site search by freefind
MotorBar
CUPRA Formentor V2 1.4 eHybrid 204PS DSG
Click to view picture gallery“SEATs passionate performance
  offshoot
the CUPRA brand
  promises more fizz from its models.
  But is its latest Formentor SUV
  just frothy Prosecco or the real
  bubbly
Champagne of Italy,
  Franciacorta?”


A CLUE: Formentor also begins with an 'F' That subtlety noted, these days 'sporty' by itself is no longer enough; in the mix there also needs to be some 'electricity' — fortunately, the eHybrid version has that too!

While it's always challenging to come up with catchy new model names, the alternatives can sometimes be as tricky to recall as that long number on your credit card. Cupra have the 'Formentor' bit right, though: rhyming neatly with 'tormentor' it sounds nicely locked, cocked, and ready to tango, although the eHybrid's full designation might trip up owners keen to share the good news about their new set of wheels down at the pub, given its full nomenclature is 'Cupra Formentor V2 1.4 eHybrid 204PS DSG'.

The Formentor boasts
a swish interior that’s
boosted by copper
highlighting, brushed
satin alloy finishings,
and wraparound ambient
lighting.
Quality is on par with
similar sized SUVs from
premium badge-wearers
such as BMW and Volvo
so, seated in the Nappa
leather-skinned chairs,
you’re in good company.
And there’s plenty
of space in which to
soak up the classy
atmosphere: up front
you’ll find loads of
legroom and a fist-and-
a-half of headroom.
Adding an extra layer of
luxury are bucket-style,
heated seats that
not only proved to be
supportive through the
twistiest of twisty bits
but made long journeys
something to look
forward to...”
Before going any further, let's break that down: Formentor comes from the Formentor peninsula on the Spanish island of Majorca; the eHybrid bit is simple enough and refers to its green credentials, namely its electric motor-petrol engine powertrain; V is shorthand for the Spanish word veloz, meaning 'fast', while the '2' refers to the trim grade; 204PS (201bhp) indicates the total combined power; and 'DSG' obviously references its six-speed dual-clutch autobox.

Many hybrids and EVs still seem to downplay sporty looks in favour of a certain blandness, as if dull 'n' worthy styling somehow underscores their 'greenness'. Not so Cupra who are clearly not shy about blending exuberant looks with eco appeal. And why shouldn't environmentally-minded motorists get to drive great-looking cars. Refreshingly, the Formentor's sharply faceted front-end treatment hints strongly at it being 'up for some havoc'; as too does its coupe-esque side profile and boldly defined, muscular rear-haunches.

The Formentor boasts a swish interior that's boosted by copper highlighting, brushed satin alloy finishings, and wraparound ambient lighting. Quality is on par with similar sized SUVs from premium badge-wearers such as BMW (X2) and Volvo (XC40) so, seated in the black Nappa leather-skinned chairs, you and your passengers are in good company.

And there's plenty of space in which to soak up the classy atmosphere: up front you'll find loads of legroom and a fist-and-a-half of headroom. Adding an extra layer of luxury are bucket-style, heated seats that not only proved to be supportive through the twistiest of twisty bits but made long journeys something to look forward to.

For the driver, there's a fully powered seat with adjustable lumbar and three-setting memory recall along with a multifunction, flat-bottomed, sports steering wheel with perforated work areas that's lovely to use, and fine visibility over the bonnet made better by the slim windscreen pillars. While boldly styled, the coupe-esque C-pillars don't spoil your view of what's going on behind; reversing sensors and a rear-looking camera make parking a no-fear job. Add to that pedals that line up with the steering wheel (so no twisted knees or skewed hips) and you have a sporty and satisfying driving position from which to enjoy the Formentor's dynamic qualities.

There's practicality too, with numerous in-cabin storage areas including practical door bins, a glovebox, a pair of cupholders large enough to offer genuine dual-use opportunities, a good-sized open tray ahead of the selector lever with wireless charging bed for your smartphone plus twin charging USB ports, a couple more small trays, along with a deep bin with a 12V socket beneath the centre armrest.

The Formentor's comms the linchpin of any car today whether its ICE (internal combustion engine), Hybrid, or EV are fully up to speed, with a digital-rich cockpit. The stepped dash works a treat with a central touchscreen set high and 'free-standing' to ensure minimal time-away-from-the-road for your eyes. Sure, a reliance on finger-tapping a touchscreen to control everything, including altering the climate, can be a tad exasperating but not, if, as on the Formentor, it incorporates natural voice control. To use it, simply say "Hello"; followed by what you need "I'm cold", for instance, will automatically, and speedily, ramp up the temperature. Add to that clearly marked buttons on the multifunction wheel and the Formentor's command structure all makes perfect sense.

Given the unashamedly
sporty looks, the real
eye-opener is the
Formentor’s ride.
It glosses over tatty
tarmac and bumpy
blacktop with amazing
grace.
Sure, it’s a tad firm but
it never veers close
to being harsh and
maintains its composure
even when pressing on.
Which it does
with gusto!”
The 12-inch central infotainment and navigation touchscreen and the 10-inch digital instrument panel are both hi-def clear and fast-acting; the driver's screen is easily reconfigurable. Added to the voice control is full smartphone integration and mirroring (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto), four USB Type C ports, 6 speakers, and DAB radio.

Also included is SEAT's Connect Safety, Service, Remote & Online software covering emergency and breakdown calls, service scheduling, and remote access of driving data, parking position, etc. Another positive is the posted road speed being shown on not just the main touchscreen's active navigation mapping but also on the driver's instrument display panel, along with your actual road speed as well as road signs.

In addition to all the comms kit just mentioned there's the leather upholstery and sports seats, three-zone AirCon (with a dedicated rear control panel for those in the back), keyless entry and keyless start, adaptive cruise control (with 'follow-to-stop') and speed limiter, rearview camera, electronic parking brake with autohold, heated seats and heated steering wheel, ambient interior lighting, front and rear electric windows, dark tinted rear glass, powerfolding heated door mirrors with memory function, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a set of eye-catching machined 19-inch matte-black-and-silver alloy wheels.

Safety kit is equally comprehensive and along with a five-star EuroNCAP rating features forward collision warning (reacts to other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians) with automatic emergency braking, driver and front passenger airbags with front passenger airbag de-activation, front side curtain airbags, an electronic differential lock and dynamic traction support, driver attention alert, and traffic-sign recognition.

Headlights are powerful LED units with daytime running lights plus LED taillights (with dynamic indicators), and the front fog lamps incorporate a cornering function. More standard-fit items include tyre pressure monitoring, auto lights, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic dip/high-beam switching.

Rear cabin accommodation is unexpectedly liberal, with plentiful foot and leg room along with enough headroom to keep a brace of six-footers relaxed and smiling especially with the well-padded, wide centre armrest, clearly designed for sharing with no territorial disputes, folded down. ISOFIX and top tether anchorage points make it a child-friendly haven too.

The 201bhp eHybrid
puts its power down
through its front wheels
via a rapid and smooth-
changing, six-speed DSG
dual-clutch autobox.
Like a full-on EV, it
always feels keen to go
with satisfying bursts
of effortless ‘urge’
whenever your right foot
demands it...”
Although they don't look it from outside, the side windows are large and contribute to the airy ambiance despite the interior's all-black theme. In addition to the comfy seats and dedicated rear cabin temperature adjustment panel with air vents, rear passengers also benefit from backseat pouches, siamesed cupholders built into the armrest, door bins, and two charging USB ports.

Given the unashamedly sporty looks, the real eye-opener is the Formentor's ride. It glosses over tatty tarmac and bumpy blacktop with amazing grace. Sure, it's a tad firm but it never veers close to being harsh and maintains its composure even when pressing on. Which it does with gusto!

So, a good moment to mention the power options... While petrolheads might still wish to stick with an internal combustion engine under their bonnet, those in the know will be taking the hybrid route. If it's ICE you still want, you can still have it: petrol-drinking power choices are 148bhp (1.5-litre) and 306bhp (2.0-litre).

Green-but-still-keen drivers will go for the eHybrid plug-in powertrain which uses a four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol engine teamed with an electric motor, available in either 201bhp guise, as tested here, or with a more intoxicating 242bhp.

The 201bhp eHybrid puts its power down through its front wheels via a rapid and smooth-changing, six-speed DSG dual-clutch autobox. Like the electric motor-petrol engine combo, the autobox and hybrid drivetrain are also harmoniously matched. Like a full-on EV, it always feels keen to go with satisfying bursts of effortless 'urge' whenever your right foot demands it.

Which could be often, particularly if you find yourself selecting Sport from the three available driving modes (all of which do make a discernible difference). It may be a hybrid, but the Formentor's quartet of 'squared' copper-coloured tailpipes are not just for show after hitting its sweet spot around 2,000rpm, the Formentor will happily ramp up the speed all the way to the redline. Also very welcome are the paddle-shifters for when you feel like taking back total control in manual mode.

Handling-wise the
eHybrid easily earns
the F-word: it
s undeniably FUN.
The figures (127mph top
speed and 62mph in
an enthusiastic 7.8)
confirm it doesn
t hang
about in a straight line;
what they don
t show
is that it
s pretty handy
around and through
the twisty bits too...”
The eHybrid's electric motor doesn't just help it go fast; it also makes possible an all-electric range of approximately 34 miles (in committed city driving this could go as high as 41 miles). In these days of Low Emission Zones it's also a useful tax-saver when driving in or through areas infested by LEZs, or worse, ULEZs. Talking of pure electric power, plugging-in and charging the eHybrid is as straightforward as it gets. A full charge can be done and dusted in just three-and-a-half hours using a 3.6kW supply.

Note that the headline-grabbing three-figure hybrid consumption figures bandied about by various carmakers only translate to real-life driving if you can keep all your single trips to under a set figure between full battery charge-ups 35 miles that would be in the Formentor's case. Do that, and you'll struggle to use a drop of unleaded. However, in real-life the reality will be closer to what we achieved over a week's sporty (but not too naughty!) driving: 64.1mpg. A very nice figure indeed!

Handling-wise this Formentor easily earns the F-word: it's undeniably FUN. The figures (127mph top speed and 0-62mph in an enthusiastic 7.8 seconds) confirm it doesn't hang about in a straight line; what they don't show is that it's pretty handy around and through the twisty bits too.

However you're driving, it feels planted and positive, and the accurate steering comes with a decent amount of feedback that generates a seriously can-do attitude. The brakes, too, deserve praise: given they must combine normal friction with hybrid regenerative stopping, they really are very good, both progressive and reassuring.

All in all the Cupra Formentor eHybrid is not only comfortable for long journeys en famille, but an eager beaver on those days you're looking for some solo driving entertainment.

The Formentor's 60:40-split rear seats fold down to open up a versatile loadbay (use the easy release levers in the boot sides) but even with them in use for passengers there's 345 litres of boot space between their backrests and the hatchback.

Should you need to accommodate long items you'll be pleased to make use of the large load-thru hatch set between the outer seatbacks and should you wish to utilise the roof, the necessary roof rails are already fitted. Unexpectedly, towing is not only doable but the eHybrid can haul a substantial 1,700kg. In other words, all your options are covered.

The Formentor eHybrid looks pretty amazing, exudes character, is great to travel in, and drives brilliantly. Not only that, but you don't have to compromise on space or practicality or go short of desirable tech and 'goodies'. Without doubt Cupra's practical hybrid more than lives up to its 'SUV-coupe' expectations. Don't leave home without one! ~ MotorBar
.
CUPRA Formentor V2 1.4 eHybrid 204PS DSG
| 39,810
Maximum speed: 127mph | 0-62mph: 7.8 seconds | Test Average: 61.4mpg
Power: 201bhp | Torque: 184lb ft | CO2: 29g/km

.