What should I be paying?
The Formentor range is mildly confusing, starting out with the V1 entry model followed by the V2 (so far so good), then the VZ1, VZ2 and VZ3 (strange extra letter there, but fine) and the VZN range topper.
It'll cost you £31,300 to get yourself an entry level V1 model with the 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine. It's about £1,600 extra for an auto gearbox, and upgrading to the 188bhp 2.0-litre will cost £36,110. There's also the option to go for the 201bhp PHEV (comes with a 1.4-litre petrol, that one) at £39,165. The Formentor price list tops out at £48,270 for the VZN and the spiciest engine set-up at 306bhp.
What are the different specs like?
The entry V1 car doesn't feel too miserable, with its 18in alloys, auto wipers, wireless Apple CarPlay and phone charging, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control. The V2 nets you heated front bucket seats, 19in alloy wheels and a rear parking camera, while the VZ1 offers a sportier chassis set-up over the V1 (including sports suspension and dynamic chassis control), 19in alloys and rear parking camera.
The VZ2 chucks in quad exhaust pipes, heated seats and steering wheel and some leather trim; the VZ3 lobs in black 19in alloys, Brembo brakes and matrix LED headlights. The top-spec VZN has more fancy wheel options, bespoke paint colours, a panoramic sunroof and a fancy Beats sound system.
Which one should I go for?
We'd be tempted to keep the base car cheap and raid some of the options list – the Formentor would certainly benefit in the comfort department from the smaller wheels, even if that was to the detriment of the looks. To be fair, if you've bought into Cupra's schporty marketing then you'll probably prefer to go for VZ2 with its 19in alloys and quad exhaust pipes.
The car doesn't quite have the performance to match up to the aesthetics there, but it's a bit of visual theatre for the supermarket car park. If you're on a company car hunt then the PHEVs are the only ones worth considering thanks to their 33g/km CO2 emissions and 12 per cent BIK rates.
You'll have to shop carefully for first year VED rates, too: the PHEVs cost nothing but the range-topping petrol will set you back £1,565 in the first year.
If you really do want a performance family car with Volkswagen underpinnings though, why not go back to the source material and have a look at that eminently capable Golf R estate at £46,555?