Review - 2023 Cupra Formentor

By Alexi Falson on 16 Jul 2023
image for Review - 2023 Cupra Formentor
Overall Rating
out of 10
  • Immense performance for the money in range-topping VZx
  • Generous features list, even on entry-level variants
  • Adaptive dampers as standard
  • Three-years servicing included
  • Fiddly climate control inputs
  • Boot space suffers in PHEV variant
  • 98-octane-only for range-topping VZx
    • 55L
    • 175
    • 5450 / 2000
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
If you’re in the market for a sporty, European SUV package that doesn’t break the bank, the Cupra Formentor promises to be one of your best options.

Hitting the market here in Australia with a choice of four variants, including a range-topping plug-in hybrid, the Formentor range looks perfectly positioned for the Australian SUV segment.

Just how well does it perform here on Australian roads? Let’s take a closer look at the Cupra Formentor to find out.

Cupra Formentor Competition

Cupra Formentor

Volkswagen Tiguan
Alfa Romeo Tonale
Ford Escape ST-Line
Skoda Karoq
Mazda CX-5
Toyota RAV4

Starting Price: $50,690

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

The Cupra Formentor range kicks off from $50,690 for the entry-level Formentor V, with prices rising to $54,990 for the VZ, and up to $62,990 for the VZe plug-in hybrid.

The range-topping Formentor VZx is priced at $63,990.

Keep in mind that these prices do not include on-road costs, and are subject to change.

Cupra Formentor (VZx) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Variant VZx
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI
Drive 4WD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1984
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5450 / 2000
Cylinders T4
Torque 400
KW 228
Fuel tank size 55.0
Fuel usage specs 7.7 / 0
CO2 175
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Cupra Formentor car page.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, our car sourcing specialists can help you find the best value model for you.

What Features Does the Cupra Formentor Have?

Cupra’s entry-level Formentor V comes riding on 18-inch alloys, and receives LED headlights and daytime running lamps, adaptive cruise control, adaptive dampers, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, cloth upholstery with a leather steering wheel, three-zone climate control, keyless entry & start, a wireless charging pad, 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Stepping up to the Formentor VZ adds a more potent engine paired with a front-wheel drive system and a set of 19-inch alloy wheels.

The VZe receives the same equipment list, atop its clever plug-in hybrid engine and a Mode 3 charging cable.

Finally, the range-topping VZx receives a set of 19-inch alloys, a hands-free boot lift, leather upholstery with heated front seats, a surround-view camera, four exhaust pipes and an upgraded nine-speaker Beats sound system.

2023 cupra formentor vzx interior

2023 cupra formentor vzx touchscreen

2023 cupra formentor vzx rear climate control

2023 cupra formentor vzx wheel and brembo brakes

2023 cupra formentor vzx spare wheel

Range Features:

  • 18-inch alloys

  • LED headlights with LED daytime running lamps

  • Adaptive dampers

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Cloth upholstery with leather steering wheel

  • 12-inch digital instrument cluster

  • 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • 19-inch alloys (VZ)

  • Engine upgrade with front-wheel drive system (VZ)

  • Plug-in hybrid engine with Mode 3 charging cable (VZe)

  • 19-inch alloys (VZx)

  • Hands-free boot lift (VZx)

  • Leather upholstery with heated front seats (VZx)

  • Surround-view camera (VZx)

  • Nine-speaker Beats sound system (VZx)

Is the Cupra Formentor Comfortable to Drive?

The Formentor range has arrived here in Australia with a choice of four engine options.

The base model is surprisingly sporty for the segment, while stepping up to the VZ adds a turbocharger to the mix, and the VZx goes above and beyond with its engine pushing out a radical 228kW of power and 400Nm.

In the middle, there’s a clever plug-in hybrid engine for the VZe that offers 50km of all-electric driving alongside a healthy amount of power, which effectively means that there’s no boring option within the Formentor range.

We won’t go into too much depth, but the base model is charming, while the range-topping VZx is absolutely thrilling behind the wheel, and proves that SUV packages don’t have to be boring or too civilised.

2023 cupra formentor vzx rear haunches

“A rapid SUV experience with a charming personality, and nice manners around town.” Arnaud - OnlineAuto Car Buying Specialist

Keep in mind that if you’re after some driving enjoyment, the VZ and VZe plug-in hybrid both receive a front-wheel drive system, while the other Formentor variants are all-wheel drive.

Cupra has done a great job with the Formentor’s suspension package, which offers a heap of traction as you push into a corner without shattering your spine on a daily drive outside of the city confines thanks to the adaptive dampers.

2023 cupra formentor vzx roof profile

Around town, the zippy acceleration makes it agile through traffic, while the lightweight steering rack make it user-friendly when it comes time to parking and squeezing in and out of any tight spots.

As a package, Cupra has made an SUV package that is immensely fun for the driver, while remaining well-mannered enough to be comfortable for the whole family on long-distance trips.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Fuel economy figures for the Formentor lineup range from 6.9L/100km in the most economical non-hybrid member of the range, the VZ, while rising to 7.0L/100km in the V, and up to 7.7L per 100km in the range-topping VZx.

Of course, Cupra’s plug-in hybrid VZe is the fuel efficiency king of the range, with claimed fuel economy figures of just 1.9L/100km, so long as the battery is charged.

2023 cupra formentor vzx ea888 engine

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Stepping inside the Formentor is a treat for the senses, with a unique and sporty interior design that matches its on-road performance.

The cabin welcomes you into a pair of extremely comfortable sports seats, with more than enough headroom for tall drivers who have access to the very driver-centric cabin layout, complete with large digital displays and a beefy centre console.

The design is sporty yet refined, with a few coloured highlights throughout that don’t overwhelm the eyes but hint at its sporty nature.

2023 cupra formentor vzx seats

“The Formentor’s cabin feels sporty and unique, with a heap of features bundled in as standard on the base model and room aplenty in the front and rear” Dan - OnlineAuto Car Buying Specialist

Storage options are aplenty in the centre console, with a large tray housing a wireless charging pad hiding beneath the air vents, a pair of cup holders and considerable storage inside the folding armrest.

Move to the second row of the Formentor and there are no complaints for both leg and headroom in the rear, which is quite the achievement for a sleek coupe-styled SUV package.

2023 cupra formentor vzx rear seats

Those seated in the rear pick up a set of climate controls, USB ports and a folding armrest with in-built cup holders, so it’s ready for action on your next road trip.

The Formentor’s second-row seats pick up a pair of ISOFIX anchors on each of the outboard seats, as well as three top tether mounts to keep forward and rear-facing child seats secured.

Finally, boot space figures inside the Formentor stand at 450L, which is on the lower end for the segment, with boot space dropping to 420L in both the VZe and the VZx, which is something to keep in mind if boot space is a high priority.

2023 cupra formentor vzx boot

Is it Safe?

The Cupra Formentor has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 93% for adult protection, 88% for child protection, 68% for pedestrian protection and 80% for safety assist.

As standard, the Formentor is packaged with autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistance, emergency assist and driver fatigue monitoring.

Stepping up to the range-topping VZx adds a surround-view camera system.

2023 cupra formentor vzx grille

Our Verdict: Is The Cupra Formentor Worth it?

In a segment flooded with plain Jane options, the Cupra Formentor stands as an attractive and genuinely sporty SUV package that commands attention.

Cupra has done a great job in making the Formentor fun to drive without sacrificing its daily comfort levels, while the stylish interior is also impressively practical, albeit with average boot space figures for the segment.

If you’re tossing up your seemingly endless options in the family-friendly SUV segment, let one of our specialists help whittle down your shortlist and find you a great price.

2023 Cupra Formentor VZx video review from PerformanceDrive

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty

  2. Three-year servicing included as standard

  3. Five-star ANCAP safety rating

  4. 450L boot space drops to 420L in VZe and VZx

  5. Fuel economy figures 1.9L (PHEV) to 7.7L/100km in VZx


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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