Is the Formentor the best family SUV?

Expectations were high when Cupra separated away from SEAT and after launching the Cupra Ateca, it was time for their first standalone model to take centre stage.

Step up the Cupra Formentor. 

A dynamic and fashionable family-friendly SUV that combines practical space with performance and modern design.  

Up against some stiff competition in the family SUV sector, the Formentor rivals the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5 or even more premium options like the Volvo XC40 and Audi Q3.

For this Cupra Formentor review, we’ve been testing out the entry-level V1 edition and this is how we got on.

What did we drive?

Model: V1 TSI Petrol 150PS

Transmission: 7-speed DSG-auto

Power: Petrol

Colour: Desire Red

Wheels: 18" Performance machined sport black and silver alloy wheels

OTR from: £28,895

Price of model driven: from £30,430

*Prices correct at the time of publication

2022 Cupra Formentor V1 parked


To drive away in a brand new Cupra Formentor, you’re going to part with at least £28,895 for an entry-level edition. Progress further into the range and you will pay £44,225 for the VZ3 trim.

With Carparison, a Cupra Formentor lease will cost around £268 a month, excluding VAT.

Compared to some of their rivals, the Formentor is near enough on par with the Volkswagen Tiguan (starting at £28,585), though you will pay much more for the range-topping ‘R’ trim at £47,210.

Mazda's CX-5 is also similarly priced (starting at £28,145), but with an arguably more stylish design, better driving dynamics and generous kit list, the Formentor is great value for money against some of its rivals.

*Monthly cost correct at the time of publication and subject to change

2022 Cupra Formentor V1 Edition


The Formentor range comes with a wide range of engine choices, giving you the freedom to choose the one that perfectly suits your needs.

Hybrid engine options offer great efficiency and lower running costs, while there are more powerful petrol options that range from 150 to 310PS.

  • TSI 150PS – 1.5L Petrol – Manual & DSG-Auto
  • TSI 190PS – 2.0L Petrol - DSG-auto 4Drive
  • e-HYBRID 204PS – 1.4L - DSG-auto
  • TSI 245PS – 2.0L Petrol - DSG-auto
  • e-HYBRID 245PS – 1.4L – DSG-auto
  • TSI 310PS – 2.0L Petrol - DSG-auto 4Drive
2022 Cupra Formentor V1 Front and Rear Design


We were testing the smallest engine available in the Formentor range. It has enough oomph about it without being the quickest in this class.

It would benefit from more torque as you pull away, so the hybrid engine or more powerful combustion engines could be a worthwhile upgrade.

It’s not until you sit in the driver’s seat that you realise the sheer size of the Formentor. It is deceptively big. You look out onto a long, sloping curved bonnet and you instantly feel its presence.

By no means does it feel overwhelming to drive though, in fact, it handles incredibly well for a vehicle of this stature. You can sense just how comfortable it is turning in with a great amount of grip.

2022 Cupra Formentor Interior Design

Design & Interior

Even at entry-level, this Formentor is bursting with modern design and has a hugely striking presence.

The front of the vehicle is incredibly imposing. The large front grille and sharp enlarged Cupra badge create an in-your-face design without it ever feeling too much.

The headlights have been shaped like elements of the Cupra badge and it brings everything together effortlessly.

Step foot inside the cabin and the good looks continue. A multi-functional steering wheel is on the smaller side, similar to what you see in some Peugeot models.

Intricate copper finishes throughout the cabin create a finish that is far more refined and premium compared to the bullish and athletic exterior.

An impressive blend of high-quality materials in the cabin make it a relaxing and comfortable place to be.

Cupra’s bold and dynamic design sets them apart from many of their rivals, adding layers of character that simply isn’t offered from alternative family SUVs. 

Space & Practicality

The Formentor was surprisingly spacious and that makes it a very strong contender in the family SUV class.

Head and legroom is extremely generous, so your taller passengers won’t be left feeling too restricted.

The rear bench does sit quite low, so taller passengers might feel quite tucked into the seat, but that doesn't make it any less comfortable.

The quality of materials used shines through and as a result, comfort levels throughout the car are very high and it’s an enjoyable place to spend time.

Depending on your engine choice, the Formentor either comes with a 345L, 420L or 450L boot space. Ours had the latter and it’s a hugely practical space. The wide rear opening and relatively small load lip means it's incredibly easy to load items in and out. 

Elsewhere you have good-sized door bins and glovebox. Cupra have been smart to offer two cup holders, one deeper than the other for your coffee cups, while cans and smaller drinks can go in the other.

Cupra Formentor 2022 Steering Wheel


Being a member of the wider VW Group, the infotainment system you find in the Formentor is similar to what you’ll experience in the new ID.3 and ID.4.

There’s a big push towards touchscreens. Throughout the entire cabin, there’s a distinct lack of physical buttons. Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference, but you can’t deny it does alter its usability.

The nature of the system and the way it has been designed means it comes with lots of sub-sections within each menu, some of which could be labelled more clearly.

When trying to use some of the climate control buttons, the icons aren’t clear what they mean by their imagery alone and text doesn’t appear until you put your hand close to the screen.

The 10” touchscreen is responsive and offers a crisp image but the system overall is not as instinctive to use on the move as something like an Audi or BMW.

There are touch sensitive slider style buttons underneath the screen that allow you to adjust volume and climate control on the move, but because of where they’ve been positioned, you are forced to take your eyes off the road slightly.

Wireless Apple CarPlay comes as standard which is a nice bonus and the charging plate for your phone is one of the widest and deepest I’ve ever seen in a car.

There are plenty of connectivity options, with two USB C ports in the front and the rear for passengers too.


If you're considering a Cupra lease deal, you'll be delighted to hear the Formentor ranks highly for safety, with a five-star Euro NCAP score. It scored 93% for adult occupants and 88% for child occupants.

As standard, you get predictive adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, forward collision warning and the Safety and Driving Pack among other driver technology.

Cupra Formentor 2022 wheels

Model Lines & Equipment

V1 – from £28,895

  • 10" touchscreen navigation
  • 18” machined alloy wheels
  • Digital cockpit
  • Full LED headlights & rear coast to coast LED taillights
  • Sport seats with copper detailing

V2 – from £30,875

  • Black or Petrol Blue nappa leather bucket seats
  • 19" machined alloy wheels
  • Rear view camera
  • Park assist

VZ1 – from £35,630

  • 19" 'Exclusive' machined sport matte black/silver alloy wheels
  • Sports bumper & CUPRA sport pedals
  • Black bucket seats cloth/PVC with copper stitching
  • Digital cockpit
  • 12” touchscreen navigation
  • Heated steering wheel

VZ2 – from £41,770

  • 19” machined alloy wheels
  • Black leather bucket seats with copper stitching
  • Full LED headlights & rear coast to coast LED taillights

VZ3 – from £44,225

  • 19" 'Exclusive' copper/black alloy wheels
  • Brembo brakes
  • Leather multi-function sports steering wheel with start-stop, CUPRA mode button and gear shift paddles
  • Sports suspension with front shock absorption
  • 3-Zone climate control

*Model lines correct at the time of publication

Cupra Formentor V1 in Desire Red


The Formentor might be one of the best-looking family SUVs, if not the best, available right now. Cupra have done a phenomenal job of combining this sharp, detailed design with fantastic everyday practicality.

The Spanish brand have shown you don’t have to sacrifice one or the other. You can have a stylish family vehicle that offers a dynamic driving experience for those that don't want to settle for one or the other.

Expectations for the Formentor were high. Cupra needed to make a splash and it certainly delivers. 

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Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan takes the lead on all things 'wordy'. With a sports media background, a true passion for cars, and a LOT of driving experience under his belt, he'll make sure you have all the information you need, when you need it.