Cupra Tavascan Review

Price: from £47,300 score


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  • Battery size: 77kWh
  • Miles per kWh: 4.4
  • E-Rating™: A

    Click here to find out more about our electric car Efficiency Rating.​

  • Max charge rate: 135kW
  • Range: 326-355 miles

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  • Battery size: 77kWh
  • Miles per kWh: 4.4
  • E-Rating™: A

    Click here to find out more about our electric car Efficiency Rating.​

  • Max charge rate: 135kW
  • Range: 326-355 miles

Ginny Says

“I really like the Cupra brand - it just seems a little more interesting and exciting than some of the more established marques. I'm not sure if I'd choose the Tavascan over an Enyaq though.”

Nicki Says

“Cupra's designs are really interesting, with some great use of interesting colours and textures with you normally only see on supercars. Tom thinks they are OTT, but I say they are bang on.”

Driven and reviewed by 

Tom Barnard

20 May 2024

Both the Born and the Formentor have been big hits for Cupra, and the Tavascan seems to boil down the best bits of both and put them in a bigger package. But does it deliver?

Music nerds will spend hours talking about how bands have difficult second albums after a big hit. Car companies like Cupra face the same problem; it had a huge hit with its first electric car, the Born and now it has to try and match the success.

The Tavascan is its comeback, and it is bigger and generally posher that the Born. Does that mean it’s better?

The Tavascan actually uses a lot of the same bits underneath as the Born as it’s based on something called the MEB platform, which is the underpinnings for all sorts of electric cars including the Skoda Enyaq, Volkswagen ID.4 and 5 and even the new Ford Explorer.  Cupra would probably prefer comparisons to posher rivals such as the BMW iX2. We can’t ignore the Tesla Model Y either. 

Range, Battery and Charging

Both the two-wheel drive Endurance and the twin motor VZ use a 77kWh net battery pack which will be familiar to anyone who’s looked in a Volkswagen Group brochure in the last few years. However, while the likes of the Skoda Enyaq and even Cupra’s own Born have been upgraded to a larger battery, the Tavascan has to make do with the old 77kWh version. 

The Endurance version with rear wheel drive delivers up to 355 miles of range based on the official WLTP test cycle. While the dual motor, all-wheel drive manages 326 miles. 

The efficiency is aided by an onboard thermal management system

that maintains the battery’s temperature, making sure it stays optimised. 

Both versions can recharge at the same maximum of 135 kW, meaning a 10 to 80% charge takes just under half an hour using a suitable DC charging point. That’s nothing to write home about, and it less than the 185kW offered by other models in the VW range.  Something like a Kia EV6 will be long gone by the time you’ve charged your Tavascan. 

The AC maximum has a disappointing 11kW maximum too.

Practicality and Boot space

The Tavascan’s sporty bucket seats do a decent job of supporting the driver and passenger, and there is a plenty of space in the front for both people and their stuff. The central spine might add an interest feature, but in gets in the way of storage though. 

In the rear, passengers of average size travelling behind someone who is equally average will have no complaints. Anyone taller than that might start to feel a little cramped however. 

Open the electric tailgate with a swipe of your foot and you’ll find a 540 litre space which is level with the boot lip and the seats when they are folded. That space is a little down on an ID.5’s 549 litres.

There’s also a shallow space under the Cupra’s boot floor which will house a cable easily. 

Interior, Design/Styling and Technology

Inside the Tavascan is certainly a bit different to the ID.4 and even the Born, with more materials and a more stylised look. It’s also got Cupra’s trademark copper trim accents, which make a change from the usual silver and chrome. 

There are also a lot of different materials and lights which make it look very busy inside the big Cupra, especially at night. You can choose the colour of the illumination at least. 

There is a huge 15” infotainment screen sitting on top of a distinctive central ‘spine’. In addition, there is another screen in front of the steering wheel which is the size of a stretched iPhone. If that’s still not enough, there’s an augmented reality head-up display which is one of the best in the business in terms of clarity and info offered.

There’s some nifty tech too, including Car2x, which allows communication between cars to share road information about emergencies, broken down vehicles and accidents.

This Tavascan includes a remote control parking option so you can pull it in or out of tight spaces. Neat.

You might need to prise open your purse to get all the tech though, as some pretty basic items are currently on the options list, bundled in a series of ‘packs’. The most disappointing in the need to buy the winter pack to get a heat pump, heated front and rear seats, and heated windscreen. 

Motors, Performance and Handling

The Tavascan will be available with two power outputs. The lowest is a single motor rear drive with 284bhp, while drivers wanting more power can plump for a twin motor version that will have 337bhp and all-wheel drive. This top version, called the VZ, can reach 62mph in 5.6 seconds. Up to 30% of the vehicle’s power can be fed to the front wheels. 

I was only given the chance to drive the VZ and it feels perfectly fast enough without having the same ‘whoa!’ effect that you’ll get from a Tesla or even Cupra’s new Born VZ. 

While the steering has the sort of sharpness you expect from a sporty car it never feels completely natural in an SUV. The ride comfort is on the firm side too, but there is a fair degree of ‘wobble’ as the car has a higher driving position and centre of gravity than a hatchback. 

It’s more fun than you might expect from an SUV but isn’t the sort of car you’d take out for a drive just for enjoyment. 

Another factor which dilutes the fun is the brakes. The Tavascan features paddle shifters for variable brake regeneration levels - a first in the VW Group electric car range, which has traditionally only had one regen setting. It also retains that old ‘B’ mode, so you get a confusing choice of options.

It’s not just the driver who can get confused – the car does too. The first inch or so of brake pedal travel is dead before the Tavascan works out what to do, and then it can need a hefty shove before it stops. This could be something you get used to, but the response from the pedal is inconsistent, changing from one press to the next.

Running Costs and Pricing

At the time of typing, Cupra has only announced a starting price for the Tavascan - £47,300. That’s a couple of grand above an ID.5 and slightly under the cheapest Tesla Model Y. 

The UK specs are still to be finalised but the international line up suggest a heat pump, heated steering wheel and seats will be an option though, which seems a bit tight. It will make a real difference to the efficiency in cold British weather. 

Watch out for the bigger wheels too. They look great but create more drag and the replacement tyres will be pricey too. 

As with all pure electric cars, the Tavascan has very low benefit-in-kind for company car drivers.


So is the Tavascan music to my ears? Has Cupra pitched its second release just right? I had high expectations but have come away disappointed. I’d expected a car which took the best elements of the Born and Formentor and put them in a bigger package. But it’s not quite there. 

It’s not a bad car at all – in fact the Cupra is a perfectly competent family SUV with a sporty edge, but it isn’t as practical as an Enyaq or Model Y and isn’t fun enough to compensate. I also think the styling – both inside and out – is a little bit OTT and the specs are only acceptable rather than exceptional. I’ve got a feeling the cheaper rear-wheel-drive model might make a little more sense and be more fun; we’ll let you know as soon as we get the chance to drive it.

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