Used test: Audi SQ2 vs Cupra Ateca interiors
Buy either of these two sports SUVs at 18 months old and you'll save plenty of money, but which one should you go for? We have the answer...
What are they like inside?
Entry-level sports SUVs they may be, and usefully cheaper bought used, as here, but these two are hardly bargains in a wider context. It’s therefore not unreasonable to expect a premium interior.
However, that isn’t how we’d describe the Ateca’s. Yes, there’s plenty of soft-touch plastic and a smattering of fake carbonfibre trim, but if it weren’t for the copper-coloured Cupra emblem on the steering wheel, you could be driving a regular Seat Ateca.
On the upside, that also means the driving position is excellent, the standard digital instrument dials are clear, the dashboard is almost (but not quite) as user-friendly as the SQ2's and visibility is reasonably good in all directions. The SQ2 also gets its layout more or less spot on while treating you to nicer materials, better-damped switches and flashes of colour that let you know it’s no ordinary Q2.
That said, it isn’t perfect. You’ll still find some scratchy plastic on the doors, and while the SQ2’s optional leather seats look fancier, the Ateca’s heavily bolstered pair hold you in place better through corners while still proving comfy on longer jaunts, thanks to standard adjustable lumbar support.
Despite being at the smaller end of the SUV scale, both cars are perfectly accommodating up front; even tall adults will have no issues with head or leg room.
But once you climb into the back of the SQ2, you quickly realise that small SUVs have certain limitations. For example, while tall adults in the back of the Ateca actually have space to lounge, those in the SQ2 will probably find their knees close to the front seats and their heads brushing the ceiling. And while two shorter passengers might be comfy in the back, the relatively narrow interior will make it pretty uncomfortable if three are made to sit side by side.
The bad news continues behind them. While the SQ2’s boot is sensibly shaped and benefits from a small lip, the Ateca’s is taller and wider and has a larger aperture. It’s no wonder, then, that the Ateca managed to swallow six carry-on suitcases with room to spare, while the SQ2 could fit only five.
It’s also worth noting that the Ateca has two handy levers in the boot that fold down the rear seats, making it even easier to load longer items.
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