The distinctive Formentor is an intriguing vehicle - with styling that sets it apart from many of its key rivals.

Described as an SUV coupé, it’s the first time CUPRA – the luxury spin-off from SEAT – has produced an offering that isn't closely based on an existing vehicle within the SEAT fleet.

Of course, that makes the Formentor a crucial benchmark in terms of the future success of the luxury brand – and the early signs are promising.

Its sharp styling, including a beautifully curved and creased bonnet, is sure to turn heads, while its interior quality and pleasing driving dynamics are also major plus points.

The range is headed by a machine with a fierce powertrain: including a 2.0-litre and 310PS turbo engine, with a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds.

But buyers now also have the option of a plug-in hybrid version, tested here. It combines an electric battery with a 1.4-litre petrol engine and is capable of producing up to 245PS, can go from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and can run for up to 34 miles on electric power alone.

A recent family camping trip to North Wales provided the ideal chance to test the Formentor in a wide range of scenarios.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Cupra Formentor

First of all, we were impressed by the way the 450-litre boot swallowed our tent and several big bags.

Meanwhile, a large amount of legroom in the rear seats meant any other camping essentials could easily take their place alongside two children.

Up front, there was no problem getting comfortable on the three-hour drive from West Yorkshire to Snowdonia.

The bucket-style front seats offer plenty of adjustment and - unlike some SUVs - you feel more like you’re sat in it than on top of it, with the seats capable of being lowered to a level that’s more typical of a normal hatchback.

On the initial leg of the journey, the Formentor cruised smoothly on the motorway, with decent fuel economy. You do notice a little wind or road noise, but not enough to affect the overall relaxing ambience of the exclusive-feeling cabin.

Once on the B-roads, the car’s sharp handing capabilities came into their own.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Cupra Formentor

The steering felt weighty and accurate, while there was little by way of body roll and lean to look out for.

On the tighter corners, it felt well-planted and I became increasing confident in trusting its handling.

The suspension feels nice, with a set-up that’s on the sporty side without being uncomfortable for a family wanting to relax.

With 245PS available, performance is brisk, satisfying and fun without ever verging on exciting.

From a standing start, the combined efforts of the hybrid powertrain provide a lot of grunt, so you may notice the front wheels on this two-wheel drive version scrabbling for grip when you first get the power down.

In an amongst the jagged mountains of Snowdonia, the sharp creases and aggressive styling of the Formentor's bodywork seemed to blend well with the surroundings, as these pictures show.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The creases of the bodywork on the Cupra Formentor blend well with Snow-donia's peaks (left and top left). Top right, crossing the River Conwy in Llanrwst's historic bridge

A prominent grille is surrounded by some eye-catching lower front end detailing, while a pronounced crease towards the back of the side panels flows elegantly towards the rear spoiler.

Inside the cabin, there's plenty of high-end technology and premium materials to be found.

Ambient lighting creates a hue to suit your mood, while a 12-inch touchscreen with connected mapping services is within easy reach and view of the driver.

Meanwhile, the 10.2-inch Digital Cockpit is state-of-the-art and displays all the detail you need.

The claimed electric range of up to 34 miles will appeal to business users and those with a daily commute in that ballpark, while the battery can be charged in under four hours with a home wallbox charger.

Cupra Formentor eHybrid

PRICE: £37,600 on the road

ENGINE: hybrid - 1.4-litre four cylinder, four valve petrol plus electric motor

PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and top speed of 127mph

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed dual clutch auto, with front wheel drive

EMISSIONS AND MPG: Not yet available