THREE reasons to buy a Cupra Formentor.
1. It looks as mean as a Lamborghini Urus; 2. It drives like a Porsche Macan; 3. It is way cheaper than both.
Just don’t leave it near a tree because if a pigeon poos on it, it could cost you two grand.
The hero petrol-blue matte paint on my test car has special washing instructions.
First, use compressed air to blow away dust, soak insect remains and bird droppings in water, then wash by hand with neutral soap and let it dry in the air.
Oh, but don’t do it in bright sunlight. Sounds vulnerable, then, and we all know men don’t read instruction manuals.
They’d just take their car to the local wash-and-wax, which is also a no-no.
Much easier to buy a black one instead.
As I said earlier, the car itself is top dollar, blending bold design, luxury and blistering real-world performance levels in a practical family motor.
Plus, that copper Cupra logo is so Space Invaders and so very cool.
Now, for those who don’t know, Cupra has cut the umbilical cord from Seat and is a standalone performance brand.
Formentor is its first exclusive model, rather than a go-faster Seat Ateca or whatever. Both are owned by VW Group.
Under the fussy paint, this test car is much the same as a VW Golf R or Audi S3, which means 310hp, 4WD, adaptive dampers and a seven-speed paddle-shift auto. So it’s fast and sticky and loves curves in the road.
Key facts: CUPRA FORMENTOR
Engine: 2-litre turbo petrol
Power: 310hp, 400Nm
0-62mph: 4.9 secs
Top speed: 155mph
Rivals: VW T-Roc R, Porsche Macan S, Audi RS Q3
But it is the menacing looks that make it feel fresh and different.
The cabin in this low-riding crossover is just as pleasing, albeit using familiar VW components, display screens and an Audi Sport tiller.
The blue-leather bucket seats are surprisingly soft and comfortable and the copper detailing looks great.
I’m not usually a fan of ambient lighting but the wrap-round LED strip in this car also doubles as a blind-spot warning in the doors, instead of a dot in a wing mirror. It is better than it sounds.
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Other anti-crash kit includes predictive cruise control which can slow the car when it knows there’s trouble around a blind corner.
At this point I should mention there are lots of different engines and trim levels, starting with VW Group’s bread-and-butter 150hp 1.5-litre petrol turbo at £27k. You can also order an eco-friendly plug-in hybrid (same as the Golf GTE) and there’s a glorious Asbo-spec five-cylinder engine (same as the Audi RS3) banging out 400hp on the way too.
Who’s not going to love that?
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