Formentor VZ or Leon VZ – which Cupra is better?
So it’s a good thing that the two of them are also at the tires go different ways. The Leon likes sticky Bridgestone Potenza Race in 19 inches (he’s supposed to be on the racetrack later for another story). However, the measurements were carried out on Potenza Sport because of the comparability to the Formentor. Although the semi-slick brings a small advantage when braking and accelerating, there would have been deductions in the everyday rating. The treadless sports tires don’t like rain at all.
Brand affinity not to be overlooked
So the driving impressions from our ascents and descents in the winding Altmühltal must be enough for a driving dynamics evaluation. But more on that later. First, let’s take a look at the two candidates from the outside: The brand affinity cannot be overlooked, even if the Formentor goes its own way, especially in the area of the front apron and the clearly boldly drawn hip bend.
The lights are almost identical, but the grille is more squat on the flatter Leon. At the rear, too, there are more similarities than differences: both have a rising belt line that merges into a massive C-pillar. Just like roof edge spoilers and continuous lighting graphics, which can be easily distinguished in their design on the road.
kW (hp) b. rpm
test car price
We also see many identical parts in the cockpits. Steering wheel, DSG shift gate, operating concept – everything from a modular system. The operation is mostly button-free, which is cheaper for Cupra in production, but has disadvantages in practice. The volume slider below the screen is far less precise to use than a rotary knob with a haptic grid, the touch fields for temperature control next to it cause fewer problems, but only in daylight.
Touchscreen with problems in the cold
Why? Cupra apparently forgot a backlight during development, so you either have to turn on the interior light or tap into the darkness at random in hopes of hitting the right spot. How that could have happened is a complete mystery to us – there must have been a couple of development drives at night.
It’s still a shame if the customer has to act as a beta tester. The areas relevant to driving cause significantly fewer problems, even if about the Lane Departure Warning with his penetrating steering interventions more disturbs than helps. Therefore, the first thing to do after starting the vehicle is to use the turn signal lever. The driving aid can be switched off here by pressing a button.
Missing start-stop deactivation
In the meantime, however, the cross traffic was so close that it almost became a bit cramped. The pitfalls of technology… There is a little trick to avoid having to go to the vehicle submenus every time. Just short that infotainment switch off via the – curiously illuminated – button on the left under the display, then four touch surfaces appear; one of them switches off start-stop.
There are two round buttons on the steering wheel below the usual buttons for the menu, cruise control and audio controls. On the left is the Cupra button, which can be used to switch between the driving modes. And now we press the right one. That’s the start button. Depending on the mode selected, the speakers emulate more or less engine sound in the interior.
In Sport or Cupra mode, Leon and Formentor stay longer in the lower gear, keeping the revs higher and the response more agile. The steering is precise but smooth-running and provides sufficient feedback – but that doesn’t knock us off our feet.
Formentor faster at highway speed
On the country road, the Formentor whirls up more dust at first than with its all wheel drive he catapulted himself from the starting block up to country road speed in a measured 4.7 seconds. Two tenths faster than stated in the prospectus. The front scratcher Leon loses a smooth second here, although – as already mentioned – he has to fight with 135 kilos less.
We like the Leon a bit better
This corresponds exactly to the factory specification. The Formentor uses its traction up to 130 km/h and extends the lead to 1.6 seconds, then its higher air resistance catches up with it. Up to 200 km/h, the 10 hp weaker Leon is only half a second behind. In terms of elasticity, the lighter and more agile compact has the edge. When braking, the additional weight of the Formentor is reflected in 0.9 meters, which costs it three points in our rating system. But he got five out of it when accelerating.