2023 Cupra Formentor VZe Long Term Review
- Price as per test: $60,990 (driveway $65,990 NSW)
- Kilometers this month: 306km @ 2.5L/100km
- Overall: As above
The Volkswagen Group has a new brand in town, and that made the Cupra an obvious choice for a new addition to our long-term garage. And the Cupra Formentor, as the brand’s flagship model, was the featured model.
We’re excited to explore the features that will make the Cupra a spin-off from the Spanish seat brand, different from stablemates Volkswagen and Skoda.
Awareness is the name of the game for the Cupra at this early stage as the brand aims to reach 7,000 sales by 2025. For perspective, it took VW’s Czech brand Skoda 12 years to reach such a milestone.
It’s no wonder that, of the dozen or so people who have asked about the car so far, only a couple knew about the Cupra. (There was a Wheels reader, who naturally knew more: that the Formentor SUV is one of a trio of models that also includes the Leon hatch and the Ateca SUV.)
Yet there’s no doubt that the Formentor is turning many more heads with its sharp eyes, Y-spocked 19-inch rims, crisp Nevada White paintwork, and copper-colored flourishes. He’s literally stopped some dog walkers in their tracks – and thankfully doesn’t let his four-legged friends in on his business.
One of the most surprising SUVs in the entire Volkswagen Group? I think. Forget the VW Tiguan or Skoda Karoq; Even the Audi Q3 Sportback looks conservative in comparison.
The comparison with the luxury brand is valid. The Q3 Sportback starts at $53,800, with the 2.0-liter turbo 40TFSI starting at $66,100 not that big. No equivalent plugins, though.
First impressions of the interior are that while it doesn’t hit Audi’s quality heights, the cabin falls into the premium mainstream category familiar to Volkswagen owners – albeit with more sophistication.
The contemporary design is enhanced with a 10.25-inch digital driver display and a 12-inch central infotainment screen with multiple USB-C ports and wireless charging.
There are four variants in the Formentor lineup, split evenly between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models. It starts at $50,690 for the AWD V, followed by the $53,390 VZ, which is front-drive but adds more standard equipment.
Up and close together are a pair of seemingly diametrically opposed models: the $60,990 VZe FWD plug-in hybrid and the $61,990 VZx AWD performance variant.
We went for the lucky dip option and ended up with the PHEV. And call it luck, because, for a few reasons, we think VZe makes for the best type to evaluate over a period of time.
An electrified model is highly relevant for the Cupra as it plans to become the first VW Group brand to go all-electric by 2030. And we can also explore whether owning a plug-in hybrid is half-assed or actually a better choice. A fully electric car now.
The Cupra Formentor VZe introduces a drivetrain that is available in Golf-like models in the UK and Europe but not previously offered by the VW Group.
It combines VW’s renowned 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol with an 85kW/300Nm electric motor – translating into a combined output of 180kW and 400N put to the ground through a six-speed gearbox. front wheels.
The electric motor is powered by a 12.8kWh battery.
Cupra claims an electric driving range of around 50km on a full charge. So far, we have managed about 40 km from a full battery. I’m driving the Formentor PHEV as a home charging owner – regularly topping up the battery to take advantage of electric motoring in daily urban use – then will see how the hybrid system works in the overall experience. .
Official consumption is 1.9 liters per 100 km, although theoretically the Formentor could be continuously charged for zero consumption.
In the early days, average fuel consumption is reading between 2.1 and 2.2L/100km.
We’ll see what happens to performance when we’re forced to use the hybrid system on longer trips. Our constructor is still in its run-in phase, mind. There were just over 800km on the odo when we received it.
We’ll also check the Formentor’s credentials as a practical family SUV, including assessing whether the VZe’s small, 345-litre boot is adequate or lacks space. Due to the battery packaging, it loses 75 liters compared to other Formentor models.
There is no auto tailgate either. It’s part of the $2750 Leather and Power Package, which also adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power driver’s seat. Buyers can also stump up $2100 for the panoramic sunroof, while a handful of premium metallic paints are $475.
Our VZe is refreshingly free of any options. Buy a Cupra before the end of 2022 and get three years of free servicing.
2023 Cupra Formentor vZe details
|Model||Cupra Formentor VZe|
|Drive||Front wheel drive|
|Drive train||1.4-litre turbo petrol + electric motor|
|Power (combined)||180 kW|
|0-100 km/h (claimed)||7.0 seconds|
|Electric driving range (claimed)||58 km|
|Fuel consumption (combined)||1.9L/100km|
|The weight||1708 kg|
|Suspension||Struts in front; Multi-link rear|
|Length Width Height||4450/1839/1510 mm|
|Wheel base||2680 mm|
|Brake||Ventilated front and back|
|The wheels||19-inch alloys|
|Price||$60,990 (RRP) / $|
Things we like.
- Performance in electric or hybrid mode
- Generally a comfortable ride.
- Interior space and design
Not so much
- Still not approaching the claimed electrical range.
- Moisten on large pieces
- The Rapid VZx is only $1K more expensive.