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Used test: Volkswagen T-Roc R vs Cupra Ateca interiors

These sports SUVs both produce almost 300bhp and blast from 0-60mph in less than five seconds, but which is the better used buy?...

Cupra Ateca interior

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, infotainment, build quality

To match the swagger of their exterior bodykits, both the Volkswagen T-Roc R and Cupra Ateca get figure-hugging sports seats and flat-bottomed steering wheels. What’s more, their driving positions are excellent and their dashboards are laid out logically.

However, many of the materials in the T-Roc are disappointing. While even Volkswagen's Polo small hatchback has a squishy upper dash, the T-Roc makes do with acres of hard, scratchy plastic. That's disappointing in an entry-level T-Roc, let alone one that costs nearly £40,000 when new.

Volkswagen T-Roc R dashboard

The Cupra’s interior won’t blow you away, either, looking too much like the one in a regular Seat Ateca. There are at least some soft, tactile surfaces, though, and the Alcantara-trimmed doors are particularly nice.

Forward visibility is good in both cars because of the slim windscreen pillars and elevated seating, but your over-the-shoulder view is obstructed by thick rear pillars in the T-Roc and a rising window line in the Ateca.

Infotainment systems

Cupra Ateca

Cupra Ateca infotainment

The 9.2in touchscreen is fairly intuitive to use, although it would be better if it had proper shortcut buttons for moving 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. The screen is highly configurable and can be set to show lots of useful information, including the sat-nav map, audio menus and a trip computer.

Volkswagen T-Roc R

Volkswagen T-Roc R 2020 RHD infotainment

The T-Roc’s touchscreen is smaller than the Ateca’s, at 8.0in. However, it’s similarly easy to use because its menus are just as logically laid out and most of the icons are a decent size. Like the Ateca, it also features a rotary knob that makes it easy to scroll up and down lists. But as in that car, you have to make do with touch-sensitive rather than physical shortcut keys. The T-Roc’s digital instruments are just as configurable and useful as the Ateca’s.