CUPRA aspires to be a sports crossover and plug-in, Mini is just that
Sports crossovers and plugs: not many of them. CUPRA nevertheless sees a business model in it, but the small car manufacturer encounters the Mini Countryman on its way. The half-road car was already electrified in 2017: Can Formentor give him a match?
At 4.45 meters high, the CUPRA is 16 inches taller than the Mini, but the wheelbase is almost the same. You still get Formentor experience as the most spacious between the two. This is because the rear seats are lower in the car, so that the panoramic roof on which both crossovers are equipped takes up little head space. Because of that high seat you have to climb the emphasis behind CUPRA. You can’t fit more than two adults in the back seat. The same applies to the Mini: in Formentor, the middle tunnel is sharp, in Countryman, the middle console extends far into the interior. The mini is the only one with a removable backrest for the back seat. If you put it in the back position, tall adults can also sit in the back. You may not say, but the candidate for the test with the largest stem is Citizen: with the rear seats raised, at least 405 liters fits on the board. Formentor knows how to handle 345 liters of items. If you fold the back of the back seat, then that goes in three places on the Mini. This creates a loading floor with a rough gap between the back seat and the loading floor. The back of the Formentor does not lose loads easily and the trunk lays a complete socket. However, you are looking for a free storage facility for your charging cables; Mini has it again.
This is already the second generation of Citizen: a ground car that shares its floor group with the BMW X1 and X2. At Mini, the ferry has been available with a semi-electric power train since 2017. Minis is undoubtedly not only popular because of their appearance, but mainly because of their handling. Despite his stature, this Citizen also leads like a proverbial karate. The power train has a three-cylinder electric and gasoline engine and comes from a hybrid BMW 2-Series Active Tourer hybrid. Together, all power units deliver 220 hp and 385 Nm of torque (BET). The throttle response is at least as straight as the steering wheel, which gives the car a sense of playfulness. In fact: with this hybrid plugin you buy one of the fastest Citizens on the market. The green giant should only tolerate the John Cooper Works pepper version. Until recently, CUPRA was the brand name behind most Sports Seats. The Spaniards are now on their own feet; Formentor is their first ‘own’ model. Technology is evolving from the Volkswagen Group. The power of 245 hp and 400 Nm has a four-cylinder gasoline engine, as well as an electric motor. We know this source of power from the current Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf. As a Citizen, Formentor also brings that power to the road with the help of a six-speed automatic transmission. Despite the special ‘CUPRA’ button on the steering wheel and the accompanying sound, of the artificial engine, things are calm in the Spanish half-terrain car. Aside from the company’s suspension and undermining, we would prefer to describe CUPRA as a tour vehicle rather than a sports car.
Unlike CUPRA, the Mini sells its Citizen and other engines: you can also buy three diesel or three standard versions of gasoline. The CUPRA battery pack has a capacity of 12.8 kWh, that of the semi-electric Mini is 8.8 kWh. He is still a Citizen who is only slightly ahead of the authorities, with a total of 47 kilometers on a computer on board. Formentor was stuck in 44 units during our trial period. Charging takes more than three hours in both cases. CUPRA and Mini automatically use the stream on the battery unless you tell them not to do so. It does not affect the rate at which two semi-remote cars get stationary energy, although Formentor has a support system that gives you driving tips based on the camera and navigation map. This technique is flawless: one time CUPRA does not warn you about the approaching cycle, the next does not. Because you will expect it, it is very stressful, especially in the city.
With the Mini ready from 2017, CUPRA’s additional safety features are more sophisticated. For Citizen, for example, you miss the departure warning, which in the Coordinator should prevent you from accidentally hitting a cyclist from his metal horse when you open the door indefinitely. In any case, the Spaniards are passionate about support systems, because every Formentor has flexible air traffic control, traffic signal recognition, emergency stop system and pedestrian and bicycle recognition, blind spot protection, assistance of active living and fatigue recognition. In Mini, many of these auxiliary systems are on the list of options, if available at all. An emergency brake system and fatigue detection are included for every Citizen.
Ease of use
Traditional control buttons have been banned from the Volkswagen group: radio audio or temperature must be set to CUPRA via the touch screen at the top of the dashboard. You can click or slide your finger, but all you can do is touch what you intend to do. Although the Mini interior is still full of buttons, it is not easy for a Citizen to keep the function unseen. Only a small icon shows the identical switch switches. In the summer of 2020, the style was raised face-to-face, identified by the ‘English flag’ rear lights. The interior was also well-planned, for example in addition to digital instruments. That sounds good, but you can’t do more than read your speed on it. In addition, you should pay extra for it. Formentor has a future clock shop as usual, where you can also create a navigation system map if you wish.
For CUPRA, prices start at € 44,990 for a 204 hp plug-in. The cheapest citizen with an outlet will cost you € 41,640. This means that the starting price of the Mini is lower than that of the CUPRA, while on the Countryman side you have a four-wheel drive and more powerful as usual. Formentor, on the other hand, has a large battery pack on board and that you benefit from additional factory warranty by the Spaniards. Namely 4- instead of 3 years. In addition, CUPRA has the most common conventional equipment, with large alloy wheels and digital equipment. When we were driving test cars, CUPRA was still the cheapest one with a low price tag of € 51,000. For this Mini you must bring 58 small grand. If you are renting privately, consider a minimum of 589 euros per month for Formentor. With a starting price of € 499, the Mini has the best price.
We all know the importance of a good first look. In that regard, CUPRA has started unfortunately. The manufacturer has never been on its feet for a year before the course changes as follows: first the Spaniards were just sports, now they have a sudden eye for the environment. Strictly speaking, this means that no Formentors are sold in the Netherlands without a plug. CUPRA has so maneuvered in the division. Because of environmental considerations, they no longer repair complex sports cars that were previously under the Seat, while the manufacturer is still developing that. Little Citizen is what the Founder wants to be: a sports ferry and plug. And by adding its lovely driving style, you get a bigger stem from the business.
Also check out our personal driving tests for these test candidates (select the version you want from the menu if needed):
CUPRA Formentor 1.4 e-Hybrid VZ Performance
Mini Cooper Countryman SE ALL4
Are you looking for a used car?
At ANWB.nl you will find the current offer of an improved used car at a target price based on ANWB Koerslijst, the cost of the car including depreciation by ANWB Autotest as well as the results of Wegenwacht. The same goes for CUPRA Developer and Village Citizen.
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