mReview: CUPRA Formentor - Damningly Distinguished Debutante

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1633931110724 Motorist M Review Cupra Formentor Damningly Distinguished Debutante Featured(Photo Credit: @carspotsg)

The CUPRA Formentor is a standalone model that does not have a SEAT counterpart, unlike other CUPRA models. Thankfully, this flagship coupe-SUV is more than capable of embodying all that is good about the CUPRA formula: affordable and easy-to-access performance, with the Formentor adding amazing style to the equation.

If the new SEAT Leon we’ve reviewed is a testament to the brand no longer being a mere derivative of the more expensive Volkswagen-Audi Group (VAG) models, then the debuting of the CUPRA-only Formentor surely signals that CUPRA is no longer just a performance sub-brand of SEAT.

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With a stylish coupe-SUV exterior that has drawn many comparisons to a certain sports SUV bearing a raging bull badge, the CUPRA Formentor is a confident debutante that demonstrates that CUPRA is a brand that ought to be taken seriously by itself.

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Under the Bonnet

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The CUPRA Formentor features a fourth-generation iteration of VAG’s well-known EA888 engine.

Producing 310hp and 400Nm of torque, a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch unit sends power to all four wheels.

By using the launch control function (trust us, it’s straight-up addictive), you’ll propel from 0-100km/h in a mere 4.9 seconds.

It isn’t hard for a car to be made to go fast in a straight line, but the Formentor demonstrates that proper care has been put into its development when one experiences the handling and ride quality of the car.

On the Move

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The CUPRA Formentor has supple suspension damping to glide over humps like any other SUV. Yet, it can also convey an amazing road feel into the cabin without making the ride overly harsh.

The result is that one can feel whatever is going on between the car and the road, and all the delicious changes in grip and road surface are translated into your seat for you to react and know what to do when driving ten-tenths.

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The steering is very nicely weighted, especially in Cupra mode, although, like most modern power steering systems, feedback from the road through the steering wheel is limited.

Regardless, the CUPRA Formentor is still very easy to place and manoeuvre through tight B-roads and provides surprising levels of neutrality despite its 1.6-tonne kerb weight and pliant suspension.

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The only complaint that we have is that the Formentor does feel slightly unwilling to yield to sharp initial turn-ins. But we are willing to chalk that down to the Bridgestone Touranza tyres that come standard with the car, which provide comfort and better fuel economy.

With the performance potential on tap, we thought that proper performance tyres like Bridgestone Potenzas would have been far more appropriate in giving those sharp directional changes that the Formentor is undoubtedly capable of.

In the Cabin

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Much like in the new SEAT Leon, the cabin is built to superbly solid standards, with no rattles at all. This is an accolade that even some premium SUVs that we’ve tested cannot hold, so we were considerably impressed at just how well the CUPRA Formentor has been built.

Upfront, a pair of comfortable bucket seats cosset the driver and front passenger, and the dash is laid out neatly with bronze CUPRA accents accentuating the cabin atmosphere.

The CUPRA Formentor also features all the “wireless” you need - wireless charger, wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless Mirrorlink.

There’s also a 12” infotainment system featuring the latest CUPRA/SEAT user interface and a 10.2” fully digital cockpit display to sum up the tech upfront.

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Rear passengers enjoy plenty of leg and knee room, and they also get their very own climate zone.

At the rear, the electric tailgate opens up to 420 litres of cargo space, which can be further expanded to a whopping 1,475 litres with the seats folded down.

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Overall, the cabin of the CUPRA Formentor is just a pleasant place to be in. With the ambient lighting and beautiful CUPRA bronze accents, one can be lulled into thinking that this car is merely a quiet, comfortable coupe-SUV. 

Until one steps on the loud pedal and takes the first corner, that is.

Not Just a Value Proposition

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CUPRAs, much like SEATs, have been known to be the entry options for VAG’s performance products.

It is undeniable that the CUPRA Formentor makes supreme sense as an affordable and practical performance car at its price point. However, the Formentor goes beyond, demonstrating that it isn’t just a quick budgeted car: it’s a car that not only has substance but a great style that draws people.

In the CUPRA Formentor, the Spanish carmaker has genuinely introduced a damningly distinguished debutante worthy of being a CUPRA-exclusive flagship.

CUPRA can now be known not merely as an affordable performance brand, but also one that produces seriously attractive cars.

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Engine: 1,984cc Turbocharged Inline-4 Petrol

Power: 310hp @ 5,45 - 6,6000rpm

Torque: 400Nm @ 2,000 - 5,450rpm

Fuel Consumption: 12.9km/l

0-100km/h: 4.9s

Top Speed: 250km/h

Drivetrain: Seven-Speed DSG Automatic; All-Wheel Drive

Brakes: All-Round Ventilated Disc


Wheelbase: 2,679mm

Dimensions (LxWxH): 4,450mm x 1,839mm x 1,528mm

Weight: 1,596kg

Fuel Tank Capacity: 57L

Boot Capacity: 420L/1475L


Keyless Entry

Automatic Headlights

Automatic Wipers

Wireless Apple CarPlay

Wireless Android Auto

Wireless Smartphone Charging

360 Degree Camera

Power Tailgate

Park Assist (Auto Parking)

Photos in this article by @carspotsg

Read More: mReview: 2021 SEAT Leon Mild Hybrid - No More Playing Golf

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