三级成人视频

Motoring Correspondent
2020 Cupra Formentor performance SUV
The Formentor is a stylish beast, akin to a VW Golf GTI in an SUV suit

At the best of times, launching a new luxury marque in Europe is as ill-advised as invading Russia during the winter; few will forget Nissan’s humiliating withdrawal of its premium Infiniti marque over here. 

And these are most definitely not the best of times, so the launch of Seat’s new performance SUV Cupra marque might look, well, flat-out foolish perhaps?

While the Cupra badge has been used on the rump of performance derivatives, including the stunning Seat Leon Cupra R hot hatchback of 2017 and steamy versions of the Ateca SUV crossover, this is the first of this all-new breed to bear no Seat badging at all.

Enter the Formentor, named after a peninsula on Majorca, but possibly also a derivative of the Spanish fomentar, meaning promotion or encouragement. It enters exactly the same sporting SUV segment as the Seat Ateca Cupra and Volkswagen’s T-Roc R, even sharing the same basic underpinnings. And unlike the Ateca, which is built in a Skoda factory in the Czech Republic and the T-Roc, which is made in Portugal, the Cupra is built at Seat’s massive Martorell plant in northern Spain.

There’s loads of fun to be had out of the marketing spiel for this car (“Cupra is a special brand for unique people, designed to captivate customers and meet all car lovers’ expectations of uniqueness, sophistication and performance”), but what exactly are you getting for your money?

The styling exudes aggressive attitude from all angles, aided by distinctive satin-finish paint

Money, in this case, which runs to a fat forty-three grand for this top-model VZ Edition model?

There will of course be cheaper Formentors, with a trim range that starts at a rather unfortunately named V1 and V2. There will be other and smaller engines including the 1.5- and 2.0-litre TSI petrol turbo units from the VW Group parts bin and a plug-in petrol with a 150PS 1.4-litre petrol engine, a 115PS electric motor and a 13kWh lithium-ion battery. 

There’s no word about a diesel version, but the fuel cap on this unashamedly petrol-powered car had a blanked-off section that looked as if it would house an AdBlue tank filler.

Take a look at this

Walking out of the VW delivery centre in Milton Keynes, the Formentor stood and almost snorted and pawed the ground. If there’s a more aggressive SUV out there I’ll eat my hat. 

"The washing instructions are more complicated than those for defusing an unexploded bomb"

Cue the sound of my Akubra felt hat being swallowed, because of course there is, the larger Lamborghini Urus, also from the VW Group stable. OK, so Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos’s design for Cupra doesn’t quite match Santa Agata’s four-wheeled sod-you attitude, but it comes close. 

It is interesting that the UK has allowed the use of that satin petrol-blue paint, which was rejected by the VW Group beancounters for the Cupra R as it costs a fortune and is a major headache to repaint. In this case the paint is so integral to the looks that you can order it and they will warranty it, but the washing instructions are more complicated than those for defusing an unexploded bomb and owners might be advisable to invest in a vinyl wrap to protect the Formentor’s most vulnerable areas.

The headlights are reminiscent of an owl's steely gaze, while myriad slots and vents complete the menacing look

The brooding LED lights give the impression of a particularly batey owl and the vents and grilles flow back and up to a bonnet, which from the driver’s seat looks like that very-same owl’s ears.

Classy interior

三级成人视频Inside there’s real flair and class and also massive sleight of hand since despite the aura of quality, most of the components, switches, dials, touchscreens (and the scratchy plastic door tops) come from VW’s parts bin and are most certainly not premium in any way.

Seat has done a great job of disguising the Formentor's collection of assemblies from the Volkswagen parts bin 

三级成人视频Yet the gold-stitched, blue-grey soft leather panels in the doors, the curvaceous (and very comfortable) bucket seats and rear bench, the highlighting and the facia design all lift the interior to a height far beyond that attainable by a mere Seat.

Being based on the VW touchscreen systems brings its own drawbacks, of course. We dealt with these during a recent test of the new Seat Leon, but suffice to say that despite being a 12.3-inch monster screen this is not a great system; it demands a deal of time reading the manual, nearly as much time with your eyes away from the road ahead and some functions are so buried in the sub-menus they will never, ever be discovered.

There's plenty of space in the back and the leather seats are very comfortable

三级成人视频As far as space is concerned, the front seats are comfortable and commodious, with lots of storage space around them. The rear bench is more than big enough to accommodate a couple of six-foot adults with leg and head room to spare and the 420-litre boot is large, with room for a spacesaver spare wheel under the load bed floor were it not for a gigantic loudspeaker in there. The seats fold 60/40 per cent on to their bases so the load bed isn’t entirely flat.

Shapely bucket seats in the front, along with soft leather panels in the doors, help make the interior feel special

Under the skin

Based on the VW Group MQB A1 platform, the Formentor rides on a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, with the same continually adjustable dampers as the current Golf GTI三级成人视频. The engine is the VW Group 2.0-litre turbo punching out 306bhp and 295lb ft of torque. 

三级成人视频This is a beefy unit, which is also available in the Audi S3 and the VW Golf R, especially so when combined with the seven-speed, twin-clutch DSG gearbox, which seamlessly covers up any turbo lag or low-rev sleepiness. The centre differential is an electronically controlled multiplate clutch.

It's all smart and well assembled, although the touchscreen system isn't the most intuitive

三级成人视频As is the fashion for whizzy cars, the steering wheel has large buttons for the engine start and another with the Cupra logo, which sequentially cycles through various driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Cupra, Individual and Off-Road. This is all very well, but since the Sport and Cupra modes drop a ratio and make the engine noisier, you end up doing that on the way to a more sedate mode, although if you just hold the button down it goes straight to Cupra.

On the road

三级成人视频Once you get past the over-intrusive artificial warbling in the cabin, the engine does a pretty good job, punching this low-slung crossover up the road with alacrity. There’s not a lot of finesse however and the gearbox, while good at slurring direct shifts, occasionally gets lost for a ratio if you’re trying to balance the car through a long corner. 

It's certainly fast, with superb grip allied to a comfortable ride 

As a “point and squirt” machine the Formentor does the job nicely and it isn’t a complete lummox on a twisting road. The top speed is limited to 155mph, with 0-62mph in 4.9sec. Against a WLTP fuel consumption of 33.2mpg, I achieved 27.5mpg.

三级成人视频While the 19-inch Bridgestone Turanza tyres are dual-purpose covers, the ride is pretty good and so is the grip, with small bumps and ripples disappearing in the damping and a nice breathing sensation on undulating roads. The wheels thud into sharp-edged potholes and there’s a fair bit of head-tossing from side to side on broken-edged roads, but there are far worse high-mounted crossovers out there. 

The sort of enthusiastic cornering encouraged by the chassis is diminished by the electric steering system

三级成人视频Which is just as we’d expect from Seat’s ride and handling team, although they’re battling with the electric steering system which is lifeless and over-assisted even in the warbling, yelping Cupra mode and the self-centring of the steering is so strong that after a fast drive your wrists ache after fighting against it.

三级成人视频Ultimately the Formentor feels like a well-engineered, front-wheel drive car, not the supremely balanced four-wheel drive monster that I’d been led to expect.

Conclusion  

三级成人视频Walk along the great halls of the VW Group’s mighty purchasing department with the quartermaster and a clipboard and you’d probably make the same choices as the Seat team has done – though I’d choose a better human machine interface (HMI) set-up.

三级成人视频Yes, the Formentor shows its slip, but it looks cool, it drives well if not outstandingly and is much more than just a jacked-up SUV with sporting pretensions.

三级成人视频Where does this leave Seat’s attempt to launch its new premium crossover brand? There will be other Formentors and the plug-in hybrid, with its favourable tax treatment, is likely to appeal to user-chooser fleets more than this model, but on this evidence Cupra is in the ring and slugging, not least because the premium opposition is so much more expensive.

Whisper it, but I quite liked this car although in the end, if you want classy, fast way of carrying people in all weathers, you need an M-badged BMW X5.

THE FACTS

三级成人视频Cupra Formentor

TESTED三级成人视频 1,998cc, four-cylinder turbo petrol, seven-speed twin-clutch semi-automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive

PRICE/ON SALE from £39,830 (as tested £43,840)/now with first deliveries in December

POWER/TORQUE 306bhp @ 5,450rpm/295lb ft @ 2,000rpm

TOP SPEED三级成人视频 limited to 155mph

ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 4.9sec 

FUEL ECONOMY 33.2mpg (WLTP high), 27.5mpg on test

CO2 EMISSIONS三级成人视频 175g/km (WLTP)

VED £870 first year, £475 next five years, then £150

VERDICT Using the Cupra name for a range of go-faster regular Seats might cause some confusion, but this machine is a credible product all the same. Quick, quite good to drive, spacious and reasonably comfortable, the Cupra is much more than a parts-bin special.

TELEGRAPH RATING Four stars out of five

THE RIVALS

Seat Ateca Cupra 2.0 TSI NR DSG 4Drive, from £35,915

三级成人视频One of the best SUV crossovers in standard form and the Cupra version is just better. This is just about the same 4x4 drivetrain as the full Cupra version, but the Ateca rides higher and is more on an SUV. There might be some confusion about the name, though. 

Jaguar E-Pace 2.0 P250 R-Dynamic HSE AWD Auto, from £44,865

三级成人视频A tad smaller than the Cupra but the luggage room is comparable. The 249PS engine doesn’t have the same urgency but the ride and handling are terrific. The F-Pace is available for those who need more space, but it’s a lot more expensive.

Nissan Airya Battery Electric SUV, no price yet

Scheduled for next year, Nissan’s second EV comes with up to 389bhp, a range of up to 310 miles and front- and all-wheel-drive variants. It will be the first vehicle to appear on the Alliance’s CMF-EV platform which was unveiled by Renault on a Mégane-sized concept recently. Battery choice will be between 63 and 87kWh and various charging options will be available. Designed as a competitor to Tesla’s Model Y and Volkswagen’s ID.4 SUV, it’s not really a rival for the Cupra Formentor, but the styling is remarkably close.  

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