New Porsche Macan T vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce: practicality

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 T rear space

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Whichever way you slice it, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is the roomier car for those in the front. To be fair, a pair of six-footers shouldn't find it difficult to comfortable in the Porsche Macan either, but they'll feel more hemmed in due to its tall centre console and the way the dashboard juts out farther.

Both cars have cupholders behind their gear selectors, but only the Stelvio has door pockets that are large enough to take a big bottle of water. The Stelvio also has a handy wireless phone charger under its central armrest – a £185 option in the Macan.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio rear space

A pair of six-footers will fit in the outer rear seats of each car, but the Stelvio offers greater head, leg and shoulder room. It also has a smaller central hump in the floor, so there's more foot room for the middle seat occupant than there is in the Macan.

Each car has two charging ports in the back (USB-A in the Stelvio and USB-C in the Macan), but only the Macan lets rear seat occupants select a different temperature from those in the front. 

It's right at the back, though, where the Macan serves up a surprise advantage. The on-paper figures suggest that the Stelvio's boot should be more practical, because it has a larger official capacity and a longer loading area, whether the rear seatbacks are up or down. However, the Macan's boot is wider at its narrowest point and taller below the parcel shelf, so it can swallow an extra carry-on sized suitcase, taking eight in total.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce rear seat air vents

The Stelvio is hampered by other impracticalities, such as an exposed speaker grille that looks like it would be susceptible to damage from a bulky pushchair or a set of golf clubs in the boot. And while it's good that there's a 230-volt power outlet, it's a shame it's for a European plug and not a UK one. The Stelvio doesn't have an electric tailgate like the Macan's, either. 

Our contenders both have 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatbacks for increased flexibility when loading longer items, but only the Stelvio provides handy levers inside the boot to remotely fold the seats down. Neither car has a height-adjustable boot floor, but both have flat extended load bay floors when the seats are collapsed and no lip to lift things over. 

Boot space

Porsche Macan T

NEW Porsche Macan T boot space

Boot 500-1500 litres Suitcases 8

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Alfa Romeo Stelvio boot space

Boot 525-1600 litres Suitcases 7

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