CAR TESTWhat was once the sporty label of Seat is now an independent car brand. In the communication of Cupra, the hip marketing terms are flying around you, but the Formentor e-Hybrid offers more than just sharp lines.
Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid (245hp/180 kW), from €43,990
At the moment you can choose four models at Cupra. The Leon hatchback and Sportstourer are sportier versions of the Seat of the same name. The electric Cupra Born – coming later this year – is a Volkswagen ID.3 in a sports outfit. That immediately makes this Formentor special: the SUV is not available as a Seat and resembles no other model of the Volkswagen Group. Finally something to choose if you don’t get warm from a ‘normal’ Ateca.
Because that’s what Cupras are for, if we can believe the brand: for people who get hot from cars. lovers. Enthusiasts who want something different. Judging by the reactions of passers-by, the Formentor scores in any case with its sharp, even somewhat voluptuous looks. Its obvious fake exhausts, race car-like bumpers and copper-colored accents are a tad cartoonish, but the tested VZ Copper Edition turns out to be a real neck turner.
As long as there is sufficient power in the 12.8 kWh battery pack, this plug-in hybrid also delivers a pleasant output of 245 hp (180 kW). That is more than enough for smooth performance, especially when that oh so pleasant electro boost is still available.
However: are the battery cells empty after about 40 kilometers? Then the electric motor blows significantly less hard and you drive around with the 150 hp that the 1.4-liter petrol engine coughs up. Still not able to make do, but the Formentor is certainly not mischievous smooth.
That’s a shame, because its chassis (firm, never too hard) and steering (sharp, never too nervous) are just surprisingly well adjusted. He can be used daily but certainly playful enough to give cracked noses a wide smile. In that sense, the Formentor does exactly what Cupra promises.
+ Sharp, playful steering behavior.
+ Comfort is not that bad.
+ Full of character.
– Limited electric range.
– Petrol engine a bit too tame.
– Price is disappointing.
Among other things, due to its design, distinctive decoration, more dynamic driving behavior and above-average performance, the Formentor actually adds something. The fact that it is also not the umpteenth Seat clone and that it can be used on a daily basis is a bonus.
Additional test notes
The Cupra Formentor is as Seat itself should have been: the sportier, fresher and sharper alternative to the rational choices at concern brothers Volkswagen and Skoda.
Immediately whine about a small detail: according to Cupra, the Formentor is not a Seat, but when you connect a smartphone to the bluetooth of the car, the car is still called Seat. If you want to offer a different brand experience if necessary, you have to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, of course.
The interior of the Formentor still breathes a lot of Seat. In terms of design, it is very similar to that in the Leon, with a wide center tunnel with the gear lever, a large screen in the middle and sharply drawn air vents. Fortunately, Cupra offers the opportunity to make the Formentor something more special on the inside: the tested Copper Edition has special dashboard trim in the color ‘Petrol Blue’ with copper-colored stitching. Looks downright nice.
This combination is also reflected in the upholstery of the seats and the rear seat, which creates a special atmosphere. In addition, if you choose the Performance trim level, you get a special ‘supersport’ steering wheel with integrated start/stop button and a Cupra button with which you can choose the driving mode.
With that round Cupra button you can also choose ‘Cupra’ in addition to ‘normal’ and ‘Sport’. Then both engines deliver their maximum available power, the automatic transmission shifts faster and the car also produces more noise. Those sounds, which you don’t hear outside the car, often sound a bit too much: only at about ‘three quarters of the gas’ the hum is a bit reminiscent of a five-cylinder petrol engine. It gives the car more character, but it doesn’t sound really good.
In the tested version, the e-Hybrid powertrain delivers 245 hp (180 kilowatts). This is the stronger of the two options, as Cupra also offers a Formentor plug-in hybrid with 204 hp (150 kW). This less powerful variant is available from €43,990, while the cheapest Formentor with 245 hp starts at a price of €49,990. Both options have a six-speed automatic transmission as standard. The test car sprints from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 7 seconds, the top speed is 210 kilometers per hour.
Until recently, Cupra also supplied an even stronger 2.0 TSI with four-wheel drive and 310 hp (228 kW) in the Formentor, but it was canceled due to the high purchase price in the Netherlands. In the meantime, the brand has also unveiled a Formentor with a five-cylinder petrol engine (borrowed from the Audi RS3). Of that 390 hp variant, a maximum of seven thousand will be made, it is still unclear whether it will also come to the Netherlands.
The sports seats in the testauto look cool and are comfortable, but offer too little support for people with longer legs. Especially on long rides you notice that the seats are not long enough, which causes tired legs. Certainly for cars in this (price) segment, length-adjustable seats should be standard.
Although the Formentor is not a space miracle, the space in the rear seat and in the trunk (345 liters) is reasonable for a car in this segment. There is no extra storage compartment under the luggage compartment, because that is where the batteries are built. By the way, they also ensure that you have a relatively small petrol tank: with 40 liters you are refueling about every 450 kilometers on longer highway trips. So count on a so-called lifestyle SUV: those who really want space and optimal sober deployability would do better to choose a Leon Sportswagon or Seat Ateca or Tarraco.
Every Cupra Formentor comes standard with adaptive cruise control, blind spot sensors (which remarkably illuminate the warning light in the corner of the dashboard), rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, a large 12-inch screen for navigation and multimedia, a digital instrument panel and automatic air conditioning. From the Performance (€47,990) the car also has dynamically adjustable dampers, which adapt their character to the position in which you put the Cupra. That facility is well worth it.
The test car is available as a VZ Copper Edition, the most extensive variant available from 51,990 euros. Including an extra frivolously decorated interior, 19-inch wheels, an automatic parking aid, bucket seats in the front, a wireless charger for your smartphone (in a very handy place, in the middle under the dashboard), a panoramic sliding/tilting roof and a heated steering wheel this one leaves little to be desired. The high-profile matte paint of the test car also pushes the price up by another 2370 euros.
You will find all previously published tests in our extensive Autotest file.
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and don’t miss out on any of the stars.
Test Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid: spicy newcomer tastes like more | Car
Source link Test Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid: spicy newcomer tastes like more | Car