Long-term report: Our time with the Cupra Formentor comes to an end
The three months with our Cupra Formentor have sadly come to an end and I’ll admit, I’m going to miss my time with it. Its combination of stylish looks and high performance made it a well-valued member of the video team, and nowhere did it prove more valuable than our recent shoot for Evo magazine, where it was used as a support car for the filming.
Filming for any Car of the Year shoot is fraught with pressures, and especially when you’re filming high-performance cars like Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and Porsches. You need to be pretty reactive and able to move at a moment’s notice, and the Cupra proved to be a perfect car for the job. Throughout the week-long shoot on the English/Scottish borders we were battling the elements, which to be fair is expected at the end of October. Rain, wind, fog and general bleakness aren’t great for filming – and it’s even worse for cameramen.
And when the decision is made to move locations, it helps to have a car that can keep up with the rest of the test cars, and the Cupra not only surprised me, but a few of the members from the Evo team too. On one of the rare occasions the sun came out, I was following one of the very talented drivers and road testers in a Honda Civic Type-R along some of the amazing deserted Scottish roads. You could see for miles and the conditions were perfect for seeing just how capable the Cupra is when driven in a more spirited fashion.Cupra Formentor
I’ll be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve got out of a car laughing because I’d driven down a road that was so much fun, but on this occasion, I had the biggest beam on my face. The four-wheel drive system and accurate steering really give confidence when driving at pace, plus the automatic gearbox with paddle shifters means you can change gears just like a racing driver without having to take your hands off the steering wheel. It would be better if the paddle shifters were a little bigger though.
The four-wheel drive system and relatively decent ground clearance also made it useful for dumping on a grass verge when hopping out to do some filming. It also came in pretty useful when it came to car-to-car filming too. There was plenty of space for me to sit in the boot and be mobile, but the ride wasn’t super firm, as you might expect for a car with sports credentials.Cupra Formentor
Now I understand some of these points aren’t the kind of situations most people will find themselves in, but for anyone who’s looking for a car which is practical – with a good sized and shaped boot, with space for people in the back, and that can live with all manner of driving, from school runs to motorway jaunts and more spirited fun motoring, then the Formentor is a great option that’s well worth considering.
The other thing I’ve noticed when you’re driving on twistier roads is that the seats are pretty snug and figure-hugging, meaning you won’t feel like you’re being flung around. But when you’re driving at a more relaxed pace, they don’t feel too firm. As an all-rounder, the Formentor really has been one of the best long-termers the video team has had.Cupra Formentor
On a slightly separate note, I’ve always had an affinity for larger SUVs. Being somewhat vertically challenged, at 5’7, I’ve found the high-up, ‘king-of-the-road’ seating position much more favourable than that of a low-slung sports car. Clearly, age is getting the better of me. Living with the Formentor has proved though that you can have that combination of high driving position in a car that’s more driver-focused.
Economy-wise, we’ve been averaging just under 30mpg and that’s with a mix of motorway, urban and more pacey driving, but there’s no question this could be improved if driven in a more eco-focussed manner.
Overall, the Formentor has been a great all-rounder. It’s comfortable, practical and can be driven in a relaxed manner or in a more aggressive manner without any issues. The only issue I’ve had is the infotainment system which has proved frustrating to use. The screen incorporates satellite navigation, phone connectivity, car settings and heating and ventilation controls. Trying to navigate it while on the road is a bit distracting.
- Model - Cupra Formentor VZ3
- Price as tested - £48,835
- Engine - 2.0TSI 310PS 4Drive DSG
- Power - 305bhp
- Torque - 400 NM
- Fuel economy - 32.8mpg
- CO2 - 194 g/km
- 0-62mph - 4.9 seconds
- Top speed - 155mph
- Mileage - 5,248 miles