Test drive CUPRA Formentor TDI: does it have a right to exist?

Test drive CUPRA Formentor TDI: does it have a right to exist?

Among the large number of cars that passed through my hands through tests or presentations, one of the most interesting in recent years turned out to be the CUPRA Formentor crossover with an excellent 310-horsepower gasoline engine. Even more, this is one of the cars I would consider buying. However, it will turn out that all the good ideas will be spoiled by three letters “TDI” and reduced power twice? Now I will tell you – in the form of five main questions (and answers) about the CUPRA Formentor TDI car.

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The picture shows a beautiful cross! Is it possible to visually identify the diesel version?

Yes, a good crossover. It has the expected length (4.45 m) and width (1.84 m), but the characteristic of the CUPRA Formentor model is a short body length (1.51 m) and strongly oriented roof racks. Add a lot of sharp lines – headlights and lights, highlighted “shoulders” above the wheel arches – and you get a strong young design.

And how many interesting details: here are wheels with aero pads, here are additional round lights under the grille in the form of an inset trapezoid, here is a soft gray color combined with light gray decorations. However, these are all details and nuances that can be ordered for any version of the car. What makes the CUPRA Formentor TDI stand out is the design of the rear bumper: black intake, but without exhaust pipes.

Beautiful design, lots of interesting details, “50 shades of gray” color scheme. In fact, the car can still be red or white, a dark blue color is offered – and even with a matte texture! But all this is possible for any version depending on the configuration of the options. Specific information CUPRA Guardian TDI – insert black back, in the lower part of the bumper.

There is no difference in the cabin, where you can recognize the diesel version only by the tachometer and the low revolution rate. Other details are quite familiar: a flat instrument panel with almost no buttons, a central console with an “automatic” joystick and many niches for small items, a steering wheel with a cut bottom, a touch light control unit. . The tough nature of the car is immediately shown by the seats with molded side panels and integrated headrest.

However, seats such as leather trim or a third “climate” zone for rear passengers are all nuances of equipment and additional options offered for different versions of the car. By the way: yes, there is its “weather” behind. And there is also enough space for the knees and above the head (although without excess), a good direction of the back of the sofa (with and without adjustment), an armrest with built-in glass holders. And the trunk is good: a useful volume of 420 liters, several niches and hooks, a large loading opening, an electric cover motor and a control sensor under the rear bumper.

The salon is known for its excellent quality of finishing materials, good amount of space, practicality and attention to detail. The only thing is that I want to add physical buttons-switches; because these days almost everything is controlled through the main touch display. The second display serves as a dashboard.

Dachshund, obviously: there are a few differences. But what about the diesel engine?

So, the engine. Under the hood of the CUPRA Formentor TDI test car is a 2-liter EA288 evo turbodiesel, which has an aluminum block and cast-iron liners in its four cylinders. And it also has a modified turbine for the first cylinder: this is done for the better installation of filters-neutralizers of exhaust gases. The diameter of the cylinder is 81 mm; piston stroke is 95.5 mm; 16.0:1 compression ratio.

And in general, there are many interesting things about the engine. For example, two types of connecting rods and two types of pistons are offered for engines of this series: steel or aluminum. The cooling system has a separate circuit for the cylinder head and the cylinder block itself. And the intake valves differ in the shape of the channel, which allows to reduce blow losses. Finally, such engines can have a starter generator with a standard power of 2 kW (up to 6 kW peak) and a torque of 60 Nm.

In general, the EA288 evo turbodiesel series began as engines of Audi and counts several different shows. Especially in this test car CUPRA Guardian TDI an engine with the number DTT, with a power of 150 hp, was installed. (3000-4200 rpm ..) and 360 Nm (1600-2750 rpm ..) of torque. With all-wheel drive and a robotic “automatic gearbox”. DSG DQ381 with two “wet” clutches.

Hmmm, good technique! And how did he show himself on the road?

Just a few comments. The car’s steering wheel makes about two revolutions from stop to stop; sports seats hold the body very tightly; The suspension is completely elastic – not rigid, but rather elastic. Several people I showed and drove noted the character of the CUPRA Formentor TDI as strong, somewhat sporty. And it’s true. The car turns easily with low body rolls. And when you reach the limit (somewhat early, in my opinion), the crossover comes out well – there is time to correct.

But here’s the question: will the engine support it? To be honest, I expected the worst. Too often, diesels like the 150-liter 2-liter in various VW cars run as if they only have 130 hp. power But the CUPRA Formentor TDI crossover accelerates and reacts more cheerfully – as if these 150 hp. finally working perfectly! It can be attributed to the small dimensions and lightness of the car, but it announced a huge 1619 kg.

However, in any case: already from the beginning with 1.3-1.5 thousand we have a good speed, then the average area of ​​​​revolutions (2-3 thousand) and maximum torque is set. Perfectly! Especially if you change to the sports mode of the box: the transmission is low, the revolution is high – the traction and power at the right time is greater, the feedback on the accelerator pedal is more noticeable. In fact, the game mode of the box is enough and there is no need to activate the general game mode of the traffic settings. First of all, the steering wheel is heavier. Second, it’s still hard to access this mode through the touchscreen’s “jungle” menu.

The engine is fully installed, DSG– “auto” allows you to select S mode with one movement of the joystick, and in the settings menu you can also find a difficult game mode: crossover. CUPRA Guardian TDI gives a feeling of “power”! At the same time, the car does not suffer even on bad roads: there is enough ground clearance and the suspension is tight, but not rigid. There are also different road conditions that affect the operation of a four-wheel drive vehicle. It seems so CUPRA Guardian TDI everything turns out not bad, but one question arises: why didn’t they put a 200 horse engine from SEAT Tarraco FR? After all, the stopwatch makes you moderate: acceleration to “hundreds” takes 9.4 seconds instead of the promised 8.6 seconds – quite the opposite. And what else was promised? The maximum speed is 203 km / h and fuel consumption at the rate of 5.9 liters in the city or 4.6 liters on the highway. What in reality?

In my case, it is stable 7.5 liters in the city; maximum (traffic and/or aggressive driving style) exceeded 8+ liters; however, the minimum (empty road and careful driving style) were in the range of 4.8-5.3 liters. On the highway at a speed of 80-90 km / h, the car uses 4.5 liters, when the speed increases to 110-120 km / h, fuel consumption increases to 6-6.5 liters per 100 km of travel. So: power and dynamics were exchanged for economy – as expected from a diesel engine.

How much does the car cost in different versions and what are the competitors?

I recommend considering those CUPRA Formentor cars that are already available on the territory of Ukraine – and most of them are presented in the 150-horsepower diesel version. So: The cost of CUPRA Formentor is UAH 1.5-1.7 million or $ 39-45,000, plus now you can find promotional versions starting at UAH 1.43 million or $ 37,000.

What will this money be worth and what is included in the above column? Salon with sports seats and upholstery in fabric or leather, multimedia system with 12-inch display, wireless charging, all-round vision, electric trunk lid drive, etc. Advanced equipment includes a panoramic roof , BEATS sound, interior backlight, matrix lights, etc. It is also important to note the alternative engine option offered to Ukrainian buyers: gasoline 190-horsepower 2-liter TSI engine, also with all-wheel drive and automatic 7-speed DSG transmission. It turns out that a combination of engines and several options make different car configurations with different costs. However, in general, everything is within the price range mentioned above.

And now something about competitors. Which, it turns out, can be quite different. For example, you need an attractive crossover with proven VAG technology and hints of the youthful character of sports power – there is the Volkswagen T-Roc R-Line. You need everything right, but possibly more power for the same money – there’s the SEAT Leon FR. You need a stylish coupe-like crossover and a must-have all-wheel drive with a high level of authenticity – there is the Infiniti QX55. You need a crossover hatchback, all-wheel drive is an option, but you’re interested in an economical diesel engine and a nice interior – there’s the DS 4 Cross. Again, everything is fine, but now from the French and again, more power is needed for such money – there is a Peugeot 408.

After losing the 310 horsepower engine and excellent dynamics, the car CUPRA Guardian it lost the “highlight” that made it special among a group of competitors. So it turns out that it is like a direct rival to CUPRA Guardian TDI it is difficult to choose (crossover coupe, turbodiesel, four-wheel drive, dynamic character); but there will be many similar alternatives: Volkswagen T-Roc R-Line, SEAT Leon FR, Infiniti QX55, DS 4 Cross, Peugeot 408…

Conclusion: the CUPRA Formentor TDI car – does it have a right to exist?

Let me draw a double conclusion. The first is my personal opinion, my personal world, my personal understanding. If such a question arises, I personally will not buy a CUPRA Formentor TDI. After all, this car is no longer as special as the 310-horsepower version. It can’t offer dynamics that will interest me for a long time to come. It can’t deliver the CUPRA’s mood and beautiful sound.

However, it has something else to offer. And now the second conclusion – the CUPRA Formentor TDI car has the right to exist, now even I agree. I will say more: for many people and potential buyers, this is not “hot”, i.e. the “warm” version of the CUPRA Formentor TDI will be better. After all, this stylish crossover successfully combines the pleasant character of power and economical diesel, proven technology and original design, good dimensions and an adequate interior. No, it won’t change your mind – but it will definitely stick in your memory as a lovely car.

CUPRA Promoter