Cupra’s first standalone model is a handsome crossover with decent road manners and plenty of space. The Formentor will only ever be badged as a Cupra, Seat’s sporty and electrified off-shoot marque. Currently, you choose between two engines shared with the Cupra Leon hot hatchback. So, it’s a 306bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo unit driving all four wheels (a familiar powertrain from the likes of the VW Golf R and Audi S3) or a new plug-in hybrid set-up teaming a 1.4-litre turbo engine with an electric motor to develop 242bhp. The eHybrid version is capable of a claimed 31 miles on electric power alone.
For added sense of occasion, you start the Formentor with a button hung from the steering wheel. Immediately the engine sounds raucous and purposeful, but that’s being amplified through the speakers. If that’s getting tiring, you can tell it to shush by cycling though the many modes – use the Cupra steering wheel button for that. There’s Comfort, Normal, Sport, Cupra and Individual settings to choose from, with the latter letting you tailor the drivetrain’s mood, steering weight, and endlessly fiddle with the ride comfort by altering a sliding scale. It feels terribly scientific.
It’s dark inside the Formentor, despite the lashings of bronze trim. There’s much to like, though: the bucket seats up front (standard in higher-spec models) are fantastic, there’s plenty of oddment storage and though the materials employed are sub-Audi, it’s all tightly put together. Front and centre is Seat’s 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment. The screen size and resolution is very impressive, but the cheery-coloured menus will take some learning. The back seats offer enormous legroom, and you’ll be pleased to learn the boot is a generous size with a reasonably low loading sill and nets for lashing down errant items.
As we’re very early to drive the Formentor, full UK prices and specs are a little way off yet, but expect the version tested, loaded with kit and the 306bhp engine, to be priced just above the £37,000 Cupra Ateca.
Article courtesy of www.topgear.com
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