New Porsche Macan T vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce: interiors

What happens when a sporting brand turns its hand to creating a sensible SUV? We spend a day at the races to find out...

NEW Porsche Macan dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio has a higher, more SUV-like driving position than the hunkered-down Porsche Macan. And while both cars offer electric adjustment for the driver's seat, only the Stelvio provides memory settings and lumbar support adjustment as standard.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the prominent bolstering of the Macan's seat, which helps to support you when cornering, makes it better suited to those who are slight in frame. The Stelvio has chunky side bolsters, too, but they're farther apart, making the seat a little more forgiving if you've eaten a big Sunday lunch. 

The Stelvio has fairly chunky windscreen pillars, which can interfere with your view at junctions. Approaching traffic is more easily spotted in the Macan thanks to slimmer pillars.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio dashboard

The Stelvio's over-the-shoulder view is also hampered by thick rear pillars, making the £1000 Driver Assistance Pack (with it blindspot monitors) a worthwhile investment. The Macan provides a better rearward view, although both cars have front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera to help with low-speed manoeuvres. 

The fundamental Macan design has been around since 2014 (three years longer than the Stelvio), but thanks to regular updates and some seriously plush materials, it actually feels more modern inside than the Stelvio. The leatherette on the dashboard oozes quality, whereas the Stelvio's material choices fall short of the richness of those in the Macan, especially the rhino-skin texture of the dashboard top, which cheapens the overall feel. The optional Premium Interior & Sound Pack (£1750) helps to address this issue, though, bringing leather coverings for some of the Stelvio's surfaces. 

The Stelvio earns some ease-of-use points for retaining dials for its air-con and infotainment controls,; they're mostly touch-sensitive in the Macan, making them tricky to identify by feel. However, it loses marks for its annoying indicator stalk; it doesn't remain in position when indicating like in most cars, instead it springs back immediately and this takes some getting used to. 

Infotainment systems

Porsche Macan T

NEW Porsche Macan T infotainment

At 10.9in, the Macan’s screen is larger than the Stelvio’s and has sharper graphics. It responds swiftly to inputs, but the menu layout is complicated and the many small icons can be tricky to hit on the move. Alternatively, there’s a small dial below the screen for scrolling through menus, but it’s awkwardly sited and more limited in use than the Stelvio’s rotary controller. There’s also a dial that can be used to control some audio functions.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Alfa Romeo Stelvio infotainment

The Stelvio’s 8.8in screen is a little on the small side, but it’s easy enough to navigate and less distracting to use while driving compared with the Macan’s touchscreen, because it’s controlled via a handy dial between the front seats. However, the graphics look grainy and the screen can be a little slow to respond to inputs. Phone mirroring for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, whereas the Macan offers only the latter.

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