Read Caroline’s Cupra Formentor review for everything you need to know about buying Cupra’s stylish crossover.

The Cupra Formentor first launched back in 2021 and was Cupra’s first model designed exclusively for the brand. Since then the Cupra range has expanded to include the Born electric hatchback. The Cupra Leon and Ateca complete Cupra’s range of family cars and SUVs – with a little bit of attitude. The new electric Cupra Tavascan is expected to arrive in 2024.

Cupra is pitched as an upmarket sporty brand within the Volkswagen Group. The Formentor has really helped to establish Cupra as a new standalone brand in the Irish market since Cupra first appeared here in 2019. The Formentor’s blend of sporty crossover style and array of power options including petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid has made it a good choice for Irish motorists. It is the brand’s bestselling model currently.

In this review, I take a closer look at the Formentor range in 2023 and drive the plug-in hybrid version with 204hp.

The Formentor goes on sale priced from about €40,630.

The Cupra Formentor on test for Changing Lanes
The Cupra Formentor on test for Changing Lanes


The Formentor is priced in the region of familiar family SUVs like the Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai. But it’s a bit more of a sporty coupé-crossover by design. It’s lower and longer than a Cupra Ateca SUV but still sits a little higher off the ground than your average hatchback, which gives it a sense of presence. There’s also a touch of rugged crossover style with a contrasting finish around the wheel arches, bumpers and lower sills to add character.

The Formentor is quite outlandish in its looks – in a good way. It definitely stands out on the road as something a little different. There’s a sporty front splitter, sexy roof spoiler and diffuser effect in the rear bumper hinting at some good performance. Though the plug-in hybrid’s copper ‘exhaust tips’ are for styling only. There are a range of captivating 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs available with Cupra’s signature copper accents.


The cabin is quite distinct too and feels very ‘Cupra’. The gorgeous bucket-style sports seats are a must-have and really add to the sporty vibe. The dashboard layout feels very driver-focused, with a lovely leather-wrapped, Cupra-branded steering wheel and lots of soft-touch materials adding to a feeling of quality that seems just about right for a car at this price point. There’s more of Cupra’s signature copper trim to add style and exclusivity.

Inside the new CUPRA Formentor
The cabin of the Cupra Formentor

The Formentor is very well-equipped with tri-zone climate control, reversing camera and heated front seats/heated steering wheel. There’s also a full digital driver display and you can toggle between a few different layouts from a button on the steering wheel. The large touchscreen in the centre of the dash comes with Cupra-specific graphics as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless integration with your smartphone. It can be a little bit fiddly to use. There’s heavy reliance on the screen for simple tasks like adjusting the ventilation or the fan speed for example. You get used to it but it’s not the most practical of systems.


The Formentor will seat five and offers two large footwells in the rear as well as a decent enough amount of headroom for a stylish crossover like this. It will be more comfortable for two rather than three passengers. But there are amenities included like separate vents as part of the tri-zone climate control, USB ports, an armrest and hatch that opens through to the boot.

When it comes to boot space, the petrol and diesel models are best offering a competitive 450 litres. If you go for a plug-in hybrid that figure goes down to about 345 litres. It’s a shallower space overall but still useful.

The Formentor offers a range petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid
The Formentor offers a good range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines


Petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options are available with either a 6- or 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox depending on model. The entry into the range is a 1.5-litre turbo petrol with 150hp. There’s also a 2.0-litre diesel with 150hp. The plug-in hybrid uses a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine, electric motor and a 12.8 kWh battery. So it can be driven electric for up to about 55 kilometres at most. It’s available with 204hp or 245hp (VZ trim only).

At the top of the range, there is a high performance 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine just like the Golf R, putting out 310hp in the Formentor.


On the road the Formentor is more fun to drive than most crossovers and SUVs. Being a more performance-oriented brand, the Formentor gets an electronic limited slip differential that improves traction and grip in front wheel drive models. It helps to keep the Formentor tidy through bends. The steering is direct and well-weighted, and the whole car feels quite driver-focused. In plug-in hybrid form, it’s not a hot hatchback but there is plenty of power when you want it. The Formentor responds willingly, with 0-100 completed in 7.8 seconds.

To get the best efficiency from the plug-in hybrid, the battery is best charged, which takes about 3.5 hours at a rate of 3.6kW. Over a week of driving in mostly hybrid mode, my average consumption was about 6 litres per 100 kilometres. Motor tax for this model is €140. The ride quality is mostly good with just a hint of firmness over bumps and imperfections in the road surface. The Formentor settles down well to a cruise on the motorway but there is some wind noise at high speeds.

Rear legroom in the Cupra Formentor
Rear legroom in the Cupra Formentor


The range starts at about €40,630 for a 1.5 petrol manual, from €42,335 for a 2.0 diesel manual and from €48,300 for the plug-in hybrid. VZ high performance models are available from €57,795 for the plug-in hybrid and from €74,825 for the top of the range 2.0 TSI 310hp.


The Formentor is a brilliant crossover. It offers style and sportiness in abundance, without compromising the sort of practicality that will make it work for families too. There is a great range of power options that keep the Formentor relatively affordable. While also offering a good plug-in hybrid option for buyers who have the ability to charge to get the best out of the car. Inside, the Formentor is stylish and well-made, with lots of standard equipment coming as standard. What’s more, it’s really enjoyable to drive.


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Formentor goes on sale from €37,135
The Formentor is a brilliant crossover