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First Drive

First Drive: Cupra Formentor

CUPRA Formentor e-HYBRID 245PS VZ2
The story: The Formentor is Cupra’s first bespoke model since being spun off from Seat, and this is the entry model to the coupe-SUV range
Key rival:Audi Q2
Efficiency:42.2 mpg
On sale:Now

The Cupra Formentor is the newly spun-off Spanish brand’s first solo car, and this is the 150hp petrol entry to a range that also includes a 310hp petrol performance range-topper, and a pair of plug-in hybrid models that offer fleet-friendly CO2 figures from 27g/km.

It looks great, with the 150hp model every bit as sharp and attractive as the more performance-orientated models.

The cabin is also as lovely on the entry car as it is higher up the range, especially the sports seats, while even the entry V1 trim level gets niceties including a 12.0-inch touchscreen, wireless phone charging and Apple CarPlay, plus keyless entry.

First Drive - September 2021 - Cupra Formentor - Image 4The 150hp engine needs to be worked to produce the performance it looks like it should have. Emissions of 151g/km are also higher than the likes of the Audi Q2’s 138g/km, though it’s within one BiK band of the other premium brands that Cupra says it is pinching sales from.

The Formentor’s better residual values than sister brand Seat’s Ateca small SUV also earn it a better cost-per-mile figure than the more sensible Spanish sibling.

The other thing to note is that, while this entry Formentor costs over £7000 less than the entry PHEV Formentor, both the overall cost per mile and particularly the driver’s BiK taxation are much more favourable on the 204hp plug-in, with a 40% tax payer saving over £200 a month on contributions to HM Treasury.

paul barker



The verdict

Tempting in isolation, the entry Formentor is good-looking and well-equipped, but its PHEV sibling is a more sensible, and faster, company choice.