess it's easily fixed. The seats would concern me too. Have Cupra said anything about the wear and tear? Not easy to repair or replace if theyre all knackered after 1 year. Otherwise, how does the centre console look in real life? The photos of the gear lever etc look a bit cheap. Is it the same in the flesh? I know the Golf 8 has had similar criticism but it's hard to guage from photos.
 
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Peyton

Active Member
Jan 20, 2021
431
200
Thank you for the great review!

Lane Assist can feel scary. When it kicks in when you don't want it to, you get a sensation that the car is sliding. I think that the best way to avoid is to use the indicator when you are going around the obstacle. I'm finding it less of a bother now but when it happened first time, I thought the car started to slide for a moment.

About the sound/exhaust. I think that Sport and Cupra allow overruns/bangs, but the Cupra is more aggressive in throttle and easier to get it to pop. In the driving profile, I think that Engine Sound setting is connected to both the Soundaktuator and to the exhaust flaps. So if you put the car in "Comfort" sound you don't get pops. After I disconnected Soundaktuator I am much happier.

I hope you tried out Launch Control. :)
 

Agnes.Surrey

Active Member
Nov 6, 2020
763
413
Surrey
I personally switch off Lane Assist every time, because I don't want to get heart attack when car suddenly veers to the left (in UK) or trying to kill cyclist or drive over the pothole. I guess, you can use indicator when overtaking cyclist, but would you use it when just avoiding pothole in the road? Drivers behind, may think you will be turning. And on narrow roads, it's even worse.

Regarding adaptive cruise, I will be looking for standard cruise in my next car. It's just extra work to correct adaptive cruise and accelerate when it forgets or when it slows down due to car on the other lane. It's also dangerous, when it brakes for you, when there's no need to brake and car behind may hit you.

All these new tech, that's suppose to save lives and make driving safer, but at the same time, you get touch screen, which is difficult to use while driving. Maybe some lives will be saved, but probably the same number of people will be killed, due to careless drivers, trying to change something on the screen.
 
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paddy6789

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Aug 31, 2016
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Preston, Lancs
Interesting read. I'm surprised at things like the auto-braking, not something I've had an issue with at all on the Ateca but I guess it's easily fixed. The seats would concern me too. Have Cupra said anything about the wear and tear? Not easy to repair or replace if theyre all knackered after 1 year. Otherwise, how does the centre console look in real life? The photos of the gear lever etc look a bit cheap. Is it the same in the flesh? I know the Golf 8 has had similar criticism but it's hard to guage from photos.
Yeah, the centre console buttons do have a slight cheap-ish feel to them. They look like they’d have a nice soft press/click to them, but it’s a very plasticky click, if that makes sense.

It seems as though a few Formentor owners have confirmed the issues with the leather seats, and after asking a few opinions from professionals in detailing and upholstery, it seems like the only way to correct it is to replace the foam inside the seats. Most people I’ve spoken with speculate that it’s a global ‘foam shortage’ due to Covid but that’s just speculation. Only Cupra know the reason why.
 
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paddy6789

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I personally switch off Lane Assist every time, because I don't want to get heart attack when car suddenly veers to the left (in UK) or trying to kill cyclist or drive over the pothole. I guess, you can use indicator when overtaking cyclist, but would you use it when just avoiding pothole in the road? Drivers behind, may think you will be turning. And on narrow roads, it's even worse.

Regarding adaptive cruise, I will be looking for standard cruise in my next car. It's just extra work to correct adaptive cruise and accelerate when it forgets or when it slows down due to car on the other lane. It's also dangerous, when it brakes for you, when there's no need to brake and car behind may hit you.

All these new tech, that's suppose to save lives and make driving safer, but at the same time, you get touch screen, which is difficult to use while driving. Maybe some lives will be saved, but probably the same number of people will be killed, due to careless drivers, trying to change something on the screen.
I think adaptive cruise, Lane assist and front assist do have a place on our roads, I just think that the technology is designed to work with every other driver adhering to all road safety laws. It doesn’t have any response to ‘inconsiderate’ drivers other than ‘OH MY GOD WE ARE GOING TO CRASH!!’ And then applies the brakes or tries to correct your steering.

The front assist was never an issue in my previous Cupra, however it did save me from a few crashes - which is what you want from the tech. The Formentor just seemed a bit too paranoid, but I believe there is a software update for it which may resolve that.
 
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andylong

Active Member
Jan 21, 2021
112
24
I'm in 2 minds about driver assists.

On the one hand driving standards are so poor that nearly all drivers would benefit from them even if they don't like them, and on the other hand it feels like instead of learning something is too hot and not touching it again, you learn that someone else will always grab your hand to stop yourself getting burned.

It's also nice to remove ego from the driving equation which a computer will do for you.
 

Agnes.Surrey

Active Member
Nov 6, 2020
763
413
Surrey
It's also nice to remove ego from the driving equation which a computer will do for you.
But then you're not driving any more, you're being driven by the car.

Also, when driving another car without assitants (friend's, holiday rental, courtesy car), driver can be more prone to accidents, because he/she doesn't pay enough attention to the road. It's dumbing down process.
 

Peyton

Active Member
Jan 20, 2021
431
200
I like driving assists. What I don't like is that the car resets them to ON on each ignition. If I turned off Lane Assist, I'd like for it to stay that way. Same with start/stop. This way if you live in an area where Lane Assist doesn't work well, you'll be annoyed with it every time you drive the car.

Start stop is similar problem, car is very eager to shut down, it will shut down while you are still slightly moving, I had the car turn off when I am entering a roundabout. Sure, it starts up very quickly, but it shouldn't force me to go to menu every time I drive the car.
 

andylong

Active Member
Jan 21, 2021
112
24
It is dumbing down, I agree.

Yes you are being driven by the car to some degree, or correcting your inevitable mistakes I could say, we all make them, all the time, too close, too fast , wandering in a lane not paying attention.
There's a drive to make roads safer everywhere and unless you do something like have mandatory driver refresher training so your driving skills actually improve over time there's not much that can be done other than relieve the driver of some, eventually all of the responsibility for driving.

Well we make choices when we drive, when they are practical ones we are safer, when they are ego driven they are less so.
Assists are about safety, or should be. Assists will get better and you won't have to worry about them.
If I want to drive for fun I go to a track, or did anyway.
Cars are ego driven things, how they look, how fast they are etc. And how they are driven.
 

andylong

Active Member
Jan 21, 2021
112
24
I find no issue with start stop, I've not had a car's engine stop before I stop, and if it did and it was designed that way I see no issue.
It does mean you have to select a gear before you drive off, but the alternative is being in gear clutch in and stationary, not to be recommended and unnecessary.
Implementation s of start stop might have issues ofcourse but it's not something I've come across.
 

andylong

Active Member
Jan 21, 2021
112
24
I think the driver assists on at start up is a requirement for safety ratings for the car. Or at least some of them.
 

Peyton

Active Member
Jan 20, 2021
431
200
I find no issue with start stop, I've not had a car's engine stop before I stop, and if it did and it was designed that way I see no issue.
It does mean you have to select a gear before you drive off, but the alternative is being in gear clutch in and stationary, not to be recommended and unnecessary.
Implementation s of start stop might have issues ofcourse but it's not something I've come across.
If I understand you correctly, you are talking about manual gearbox cars? My car seemed to shut down very eagerly.
 

andylong

Active Member
Jan 21, 2021
112
24
If I understand you correctly, you are talking about manual gearbox cars? My car seemed to shut down very eagerly.
Well you need to still have brakes and steering, so if the vehicle is designed so that can happen I guess it can stop the engine earlier.
In a manual you can't stop the engine while the car is in motion and the clutch not depressed.
 

Zer0

Active Member
Jun 22, 2019
522
238
Great review. It looks much better in real life than I anticipated.

That silver on the rear bumper cheapens the look IMO though.
 

megarax

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
22
21
Great revue agree with most comments but I bought my car used so had to tax it it’s only £150 a year for the vz2 the vz3 with list over 40k would be more metallic paint doesn’t increase RFL it’s the basic list which is just under the magic 40k that makes the difference
spent ages looking for a white one so it was under 40K however mines graphene grey a 800 quid add on and still only £150 to tax
 
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Mike the_cupra

Active Member
May 29, 2020
151
79
I personally switch off Lane Assist every time, because I don't want to get heart attack when car suddenly veers to the left (in UK) or trying to kill cyclist or drive over the pothole. I guess, you can use indicator when overtaking cyclist, but would you use it when just avoiding pothole in the road? Drivers behind, may think you will be turning. And on narrow roads, it's even worse.

Regarding adaptive cruise, I will be looking for standard cruise in my next car. It's just extra work to correct adaptive cruise and accelerate when it forgets or when it slows down due to car on the other lane. It's also dangerous, when it brakes for you, when there's no need to brake and car behind may hit you.

All these new tech, that's suppose to save lives and make driving safer, but at the same time, you get touch screen, which is difficult to use while driving. Maybe some lives will be saved, but probably the same number of people will be killed, due to careless drivers, trying to change something on the screen.
I've had adaptive cruise on two cars now and it's a game changer. I'm surprised you don't like it. The deceleration can be annoying but once you know the distances it's manageable, and I dont think my cars have ever slammed on brakes on a motorway so that shouldnt be an issue at all!
I like driving assists. What I don't like is that the car resets them to ON on each ignition. If I turned off Lane Assist, I'd like for it to stay that way. Same with start/stop. This way if you live in an area where Lane Assist doesn't work well, you'll be annoyed with it every time you drive the car.

Start stop is similar problem, car is very eager to shut down, it will shut down while you are still slightly moving, I had the car turn off when I am entering a roundabout. Sure, it starts up very quickly, but it shouldn't force me to go to menu every time I drive the car.
Lane assist doesnt come back on unless you turn it on. Have they changed this? Because that would be seriously irritating. Haven't found anyone yet who actually uses it consistently and I very much agree about potholes and cyclists who are definitely more at risk when it's turned on