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New Cupra Ateca vs used Porsche Macan

The Cupra Ateca is a great and highly practical Sports SUVs, but is good enough to tempt you away from a more luxurious used Porsche Macan S?...

New Cupra Ateca vs used Porsche Macan

The contenders

New Cupra Ateca 2.0 TSI DSG 4Drive VZ2 

List Price: £41,275 Target price: £40,876 Official fuel economy: 31.7 (WLTP) Emissions: 202g/km CO2 Power: 296bhp 0-62mph: 4.9sec Top speed: 153mph 

Used Porsche Macan 3.0 TD V6 S auto

Price new: £45,997 Price today: £37,000* Official fuel economy: 46.3mpg (NEDC) Emissions: 159g/km CO2 Power: 254bhp 0-62mph: 6.3sec Top speed: 142mph 

*Price today is based on a 2017 model with average mileage and a full service history

Value for money is important in all walks of life, but how people define it can differ. Is it something quantitive and measurable in the number of gizmos you get for your cash, or is it qualitative, like buying something from a prestigious brand that's depreciated to a more affordable price-point?

If your thinking aligns with the former mindset, a brand new Cupra Ateca should appeal. Not only does a mid-range VZ2 version come stuffed with convenience and safety features, but its 296bhp 2.0-litre packs a mighty punch and its price narrowly avoids the luxury car tax surcharge.

However, those who subscribe to the second way of thinking would be tempted to pass this well-priced sports SUV over in favour of a "better" badge for the same money, especially when it belongs to Stuttgart's most famous sports car manufacturer: Porsche. Yes, a three-year old Porsche Macan could be yours for even less than the best target price for a new Ateca, it has a bigger, 3.0-litre engine and a much more luxurious interior, so surely it must be a winner? Let's find out.

New Cupra Ateca vs used Porsche Macan – interior & equipment

Build quality, equipment, ease of use

In terms of the outright quality of its fixtures and fittings, it’s the Macan that’s the plushest inside. Everywhere you look and everything you touch has a quality feel. 

Aside from the liberal application of Alcantara suede trim across the seats and door cards in the Ateca, there isn't an awful lot to distinguish it from lesser Seat versions of the same car inside – apart from its copper-coloured Cupra badge, of course. That's not an entirely bad thing, though, because the basic layout in the Ateca is very logical and straightforward to use.

Cupra Ateca interior

Controlling simple functions, such as the climate control, is not a straightforward operation in the Macan, because lots of its controls are arranged along the top of the centre console rather than on the dashboard as it is in almost every other car. To be fair, you’ll probably end up getting used to this, but it will take you a few attempts before it all sinks in. The Macan also has a relatively small infotainment screen, dated graphics and doesn’t have Apple CarPlay to utilise your phone’s apps like you can in an Ateca.

The 9.2in touchscreen in the Ateca is fairly intuitive to use, but would be better if it had proper shortcut buttons for switching between menus instead of touch-sensitive icons that force you to take your eyes off the road for longer. The system is augmented by a 10.3in digital instrument panel in place of analogue dials. This is highly configurable and can show you lots of useful information, including the sat-nav map, audio menus and trip computer.

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You won't find that level of standard equipment in a Macan unless you go hunting for one with lots of options. You still get 18in alloys, climate control, an electric tailgate, DAB radio, automatic lights and wipers, plus rear parking sensors. But small things like a Bluetooth connection for your phone and sat-nav were all options and that's a bit disappointing, as is the lack of standard lumbar adjustment for the front seats. VZ2 versions of the Ateca get electric adjustment with memory settings for the driver's seat and manual lumbar adjustment.

New Cupra Ateca vs used Porsche Macan – space & practicality

Driving position, practicality, visibility

You'll find more head room front and rear in the Ateca, probably due to it having a flatter roofline that doesn't taper off at the rear. The driver's seat in the Macan goes further back, though which is good for those who are long of leg.

Cupra Ateca rear seats

In the Ateca, reaching for things such as the infotainment screen can become a bit of a stretch, and some people might find that the steering wheel won't go low enough for their ideal driving position, but at least that means you get an uninterrupted view of the instrument cluster through the spokes.

You get a standard eight-way power seat for the driver in the Macan, but you’ll need to find one with the comfort package to get adjustable lumbar support. The large central tunnel does get in the way a bit and causes you to move your left foot further to the right than is ideal. Leg room in the back of the Macan isn’t great and some may find their knees rubbing the back of the front seats.

Its boot, remarkably is slightly more accommodating; we were able to fit eight suitcases into the Porsche Macan compared with six for the Cupra Ateca. You also get a handy hidden storage area beneath the flat load floor of the Macan, whereas the Ateca has an annoying load lip to lift items over. A more flexible 40:20:40 split folding bench is standard in the Macan.  

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