What is it?
It obviously pays to invest - the Cupra Formentor is Cupra’s first, and thus far only, stand-alone model and currently accounts for 50% of UK sales. The bean counters at the Volkswagen Group should take note.
We’re testing it here in second-rung V2 1.5 TSI spec and, yes, the beady-eyed among you will have spotted that the images aren’t of the V2. Sadly, we couldn’t get our test car photographed, but to me the V2 loses little of the VZ2’s visual appeal. The Formentor is a decent-looking thing, to the point where non-car friends were interested to know what it was when it was parked up outside my house. They’ve never shown similar curiosity in a BMW X2.
Equally, you’d never know from inside that you’re not sitting in one of the top-of-the-range models. One upshot of the large, 12in touchscreen that dominates the cabin is that you’re not left with many blank switches in lower trim levels, simply because there aren’t many in the first place. In fact, all Formentors get the same-sized, twin-screen set-up - 12in for the infotainment, 10in for the digital dials.
The V2 also gets figure-hugging, electric seats in nappa leather (the latter normally the preserve of high-spec exec cars), heated steering wheel, electric tailgate and parking sensors all-round. Additionally, it still has the separate climate control switches in the back, plus a couple of USB-C ports back there, so the kids won’t feel short-changed either. Head and leg room are decent in the rear.
The ubiquitous Volkswagen 1.5-litre petrol is available with both DSG and manual gearbox options, but we’ve tested it here with the dual-clutch set-up. With 148bhp and 184lb ft, it’ll hit 62mph in 8.9sec but because there’s no mild-hybrid technology, the emissions of 155g/km aren’t sector-defining. They’re similar to a car like the X2 and a couple of tax brackets behind the Peugeot 2008.