Since Cupra became an independent brand from Seat, two things became immediately clear to us: that this name was no longer going to accompany only strict sports cars and that there would be models reserved solely for this brand. The one we are analyzing today, precisely, is the first of them and, of course, it has been an unprecedented success. Endorsed by the public and also by critics from the first moment, when it was released in February 2019 as a mere concept car, its commercial career has been simply brilliant since then.
Neither the pandemic, nor the semiconductor crisis, nor now the war in Ukraine, have done any favors to a model positioned in the heart of the C-SUV segment, the most popular and competitive on the market. However, the Cupra Formentor has been consolidating itself as one of the best sellers in our market, becoming more and more interesting, as versions were added to its range. Now it has gasoline, diesel, and plug-in hybrid engines with powers ranging from 150 to 390 horsepower. But curiously, we had overlooked one of the most interesting potential customers of this car: the Cupra Formentor 2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4Drive that we analyze today.
Appearances that deceive
Not a single exterior or interior detail distinguishes this interesting intermediate version from the most basic ones, provided with the 150-horsepower 1.5 TSI engine, but in reality, we drive a car much closer to those marked with the initials 'VZ' – for Veloz – for the brand itself. The impression that this leaves you is that Cupra does not want to subtract sales from the 245 and 310 horsepower 2.0 TSI, which are 5,600 and 8,360 euros more expensive, respectively, than our test unit, which of course shares an engine, gearbox, and transmission. most technical elements with both versions. Well, especially with the most expensive one because the 245 hp cannot have four-wheel drive or as an option.
At first, you get to miss the time when these cars marked some of their acronyms in red to differentiate the level of power offered by their mechanics but now the thing is fundamentally about visible or invisible exhausts. Those of our protagonists are hidden while in the aforementioned Formentor VZ they are visible and in the gigantic 390 CV VZ5, by the way. Be that as it may, talking about Cupra is synonymous with athletic and avant-garde design and the Formentor is the best example in this regard. Its sharp and fluid lines extend from the elongated front hood to a collected rear but with a certain coupé style, while the sharp front light clusters, the wide front hexagonal grille, or the OLED pilots linked together from the rear are already a saint and sign. Of the brand.
In the Desire red tone of our test unit, there is also a very striking effect that is that of a two-tone bodywork, thanks to the marked wheel arches and the sill plates in cris, to match the longitudinal bars of the roof, the carcasses of mirrors and alloy wheels. In this sense, there is no doubt, that we are facing a car that enters through the eyes although it does not include the boasts of a design that due to the level of its mechanics it would deserve.
An interior that impresses
From doors to inside there are no surprises either. There's no need to! We are greeted by a spacious interior equipped with the most technologically advanced cockpit of the moment: the large 12-inch central screen is combined with a digital dashboard of the same size, while the central console has a very clean design, with a selector of the tiny change that immediately reminds us that here we are going to pull the steering wheel paddles. The driving position is as sporty as that of a Leon and how in this one, everything is very close at hand. The presentation is excellent, the technological load is very high and the general quality perceived is higher than average, but beware, you are facing one of those multimedia systems whose management is quite complex. You will need a certain learning period to get all (or almost all) of the game it offers.
Regarding the rear, we find three very usable seats and in the case of the two sides, really spacious in all its dimensions. The most surprising in this sense is the height, much more generous than you expect in an SUV of this size and sporty design, but Cupra has placed the bench in a very low position for this purpose and it shows. In return, access is much more difficult than that of the front seats, and of course, the central square is much narrower and more uncomfortable than the other two due to the rigidity of the bench and the backrest. Of course, this can incorporate a hatch that connects it with the trunk and is very useful for introducing long packages.
The trunk of the Formentor 2.0 TSI 190 CV 4Drive cubicles 420 liters, by the way, they are only 30 less than the version of this car with greater capacity and it loses them due to the 4x4 system. The best of all is that it retains regular shapes and is very useful for day-to-day use, although the opposite happens with it than in the rear seats, it is somewhat smaller than it appears.
An SUV with a lot of claw
At the beginning of the test I said that this version could be especially interesting for a potential customer of the Cupra Formentor in my opinion and the time has come to develop this idea, it is time to talk about the performance and behavior of an SUV that transmits dynamism and versatility to equal parts. But will it live up to expectations? Well, in the first thing, sure, in the second it depends on where you set the bar.
On the road, this Formentor 2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4Drive is a car to enjoy driving with capital letters. It has a refined, energetic engine with a very pleasant sound, contained in its low range of revolutions, and as natural as it is stimulating when we speed up the gears until cut. It's true 'old gold' trickling into our ears as we lace up corners on one of our most common tests runs with the utmost confidence. The pace is also very high and the fact is that the change is also handled impeccably from the paddles, being fast at all times, which, together with a really precise direction and equally accurate throttle and brake touch, only trigger the pleasure. overall driving. It will not have the initials 'VZ' but of course, this is a really fast car.
In this sense, the orientation towards sportsmanship in this version of the Formentor is clear and superior to others that I have tried. However, I cannot say that comfort in daily use is compromised either. Only when we face areas of broken asphalt or dirt tracks, do we miss the filtering capacity that the adaptive suspension of a high-class SUV can offer like an Audi Q5 Sportback or a Mercedes GLC Coupe. However, in twisty areas, this Formentor is as agile or more agile than these cars and also has an ace up its sleeve, the connectable all-wheel drive with a Haldex-type clutch that is capable of sending practically all of the engine torque to the rear wheels. if required. In this sense, it must be said that its effect is only felt in conditions of low grip, but it is a help that never hurts and that it does not imply an excessive increase in the weight of the car 1,596 kg something that is noticeable at the level of consumption.
The average consumption of this 190 hp Formentor and all-wheel drive is 7.7 liters per 100 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle and it is a fairly realistic figure in daily use, making intercity journeys at legal speed. On motorway trips, the cost rises to 8.5 liters and in sports driving to 9 with great ease, but it is not a 'greedy' car for the benefits it offers. Let us remember that we are talking about a car that reaches a top speed of 220 km/h and that goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds, only 3 tenths slower than the 245 hp 2.0 TSI and 7 faster than the hybrid. 204 hp.
Get out the calculator
The list price of this model is 41,190 euros and as I indicated before, it is much cheaper than the VZ versions, which are equipped with the same engine but with higher powers and also with a little more equipment to justify that price increase. But this variant can also be an alternative to the 150 hp 1.5 TSI, available with DSG for 34,780 euros, or the 204 hp hybrid, which is the closest in power and is also somewhat cheaper at 39,260 euros. Both present a lower consumption and in the case of the e-HYBRID the advantages related to the Zero environmental label of the DGT. Now, if what you want is a real Cupra, that transmits sporting sensations, is really fast and very safe, with all-wheel drive included, you are facing the winning option.