The Cupra Formentor VZ e-Hybrid is nothing but a boring station wagon. But, in the test, it turns out to be a sheep in wolf's clothing: Its appearance is grim, dynamic, its inner values, on the other hand, relatively harmless and solid. And this is precisely a clever tactic that Cupra uses with its premiere as its brand.
The Cupra Formentor VZ looks chic. No, chic is not the right word - almost a bit nasty with the copper-colored logo in the radiator grille and its noticeable vehicle edges: The Formentor, named after the Cap Formentor on Mallorca, appeals to extroverts. Those who want to get envious and appreciative looks from Passat or Ford Focus drivers on the Aldi parking lot.
The highlight of the Cupra Formentor is the optics because the vehicle data itself is neat but not spectacular. Our test car is the VZ variant, which throws 245 hp instead of 204 hp into the scales and is more expensive in the configurator than the version without VZ.
As usual, the test car is fully equipped, including 19-inch alloy wheels that cost 1,090 euros in the configuration. And there we are on the subject of surcharge policy: according to the manufacturer, the basic version of the Cupra Formentor VZ e-Hybrid costs 44,120 euros before funding, our test car was listed at 54,346 euros, big chunks were, for example, the blue Cupra leather (1,680 euros) and that Panorama sliding glass roof (1,360 euros). This means that it is roughly par with the Cupra Leon sports tourer. If you want to lease the Formentor, you will find numerous leasing offers, some of which are even less than 100 euros (commercial) but usually have to be content with the 204 hp version (i.e., without the VZ addition in the name).
Our conclusion at the end of the text shows why Cupra, with its premiere as an independent car brand, detached from Seat, did a lot right and at the same time bridges the gap between common sense and fun.
Cupra Formentor VZ: optics, infotainment, space
We had already touched on the subject of external optics: dynamic, aggressive, angular. Inside, Cupra continues the look. A sporty-looking cockpit, chic leather seats with integrated headrests and ventilation slots, contrasting stitching, and leather elements - all of this again garnished with copper-colored details. Something like that makes a good impression and doesn't look like a car under 50,000 euros. The optionally available electric panoramic roof (1,360 euros) does the rest.
The cockpit is too much of a good thing for our taste. You can only deal with everything quickly if you have driven a younger Seat before. Otherwise, you will miss haptic buttons, and it will take you a long time to find your way around, even if the advantage of the many functions means customization down to the smallest detail. Furthermore, the smartphone integration has light and shadow: Cupra offers an inductive charging standard, but if you want to use Android Auto or Apple Car Play wirelessly, you have to pay an extra 240 euros.
The sports steering wheel with its flattened lower part and steering wheel heating receive great praise: It lies perfectly in hand and, in addition to the on/off button on the right, offers the button for the Cupra mode on the left - so you don't have to open it while driving fumble around the display but switch to what is probably the most popular driving mode via the steering wheel.
In terms of space, there is little to complain about. At the front, you sit very comfortably; the seats do not pinch the driver and front passenger too severely but could be a little too lax for those who are spoiled by sports seats. Taller people also feel at home in the back - as long as there are no more than two people.
Incidentally, anyone who considers the Formentor as a towing vehicle will be disappointed. Because the hybrid can tow a maximum of 750 kilos unbraked. That might be enough for a small boat, but not for a horse trailer and four-legged friend.
The Cupra Formentor measures 4.45 meters in length. This makes it 20 centimeters shorter than, for example, its hybrid brother Cupra Leon Sportstourer, but 5 centimeters higher.
Cupra Formentor VZ: range, charging, consumption
As is typical of a hybrid, the Formentor e-Hybrid also has a small battery - we pumped just 10.4 kWh into the crossover and, with careful driving in the most economical mode at moderate outside temperatures, achieved a purely electric range of 45 kilometers. Indeed, some readers will now argue that a hybrid is more likely to be driven in mixed operation. But in the end, the point of a car with an electric motor is to get from A to B with as few emissions as possible - and the distances here are limited. However, if you can regularly charge at home or at work, the hybrid makes perfect sense in this case.
The Cupra Formentor needs a good 3.5 hours to charge its battery from 0 to 100 percent; the maximum charging power here is 3.6 kW. At the household socket, it is then 5:45 hours with 2.6 kW.
Only those who drive a lot electrically and properly recharge will be happy about the around 1.9 liters Cupra officially specifies over 100 kilometers in combined hybrid mode. In the test, we determined consumption of 4 liters on 100 kilometers of country roads; with an empty battery, it was 7.2 liters at a speed of 130 km / h on the autobahn. These are good values for a combustion engine of this size and are very similar to the Passat GTE.
The Cupra Formentor cuts a pretty good figure in electrical consumption: 23.11 kWh for 100 kilometers is a value in the lower average for plug-in station wagons but is far from the WLTP figures of 15.9 kWh.
Cupra Formentor VZ: motorization, horsepower, driving dynamics
The Cupra Formentor is not as aggressive as it looks. Above all, if you are only driving with the internal combustion engine with an empty battery. Because then only 150 HP are available instead of the combined 245 HP system output, the 1.4-liter displacement does the rest for the front-wheel-drive with four cylinders. True speed enthusiasts might yelp at the maximum speed of 210 km / h, but that should be enough for the majority of buyers. By the way: Those who prefer to use the first fully electric Cupra, the Cupra Born, have to be content with 160 km / h.
So on our test drives, we gave up our expectation of sitting in a Spanish Porsche and learned to appreciate the smooth-running, well-engineered, and at the same time never boring engine and its existing dynamic range of 400 Newton meters (combined). When things got a little livelier, it was enough to press the Cupra button on the steering wheel, which was acknowledged by an exceptional Cupra sound that imitated the roar of a sports car but was somewhat extra bells and whistles for us. The very dynamic front-wheel-drive remained pleasantly predictable and always controllable in the test even at full power, i.e., in hybrid mode, with Cupra or sport modes. We were rarely able to provoke oversteer or understeer on winding roads, even with a sporty driving style.
Our conclusion: Charming
Well done, Cupra! The first car without a Seat in its name was a great success for the Spaniards. However, the optics were much more significant while the engine power, consumption, and electric range were virtually identical to the Seat Cupra Leon Sportstourer e-Hybrid.
The Cupra Formentor is an almost stormy-looking crossover with nothing to do with a family car like Skoda Octavia or VW Passat. The many copper-colored accents seem almost too much paired with the blue leather, but you cannot argue about taste as is well known. Cupra's tactics with the Formentor are obvious: Address as many buyers as possible - even if they have a different focus on their car. Namely, to stand out from the crowd with an almost aggressive-looking station wagon, but also not to blow fuel beyond 10 liters. And so, a charming hybrid car was created that bridges the gap between passion and reason. In terms of price, Cupra asks its customers to pay more than Skoda or Seat with a list price of at least 44,000 euros but is still lower than VW with its Passat GTE. The Formentor is a real box-office hit when it comes to leasing: many platforms usually offer the normal e-Hybrid instead of the stronger VZ version at prices well below 150 euros for private individuals.
Are you planning to buy an electric car or a hybrid car?