2024 Cupra Formentor V review

Cupra is still a newcomer to Australia’s fiercely competitive new car market, but it’s already gearing up to give its best seller an overhaul.

The updated Cupra Formentor will hit Australia in the first quarter of 2025 with a more aggressive look, new interior technology, and an updated range of engines.

Some buyers will want to wait, but if you’re in desperate need of a new set of wheels the start of next year is too far away – that’s where the Formentor you see right here comes in.

Although there are changes coming, the new model is an update rather than a total overhaul – and we’ve previously found plenty to like with the current version.

WATCH: Paul’s video review of the Formentor VZx

Is the base 2024 Cupra Formentor V worth snapping up now? Read on to find out.

How does the Cupra Formentor compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Cupra Formentor against similarly sized vehicles.

Cupra Formentor cutout image



How much does the Cupra Formentor cost?

The Cupra Formentor V was hit with a $2000 price hike for 2024, in line with the broader Formentor range. It has picked up extra equipment for that extra spend, however.

2024 Cupra Formentor pricing:

  • 2024 Cupra Formentor V: $51,990 (+$2000)
  • 2024 Cupra Formentor VZ: $56,990 (+$2000)
  • 2024 Cupra Formentor VZe: $64,990 (+$2000)
    • $67,990 to $70,990 drive-away
  • 2024 Cupra Formentor VZx: $65,790 (+$1800)

Prices exclude on-road costs unless otherwise stated.

To see see how the Formentor shapes up against the competition, use our comparison tool.

What is the Cupra Formentor like on the inside?

The Formentor shares a lot of its styling and technology with the smaller Leon hatchback inside, but it also feels like a much bigger car.

Even the base V has excellent fundamentals, with the driver and passenger sitting in excellent bucket-style seats which neatly balance comfort and bolstering.

You don’t get the slick petrol blue leather offered higher in the range, but the leather-style bolsters and cloth inserts on this model aren’t what you’d call cheap and nasty. Also conspicuous by their absence are the Audi R8-style start and drive mode buttons on the steering wheel.

The fundamentals are solid, too. Tall or short drivers will be able to get comfortable, and it’s easier to climb in here than to the lower, smaller Leon if your knees are creaky and old.

As you’d expect of a modern Volkswagen Group car, screens are the showpiece here.

The touchscreen is a 12-inch unit running Cupra’s take on the software in the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia, along with touch sliders below for volume and temperature control.

Points to Cupra for allowing owners to drop a widget on the home screen to control fan speed for the air-con, and for making shortcut buttons prominent, but it’s still fiddly at times. A new 12.9-inch unit is coming to the Formentor in 2025, complete with backlit touch sliders and a fresh interface.

The digital cockpit is handsome, and features unique graphics in keeping with Cupra’s sportier remit. It’s excellent.

Wireless smartphone mirroring is reliable, although the wireless phone charging pad at the base of the dashboard doesn’t love phones with big camera bumps or chunky phone cases. You’re better off using one of the two USB-C ports if you want a charge.

Rear seat space is surprisingly good. The Formentor looks quite compact on the outside, but it has enough headroom for 6’7 me to sit without my hair on the roof.

Some cars sacrifice practicality in the search for sportiness, but this is an eminently usable SUV.

Legroom behind normal-sized drivers is impressive, and the air vents and dual USB-C ports make it quite child-friendly – although the rising belt line limits outward vision relative to the more upright Tiguan.

Air vents with temperature controls feature, along with ISOFIX points on the outboard rear seats and a trio of top tethers.

If you’re planning to regularly use the rear seats, it’s also worth looking at a Volkswagen Tiguan R with its bigger, boxier rear doors – they’re better suited to regularly loading kids into car seats.

There’s also a fold-down central armrest with a ski port back there. The bench folds 60/40, expanding boot space from 420 litres to accommodate bigger items.

What’s under the bonnet?

Power in the Formentor comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, mated with all-wheel drive.

Model Cupra Formentor V
Engine 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Power 140kW
Torque 320Nm
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Driven wheels All-wheel drive
Weight 1618kg (tare)
0-100km/h 7.1 seconds
Fuel economy (claim) 7.0L/100km
Fuel economy (as tested) N/A
Fuel tank size 55L
Fuel requirement 95 RON

To see how the Cupra Formentor lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

How does the Cupra Formentor drive?

The 140kW 2.0 TSI engine in the Formentor V is shared with plenty of cars in the Volkswagen world, from sensible family four-wheel drives to semi-sporty cars like the Formentor.

Although it doesn’t pack the knockout punch you get in the more expensive VZ or the VZx, it’s still a punchy engine that makes the Formentor feel more special than some of its medium SUV rivals.

It fires with a subtle flourish, and in normal mode has a raspy bark that lets you know when you’ve put your foot down.

It’s a smooth mover in the city, where the dual-clutch transmission is decisive and it gets off the line without any awkward hesitation or jerking, and there’s always enough punch under your right foot to squirt into gaps in traffic.

The DSG is comfortable holding a taller gear when you squeeze the accelerator, but really put your foot down and it kicks down one, two, three gears quickly to drop you into the torque band.

When you aren’t in a hurry, the Formentor is easy to drive in the city. The steering is light, its exterior is deceptively compact, vision out the angular body is good.

Ride quality is also significantly better than you’d expect of a car with a sporty bent.

It doesn’t float like a butterfly over scarred city streets, but it does do an admirable job keeping them on the outside in Comfort mode. Adaptive dampers don’t make much of a difference in some cars, but they really do give the Formentor an impressive range of abilities.

Under the skin, the Formentor is a version of the Leon… which is a Golf. In the real world, that plays out in an SUV that’s easy to drive in town.

It’s also incredibly grown up on the highway, save for the road noise. It’s a common complaint about European performance cars – some of which are significantly more expensive than the Cupra – but it also stands out here, because the rest of the package is so polished.

The Formentor V is better than the VZx with its bigger wheels and stickier tyres on the open road, but the white noise on coarse-chip highways will have you cranking up the radio, and it does get tiresome on long drives.

The driver assists work smoothly and smartly though, and there’s no shortage of punch from the 2.0-litre engine for overtaking on undivided country highways.

This is an SUV you can push hard and it doesn’t fall over, with a keen front end and plenty of grip allowing you to carry more speed than you’d expect through corners before the turbocharged engine slingshots you out the other side.

What do you get?

The Formentor V is the entry-level grade in the Spanish crossover’s lineup.

Formentor V highlights:

  • 18-inch black-and-silver alloy wheels
  • Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
  • LED headlights, daytime running lights
  • Auto headlights
  • Auto high-beam
  • Fog lights with cornering function
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Adaptive dampers
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Satellite navigation
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Wireless phone charging
  • 2 x front, 2 x rear USB-C ports
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters
  • Keyless entry, start
  • DAB+ radio
  • Hands-free power tailgate

Leather and Camera Package: $2800 (V, VZ, VZe)

  • Nappa leather sports bucket seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Power driver seat incl. memory
  • Mirror memory function
  • Top View Camera (360 degree)

Panoramic glass sunroof: $2150

Premium metallic paint: $490

  • Desire Red (N/A VZx), Graphene Grey

Is the Cupra Formentor safe?

The Formentor wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating, based on Euro NCAP tests conducted in 2021.

It scored 93 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 68 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 80 per cent for safety assist.

Standard safety features include:

  • AEB with Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
  • Adaptive cruise control incl. stop/go
  • Travel Assist
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Active lane centring
  • Driver fatigue monitoring
  • Emergency Assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Front, rear parking sensors
  • Reversing camera
  • Safe exit warning

Formentor VZx adds:

You can also add the surround-view camera system as part of the optional Leather and Camera Package on the V, VZ and VZe.

How much does the Cupra Formentor cost to run?

Cupra covers its line-up with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Warranty 5 years/unlimited kilometres
Service intervals 12 months/15,000km
Capped price servicing 5 years
3-year service pack $990
5-year service pack $1990

If you opt for the five-year package, you also get access to Cupra’s Concierge Service benefits, which covers pick-up and drop-off of your vehicle for the five scheduled services provided your address is within 10km of an authorised Cupra Service Partner.

CarExpert’s Take on the Cupra Formentor

Cupra is a young brand, and it’s moving quickly – the updated Formentor looks like a pretty meaningful upgrade over the current car, which itself isn’t particularly old.

Should you wait? There’s still not much wrong with the current model, especially in base V guise.

It’s practical enough to pass muster as a runabout for a small family, but blends that practicality with a stylish exterior and a sporty drive.

At $56,490 drive-away for the base model it’s not quite the knockout value proposition it was at launch, but there’s still enough equipment for the money to keep your practical side happy.

Click on the images to view the full gallery.

MORE: Buy a Cupra Formentor
MORE: Everything Cupra Formentor

Source link