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In-depth reviews

Cupra Formentor SUV - Interior & comfort

A smart interior, although the Cupra Formentor’s cabin could feel slightly more luxurious

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior & comfort Rating

4.0 out of 5

Given Cupra's sporty image and reputation for hardcore hot hatchbacks, you'd be forgiven for expecting the Formentor to have a very stiff and uncompromising ride. Instead, it's rather more sophisticated and smooth than that – even with 19-inch alloy wheels shod in low-profile tyres. Thanks to its multi-link rear suspension, it feels communicative rather than unforgiving.

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Cupra’s trademark styling touch is copper-coloured detailing – you’ll notice the badges and some of the alloy wheel choices have a metallic tinge – and that continues inside. It feels less brash than some of its rivals, and the interior does feel more special than that of a standard SEAT Leon. The trouble is that many of the parts can be found in VW Group hatchbacks, including the Leon, and adding some copper touches isn't always enough to elevate the interior to a level befitting of a car that costs well over £40,000 in top-spec 2.0-litre petrol form. The panel that houses the gear selector and parking brake button, for example, looks identical to the one you'll find in a Leon and doesn't look or feel particularly classy. 

Leather upholstery, copper stitching and dash padding helps but look further down and, again, you’ll see trim that was designed for less expensive SEAT models. A 2.0-litre Porsche Macan may be quite a bit more expensive but its interior is a very clear step up from the Formentor; the design is much more sophisticated, and the quality of materials and finish is much superior too.

Cupra Formentor dashboard

Overall, the interior feels like that of a very high-spec Leon, rather than one that was designed specifically for the Formentor. It may not compare favourably with the very best on the market but it's certainly more suited to its price tag than the inside of a VW T-Roc R, which is a sea of hard plastics by comparison.

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The dashboard is dominated by a 12-inch touchscreen that provides a sleek, minimalist look. While this is relatively straightforward to use, it isn’t the most feature-packed system and the graphics aren’t particularly bright. Our main gripe, however, is that the Formentor utilises the same fiddly touch-sensitive climate control sliders as the new Mk8 Volkswagen Golf; not only are these difficult to operate on the move and force you to take your eyes off the road, they lack illumination, making them almost impossible to use at night.

Equipment

Even in V1 trim, there’s plenty more tech to enjoy, with the Formentor packing a digital cockpit, a 12-inch touchscreen, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, rear parking sensors and three-zone climate control. A heated steering wheel is also included with versions equipped with a DSG gearbox. For many owners, these will be all the features they ever really need, though the V2 adds 19-inch alloys, Nappa leather bucket seats with copper stitching, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, front parking sensors and a rear-view camera – this is our pick of the range.

Step up to VZ1 trim and you get a sportier bodykit, adjustable dampers, a powered tailgate, heated and electric folding door mirrors. VZ2 trim brings leather sports seats, along with 360-degree parking sensors.

Hitting showrooms in June 2023, the limited edition Formentor VZN trim ushered in a motorsport-inspired set of features, from its 19-inch matte black alloy wheels, grille and exterior trim to its Dinamica-trimmed bucket seats. The changes also include a Beats Audio sound system, a bird’s eye view camera and a panoramic sunroof, but VZN is only available with the most powerful engine and costs an eye-watering £48,000, so won’t appeal to the average buyer.

One option that’s unavailable for the plug-in versions, is a space-saver spare wheel. It costs £125 to add it to the Cupra and is a dealer-fit option

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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