Cupra Formentor 2.0

TSi VZ2 310 DSG

Cupra Formentor, 2021, side
Cupra Formentor, 2021, front
Cupra Formentor, 2021, rear
Cupra Formentor, 2021, interior
Cupra Formentor, 2021, boot

THE trouble with most SUVs is they look too similar. Rugged, square boxes with a wheel at each corner ... and great big grilles attached to the front.

Not the Cupra Formentor. With sleek bulges, graceful curves and a muscular yet elegant stance, it delicately straddles the line between coupe and off-roader.

And that is exactly the intention of Cupra's designers who were out to make a practical crossover which nevertheless has the desirability of a sports saloon.

For those who haven't heard of Cupra, it's the posh off-shoot of SEAT, and the Formentor is its first stand alone model which isn't replicated within the mother-make's line-up.

In some ways, a miniature but much cheaper clone of the super fast Lamborghini Urus - unsurprisingly from the same VW Group family - it largely succeeds. But there are areas that the everyday, family motorist may find it somewhat lacking.

In usual VW Group style, there's an array of enjoy options with a wide spread of power. Our choice was the sporty 2.0 TSi VZ2 which knocks out a gutsy 306bhp and includes four-wheel-drive in its armoury.

So you have a smart four-seater hatchback which has reasonable space for folk and baggage - but hardly the most generous of load carriers - coupled to Porsche-type acceleration. Yes, the Formentor will despatch 62mph in under five seconds.

The cabin is contemporarily styled, as you'd expect, and appropriately minimalist with most of the main controls being operated through the central touchscreen. There's also a row of tiny buttons beneath the screen.

This proves an irritation when adjusting heating or other cabin functions on the move as you really have to divert your eyes from the road to operate them.

By SUV standards, the Formentor isn't terribly spacious but set alongside other coupe-crossovers, it measures up pretty well with a family sized boot - 420 litres - about the size of a Focus's and flip down rear seats.

At the heart of the Formentor is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder that will whisk it to 62mph in just 4.9seconds and top 155mph. There's a choice of driving modes ranging from Cupra ie super-stiff to Normal which translates as firm but comfortable.

A seven-speed twin clutch automatic gearbox is standard issue and does a cracking job in combining swift changes with ease of driving in city congestion.

Despite its individuality and unique branding, the Cupra feels very much a VW Audi product, which is no bad thing. It rides in composed style, at least in Normal setting, and smoothes out most road irregularities. There's negligible body roll and the four wheel drive system ensures you stay firmly glued to the road as cornering speeds mount.

With so much available power, economy is unlikely to be the leading priority. Nevertheless, the low 30s mpg is easily attainable and emissions are pegged at an acceptable 193g/km.

FAST FACTS

Cupra Formentor 2.0 TSi VZ2 310 DSG

Price: £39,830

Mechanical: 2.0-litre, 306bhp, 4 cyl turbo engine driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 4.9sec

Combined MPG: 31.4

Insurance Group: 33

C02 emissions: 193g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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