Don’t let any left-field allusions cast throughout this test mislead you: the Formentor really does represent a spreading of wings for its maker.
It’s ready to take on fairly ordinary family hatchbacks and crossover SUVs at one end of its model range, where it has prices starting from under £28,000, and plenty of design and dynamic star quality with which to attract private buyers.
It will also do the PHEV fleet car thing for those who like the idea of a tax-efficient company car with a difference. Prices, CO2 ratings and electric range figures for the eHybrid versions have yet to be released, but if the VW Group’s other recent plug-in offerings are a guide, they should be pretty competitive.
Then, at the higher end of the model range, the Formentor will square up to junior performance SUVs and sporty estates and, as our top five overleaf shows, it shouldn’t struggle with the comparison.
What’s more, with a five-pot Audi RS engine, the still-secret top-level Formentor will head into Porsche Macan territory on both price and performance and, on this evidence, we shouldn’t expect it to sink without a trace even there.
Our test car’s list price, at a whisker under £40,000, makes it a close match for the latest Golf R hatchback, but it’s cheaper narrowly than a VW T-Roc R, and quite a lot cheaper than the premium-branded rivals (such as BMW’s X2 M35i and Mercedes-AMG’s GLA 35) that are arguably its closest competitors.