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Cupra Formentor review

2020 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 53.8
” Sporty crossover for keen drivers – but is it too niche? “

At a glance

Price new £34,190 - £48,930
Used prices £15,652 - £38,830
Road tax cost £190 - £600
Insurance group 19 - 33
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Fuel economy 31.4 - 47.9 mpg
Miles per pound 4.6 - 7.0
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Alternative fuel

Pros & cons

  • Great to drive for an SUV
  • Choice of powerful petrol engines
  • Available with four-wheel drive
  • Firm ride in Cupra mode
  • Fiddly infotainment system
  • Targeting a very niche market

Written by Luke Wilkinson Published: 10 August 2023 Updated: 10 August 2023


In the early 2000s, Cupra gained an enviable amount of notoriety in the hot hatchback market for its work with SEAT. For almost two decades, Cupra operated as the Spanish company’s dedicated performance arm, fitting powerful engines and outlandish body kits to cars like the Ibiza and the Leon. Now, though, Cupra has struck out on its own and is taking a swing at some of the best SUVs on sale with this – the Formentor.

For the uninitiated, allow us to provide some context. In 2018, SEAT severed its ties with Cupra and reorganised it into an independent car manufacturer that now, thanks to electric cars like the Cupra Born, is outperforming the original parent company. The Formentor was launched in 2020 as the new brand’s first standalone model, with ambitions of rivalling everything from the Volvo XC40 to the Audi Q3 Sportback. And, even though it’s a crossover, Cupra says the Formentor retains the same driver-focused attitude as its forebears from the turn of the 21st century.

The Cupra Formentor toes a delicate line between a hot hatchback and a sporty SUV. Its sloping roofline and massive alloy wheels make it look more like a lifted estate in profile – which is good, because that helps to create some distance between it and its boxier SEAT-badged cousins, the Ateca and the Arona.

Formentor buyers have a choice of six powertrains spread across five specifications. Entry-level V1 and V2 cars are available with either a 150hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, a 190hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit or a 204hp 1.4-litre petrol plug-in hybrid powertrain with a maximum official electric range of 36 miles. There’s also a more potent version of the same PHEV powertrain with 245hp.

The more expensive Formentor VZ1 is available with the same 245hp 2.0-litre petrol engine as the Cupra Leon and the Volkswagen Golf GTI (Cupra is still part of the Volkswagen Group, after all), while VZ2 and VZ3 models feature the same 310hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the Volkswagen Golf R. You get four-wheel drive on those models, too.

In June 2023, Cupra also released a limited-edition VZN model, costing £48,270. It’s only available with the 310hp engine and gets bespoke styling features and paint colours over the VZ3.

The performance figures certainly look encouraging – but has Cupra painted itself into a corner by plonking the Formentor in the niche coupe SUVs market? That rakish roofline could limit its appeal to family buyers, while traditional hot hatch buyers might be turned off by its taller stance.

Over the next few pages, we aim to answer that question. We’ll review each aspect of the Cupra Formentor, considering its practicality, interior, technology, running costs and driving experience before offering our final verdict on the car. Read on to find out whether the Formentor could suit your lifestyle, or whether you’d be better off with something a little more conventional.