Long-term report: Our Cupra Formentor’s tech is great… when it works

·4-min read

I’m unashamedly a big fan of technology in cars, and I love to try out every possible gimmick there is to try.

Though some might prefer their cars to be as simple as possible – and from a reliability point of view, it makes sense – I’m certainly not in that camp. It’s safe to say that I haven’t been disappointed with the levels of technology fitted to my long-term Cupra Formentor.

This ‘V2’ trim isn’t even the highest possible spec, but it still gets a raft of features. As soon as you jump in the Formentor’s cabin, you know this is a car dominated by technology. The interior (steering wheel aside) is pretty much free of all conventional buttons, and is dominated by a large 12-inch touchscreen, which is fitted across the range.

It’s one of the largest systems fitted across the Volkswagen Group, and really helps the Formentor to feel more special than it is. Even the climate settings are embedded within it (which is controversial, but I actually quite like that), and I love that you can use the voice recognition to simply ask ‘warm my feet’ or ‘warm my hands’ and it will do just that. Yes, a bit of a gimmick, but one I certainly welcome.

The wireless Apple CarPlay feature is something else I love. My previous Volvo XC40 long-termer was wired only, and not only do the cables sometimes fail, but they end up leaving the cabin looking messy – something I’m really not a fan of. Simply connecting via a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is so much easier, and also lets you properly use the wireless smartphone charger that’s also fitted.

But like we know, technology is great when it works, and infuriating when it doesn’t. And, sadly, for some of the time the Cupra’s gadgets just don’t want to function. It’s the screen that seems to be the root of the problems, and is exceptionally tempramental with CarPlay. Sometimes if you press the ‘Apple’ icon, the screen just completely freezes, or goes black like it’s turned itself off.

Another quirk is how slow it is to operate at times. I’m very much a ‘jump in the car and go’ kind of person, but the laggy system means I’ve often set off before the Formentor’s screen has even decided to wake up, and for the first few minutes or so is incredibly slow. Think of it like a university student that you’ve dared try to wake before lunchtime.

This feature is particularly irksome if you’re reversing straight out of a space, as there appears to be a lag on the reversing camera, and it goes without saying but this is something you really don’t want. It’s meant that I’ve actually had to learn to park again, heaven forbid!

A quick browse of various Cupra owner’s forums suggests I’m not the only one with such issues, though thankfully as these seem to be a problem with the software, rather than the car itself, there are fixes available.

I’ve been in contact with Cupra and have been told that a software update is available, which – fingers crossed – should help to sort these little gremlins out. Similar has happened with new models like the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia, both of which share plenty in common with the Formentor.

I’ve yet to get confirmation of a date for when the Cupra can go back to the dealer for these updates, but fingers crossed it will be in the next few weeks…

  • Model: Cupra Formentor

  • Base price: £28,895

  • Model as tested: Cupra Formentor V2 TSI DSG-auto 150

  • Price: £32,980 (as tested)

  • Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol

  • Power: 148bhp

  • Torque: 250Nm

  • Max speed: 126mph

  • 0-60mph: 8.7 seconds

  • MPG: 39.2-42.2mpg

  • Emissions: 155g/km CO2

  • Mileage: 3,257

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting