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Expert Review

CUPRA Formentor (2024 – ) review

Updated looks, improved in-car tech and extra power on certain models boost the already likeable Cupra Formentor’s appeal

Auto Trader

Words by: Auto Trader

Published on 24 June 2024 | 0 min read

The Auto Trader expert verdict:

4

Where previous models were basically souped-up Seat models the Formentor has the distinction of being the first to be designed and developed exclusively as a Cupra from the start. This mid-life update tweaks the looks to align with others in the range like the electric Bornand Tavascan while also introducing freshened up infotainment and improved performance. And these updates have worked – the Formentor remains one of the more interesting and unusual crossover-SUVs in this segment of the marketplace, as well as being one of the best to drive.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickSharp driving manners
  • tickClassy cabin
  • tickEye-catching styling

At a glance:

2024 Cupra Formentor

Running costs for a CUPRA Formentor

You’ll only get those electric miles if you’re fastidious about plugging in but even without that the new models should run for longer without firing up their petrol engines
One of the big changes for new and improved Formentor includes a much bigger battery for the ‘eHybrid’ branded plug-in hybrid models, extending their electric-only driving range from the previous 38 miles to 62 miles. This obviously helps on-paper eco credentials while also saving on Benefit In Kind if you’re planning on running a Formentor as a company car. You’ll only get those electric miles if you’re fastidious about plugging in (assuming facility to do so) but even without that the new models should run for longer without firing up their petrol engines. Basic 1.5-litre petrol Formentors with the automatic gearbox come with mild-hybrid fuel-saving technology too, so the only one to avoid for the cost-conscious is the range-topping 2.0-litre TSI 4Drive, which emits 193g/km of CO2 and will likely struggle to score 40mpg in general running.
Expert rating: 4/5
2024 Cupra Formentor

Reliability of a CUPRA Formentor

Cupra offers a generous five-year, 90,000-mile warranty on all its new cars
Slightly worryingly the Formentor hasn’t had the best reliability record up to this point. However, that’s mainly down to electrical glitches and issues with the infotainment system – the latter overhauled with new operating software as part of this round of updates. The hope is, therefore, said electrical problems will have been ironed out by now, and there are certainly no known major issues with the Formentor’s drivetrains, all of which are widely used elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group without trouble. If it helps, Cupra offers a generous five-year, 90,000-mile warranty on all its new cars.
Expert rating: 4/5
2024 Cupra Formentor

Safety for a CUPRA Formentor

In terms of safety gear the Cupra Formentor really wants for little
At launch the Cupra Formentor picked up a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with particularly impressive scores for the adult occupant, child occupant and safety assist disciplines. Alongside airbags (including a central one) and an emergency ‘eCall’ system, the Formentor has access to further desirable driver-assist technologies. These include predictive adaptive cruise control able to regulate speed according to the traffic in front via a radar sensor as well as slow automatically for junctions, roundabouts and corners as required. There’s also Travel Assist – a form of automatic lane-centring technology – and Exit Assist, an extension of blind-spot detection which sounds a warning if go to open one of the doors when a cyclist or pedestrian is approaching near to the car. In terms of safety gear the Cupra Formentor really wants for little.
Expert rating: 4/5
2024 Cupra Formentor

How comfortable is the CUPRA Formentor

We know from experience that the standard suspension set-up of the Formentor strikes a nice balance between a comfortable ride and impressive body control
While Cupra presents as one of the more dynamic and youthful brands within the wider Volkswagen group this is still a family focused crossover/SUV so needs to be comfortable when not pretending to be a hot hatch. To that end you can get an adjustable suspension system (branded as Dynamic Chassis Control or DCC) to adjust the balance between comfort and sportiness as required, this standard on VZ models and optional on others. We know from experience that the standard suspension set-up of the Formentor strikes a nice balance between a comfortable ride and impressive body control, but the DCC really does offer more light and shade between the various drive modes in the car. Better yet, the cabin of the Formentor is a lovely place to spend some time, with high-quality fixtures and fittings, superbly supportive front seats, and a general feeling of space. It’s not the out-and-out most practical SUV ever, thanks to its rakish exterior styling, but there’s plenty of room for four tall passengers to get comfy, while the boot ranges from 345 litres on the plug-in hybrids (an adequate figure, no more) up to a considerably more useful 450 litres on front-driven petrol models.
Expert rating: 4/5
2024 Cupra Formentor

Features of the CUPRA Formentor

The infotainment is now presented on a larger 12.9-inch touchscreen which dominates the dashboard, while the digital instrument cluster for the driver has crisper, cleaner graphics
You’ll likely have noticed the sharper looks of this updated Formentor already, the ‘shark nose’ front end, illuminated Cupra logo and snazzy light clusters all building on the already impressively stylish looks. But there are big changes inside, too. The infotainment is now presented on a larger 12.9-inch touchscreen which dominates the dashboard, while the digital instrument cluster for the driver has crisper, cleaner graphics. Perhaps more importantly the operating system powering both is the newest and latest, and is much improved. There’s still too much reliance on the screen – it’s fiddlier adjusting climate control and the like than with traditional physical knobs and buttons – but it’s generally more intuitive and easier to use than before. Overall, the standard of the Formentor’s interior is high, with copper-tinged details bringing a real touch of class. There’s also an increased focus on sustainability within, the man-made material on the bucket seats being made up of 73 per cent recycled microfibre while even the leather is said to be more environmentally conscious. Crucially, there’s no step down in the quality feel with these eco-textures, the premium nature of the Formentor’s interior thankfully preserved in the pursuit of sustainability.
Expert rating: 4/5
2024 Cupra Formentor

Power for a CUPRA Formentor

Those wanting the ultimate Formentor will need the new 2.0-litre flagship
Every engine option in the Formentor range offers decent performance and sensible running costs. The 1.5-litre is available with a manual gearbox and no hybrid assistance, but every other version of it is either an ‘eTSI’ mild hybrid with some light fuel-saving electrical tech added to the powertrain, or a full-on plug-in hybrid (PHEV) as described in ‘Running Costs’. One of these PHEVs has more power than it did before and performs really well, with just a touch of thrashiness from the petrol-engined side when using full acceleration. Those wanting the ultimate Formentor will need the new 2.0-litre flagship. It has the same lofty outputs as the high-performance Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3 models, as well as a fancier rear axle with a clever differential to split power to whichever wheel at the back of the Cupra can handle it best. It's also equipped with 4Drive all-wheel drive, which gives the Formentor superb traction, and a swift-shifting seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. It’s perhaps not the most exciting-sounding engine in the world, unless you opt for the expensive Akrapovic performance exhaust at extra cost. With or without that it has all the straight-line speed you could ever realistically need from a family car like this, given ability to punch from zero to 62mph in less than five seconds.
Expert rating: 5/5