06 Jul 2022

LAOIS MOTORING: Cupra Formentor VZ aims to put some zest into SUV driving

LAOIS MOTORING:  Cupra Formentor VZ, aims to put some zest into SUV driving

Cupra is the sub brand of Seat which most will know is part of the VW empire.

The Cupra brand hopes to offer buyers a more sporty driving experience than other offerings from VAG. It’s not a Seat with a sporty theme but rather a brand in itself that  offers unique cars with sporting overtones.

The new Cupra Formentor VZ is a car designed with driving pleasure in mind while retaining the practicalities of an SUV.

So has it any street cred?

Absolutely!  Its a cracking looking car and if the amount of admiring looks it got from passers by is anything to go by its a winner in the beauty stakes. Lots of angles, an imposing big bonnet and front end with a raked roofline give it a purposeful stance.

What’s it like inside?

Unlike the unique and individual exterior much of the basics of the cabin will be familiar to Seat owners. The devil is in the detail however with gorgeous Cupra bucket seats with integrated headrests, , mood lighting and their claimed party piece a huge 12” central touchscreen. Here for me is where they have lost the plot. Its massive, distracting and very fiddly to use. That aside I really like the interior. Quality is to the fore and the whole package feels just right. There is a host of standard kit too. A list too long for here.

What’s under the bonnet?

There are petrol, diesel, hybrid and there will be electric in the line up all derived from the VW Group of course.

 The VZ is powered by a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder 16 valve petrol turbo developing 310 bhp  and it is mated to a 7-speed DSG auto gearbox driving all four wheels.

Its a lively performer, Cupra claim a top speed of 250km/h with a very impressive 0 to 100km/h time of just 3.4 seconds! I was suitably impressed, despite its size its fast!

My drive was at the ICOTY appraisal and so I did not have time to assess fuel consumption.

What’s it like to drive?

From the flat bottomed steering wheel to the selectable digital instrumentation display it all feels very much designed for the driver. On the open road it does perform very well. It handles better than you expect for most crossovers. That all wheel drive system puts the power down to the tarmac very efficiently and thats a plus but the trade off of the sports suspension is somewhat firm ride on anything other than nice smooth road surfaces. There’s a lot of tyre noise too. I found it very surface sensitive, noisy on the course tarmac but better on the newest of motorway surfaces.

The selectable drive modes allow the VZ to be a comfortable cruiser or a hot to trot performance machine.

Is it a car you will get into and drive just for the hell of it? I think you would.  Is it a car that doubles up as the family transport but offers the driver a bit more involvement? Absolutely!

My Verdict?

The Cupra Formentor VZ tested cost €69,750 before options. Overall then I really did like the new Formentor.VZ  It offers buyers a very unique, attractive and distinctive style, an equally impressive interior and it is good to drive and more so than rivals. 

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