The Cupra Formentor is the first model to use the Cupra brand exclusively and it has more of a family feel from is cousins in Volkswagen, than its former siblings out of the SEAT stable.

But this is an impressive start for the hived off brand and comes in five petrol and hybrid models, looking to take a further step towards the all-electric market. The hybrid version is OK for short journeys on all electric, with a range of around 37 miles, but with the current infrastructure and a charge time of over three hours on a charging station and five on a standard three pin plug, its full hybrid range of 457 miles is a welcome back up.

The body of this family crossover SUV has some beautiful angular features, coast to coast rear lights and great two tone colouring, which produces a shadow effect, making it look very sporty.

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It sits lower to the ground than most SUVs in this class, again highlighting the sports look and with a touch of the Cupra copper from its stylish logo badge, from the grille to the tail and in the interior, the overall effect of this car is pretty pleasing.

Slipping into the driver's seat, you notice just how easy it is due to the hight of the vehicle and there's still a hint of that feeling of sitting high up in the comfortable bucket seats, which come in petrol blue or black leather. And those seats are pretty comfy considering that it can sometimes create a bucket seat that will suit ALL shapes and sizes. Even for those carrying a little 'extra', it proved to be so.

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The dashboard is beautifully lit and easy to navigate, with the almost obligatory now 'blind spot' detection and 'exit assist' in place. The centre-piece is the 12-inch touch screen, which provides all of the functionality to your driving experience and at last we have a car which doesn’t need to distract your attention to press a button on the screen. Simply hovering over the button will easily activate it and the heat and volume controls are also activated by a simple slide action on the dashboard.

The controls are easy to navigate even at the first attempt and the radio channels were 'filed' in alphabetical order, making it quick to find your favourite local radio without pressing numerous buttons or dials to tune in.

The chassis and steering of Formentor offer the most precise and involved drive possible, no matter which powertrain option is under the bonnet. My pick was the sporty two-litre TSi VZ2 which knocks out a gutsy 306bhp and includes four-wheel-drive in its armoury, all through a seven-speed auto gearbox which, as you would expect from the VW/Audi stable, is a real smoothy.

That allows some pretty impressive performance, especially in the 'sport' mode, from its four driving modes – convenience, offroad, sport, and the daft boy Cupra mode, which added a certain noisy 'growl' factor to the engine note.

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With a top speed of 155 miles per hour and a 0-62 mph acceleration time of just 4.9 seconds it is just as well that four-wheel-drive is part of the inventory. However, slip it into 'convenience' mode and the devil resorts back to just a gentle touring car.

The test car came with the new matte finish – at an £1800 extra – and that was matched inside with black Nappa leather heated bucket seats, with copper-coloured stitching and the Cupra symbol embroidered in the headrests.

On a frosty morning, the heated steering wheel was also welcome and a rear view camera and powered tailgate completed the spec' list.

The test car was valued at about £40k and rated at a combined 32.8mpg. But remember, hybrids can be part of your choice as there are seven different powertrains, ranging from the 1.5 TSI EVO 148 bhp, through to the 2.0 TSI 4Drive DSG-auto 306bhp. It is also available as a 1.4 e-HYBRID (either 202bhp or 242bhp) that comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Prices start at £27,745.