Cupra Formentor practicality and load space
The Cupra is fairly middling when it comes to practicality, but it does nothing special. There are plenty of plug-in hybrid alternatives with much more space, including the Skoda Octavia iV, Seat Leon e-Hybrid and Toyota Corolla estates, as well as the Ford Kuga PHEV and even the smaller Renault Captur E-Tech PHEV has a bigger boot and sliding rear seats that make it more versatile than the Cupra. You’ll still get two average-sized adults in the back of the Cupra just fine, three will be a squeeze even with children. The boot is fine for one chunky buggy or a big weekly shop, but if you’ve got two small kids, big dogs or awkward bike or sports equipment to lug around, you’ll find that the roomier alternatives will fit your life much better.
Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid Technology
The Cupra’s 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system is an impressive standard feature of every model. It gets nav, digital radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB-C inputs and wireless phone charging across the range. The system is high-set on the dash, has sharp graphics and looks seriously smart, so it’s unlikely that the slightly confusing menu layout will put anybody off, but it does take time to get used to the menu layouts and where some of the sub-menus are. More than that, it’s easy to accidentally hit the touch-sensitive climate control buttons (that run beneath the screen) while you’re trying to use the system. We’d also like a physical volume control switch, although the steering wheel button controls are an easy way for the driver to adjust volume and plenty of other features.
The smart voice control is also quite clever; you can tell it that your feet are cold, for instance, and it’ll warm up the driver’s footwell. It’s far from infallible but it is one of the more effective in-car voice control systems.
While there are niggling frustrations in the layout and interface foibles of the Cupra’s infotainment tech, and we certainly favour the BMW system for graphics quality and ease of use, the Cupra’s touchscreen and tech is impressively well equipped and up-to-date.
Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid Safety
You’ve got nothing to worry about when it comes to safety in the Cupra. Every model gets autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which means the car will brake itself if it sense an imminent collision. Traffic sign recognition beams the speed limit onto the digital driver’s display, adaptive cruise control even uses the nav information to subtly adjust the car’s speed when there’s a corner or junction ahead, the LED lights have automatic high-beam assist, and of course there’s traction control and six airbags.
The VZ trims also get blind spot assist and ‘exit assist’, which warns you of approaching traffic when you open the door. Oddly, only the expensive top-spec VZ2 trim gets lane-change assist, which is a feature common across the model ranges of much cheaper rivals.