What compact luxury SUV do you buy when you, A: have money and, B: want everyone to know it? Something like a BMW X3 is premium, and the Audi Q5 is too, but nothing has quite the style and sense of excellence that a Porsche product does. Enter the Porsche Macan. Available in three states of tune, every model comes with leather and Alcantara, exceptional driving dynamics, and the bragging rights that are standard with a Porsche. All models are all-wheel-drive and feature a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. The base variant runs with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot that develops 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, while the mid-level Macan S gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 348 hp and 354 lb-ft. The top trim is the GTS, and this model is fitted with a 375 hp 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 with 383 lb-ft of torque.
The GTS model is back as part of the 2020 lineup with its twin-turbo V6 and 375 hp. In addition, although Apple CarPlay is still not a standard feature on the Macan, it is now wireless. Wireless charging is also available for the new model.
The 2020 Porsche Macan is a handsome thing, with shapely LED lights, large air openings, and 18-inch wheels. At the back, a dual-exit exhaust adds some style along with a roof spoiler. The Macan S gets wheels one inch bigger, as well as a quad-exit exhaust, while the GTS variant gets slightly different exterior styling that includes a black exhaust exit and 20-inch wheels as standard, although 21s are also available.
The Macan's relatively compact dimensions help it with off-roading, where it is surprisingly capable. The length of the Macan and Macan S is measured at 184.9 inches while width is 76.2 inches. Height is 64 inches with the wheelbase 110.5. Curb weight on the base model is measured at 4,099 lbs with the S weighing 4,293 lbs. The GTS variant is the heaviest, starting at 4,370 lbs. It's also slightly shorter with a marginally longer wheelbase, with these figures measuring 184.5 and 110.6 inches respectively. The GTS' height is 63 inches. In terms of off-road ability, models with the standard suspension setup of steel springs can achieve approach, departure, and break-over angles of 16.9, 23.6, and 16.9 degrees respectively. They can also wade at depths of up to 11.8 inches and have a ground clearance measurement of eight inches. With the air suspension equipped, approach, departure, and break-over angles of 18.5, 25.3, and 18.8 degrees respectively. Its ground clearance in regular mode is 7.4 inches, but it goes up to nine inches in off-road mode, a configuration which also allows for a wading depth of 13.3 inches.
The base Macan is available in two plain no-cost paint finishes: black and white. Metallic options offer more choice, with Carrara White, Jet Black, Volcano Grey, Dolomite Silver, Sapphire Blue, Night Blue, and Mamba Green, each of which costs $700 atop the Macan's price. Three special colors are also available at $3,120 each: Carmine Red, Chalk, and Miami Blue. Alternatively, you can get a custom color mixed up for $11,430, or your own unique color (not one of Porsche's design) for a whopping $22,860. The Macan S and GTS models get the same choices as well as an additional metallic color called Mahogany. On the base model, black calipers are standard with the S variant getting Titanium as a finish. The sporty GTS gets the obligatory red calipers that we associate with speed. Various wheel colors are available too, and you can get certain wheels painted in the same color as the body of the vehicle.
As is usually the case, the GTS is the fastest variant of the Macan in this range, as the Turbo is reviewed separately. This model comes with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 with 375 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to all-wheel-drive and a brilliant transmission, the engine is able to propel the GTS from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Opt for the Sport Chrono package with its more aggressive drive mode and launch control and that figure drops to 4.5. Top speed is rated at 162 mph, but the lesser models aren't too far behind either. The S, with its 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that produces 348 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, gets from 0-60 in as quickly as 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 157 mph. Meanwhile, the base variant with its 248 hp 2.0-liter turbo inline-four is 100 hp down on the S and only produces 273 lb-ft of torque. Even so, its 0-60 mph time is respectable for a compact SUV, with a quickest possible sprint time of 6.1 seconds. Top speed on this model is 141 mph. All models have the same towing capacity, however, with a maximum of 4,409 lbs.
The base variant of the Macan is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. As with all the other models in the lineup, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, or PDK, is standard. Although the basic architecture of the engine is shared by various Audi and Volkswagen products around the world, here it gets unique intake and exhaust systems. In terms of performance, these help it breathe better and respond better to inputs, meaning that you won't struggle to get going from a traffic light. You won't have too much trouble overtaking slower traffic either, with torque available from 1,600-4,500 rpm. The transmission helps hide any deficiencies too, as it's both smooth between gears and quick to change up and down. Should you decide to take matters into your own hands, the paddles respond swiftly.
The Macan S has an even more impressive engine spec that produces 348 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque from its 3.0-liter turbo V6. This model is quicker to get going and makes in-gear acceleration effortless, but if you want real power, the GTS is the one to get. It features a 2.9-liter V6 but with two turbochargers that produces 375 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. In this variant, everything is more raw, from the sounds coming out of the sports exhaust to the rapid acceleration. Necessary? No. Fun? Yes.
The Macan wouldn't be a true Porsche if it were incompetent in all but acceleration statistics. The steering is a little lighter than you may expect, but that adds to its ease of use and maneuverability around town. Even so, it is exceptionally easy to place the car and responses are good, with the front wheels turning in more sharply than you may expect from a vehicle like this. Despite its sharp handling and its adept ability to change direction, the Macan remains comfortable and compliant, even without the available adaptive air suspension system. Bumps and imperfections are rarely transmitted to the cabin, and even in sportier modes, you can use the car daily. Thanks to the standard all-wheel-drive system, grip is abundant too, and when you want to go off the beaten path, the Macan can hold its own off-road as well. The brakes are similarly impressive, with good feel and sharp response, but if you want to really guarantee the shortest stopping distances possible even after numerous applications of the anchors, ceramic composite brakes are available too, even if they may be overkill on a vehicle that will likely never be taken on track. Overall, this is a refined and well-engineered package that does triple duty as a daily driver, an engaging toy, and an off-road trailblazer.
With three different engines, the Macan returns three different fuel economy ratings. The base Macan, with its 2.0-liter turbo-four, returns figures of 19/23/21 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. With a 19.8-gallon gas tank, mixed range is therefore calculated at around 415 miles. The Macan S, with its 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, is slightly less economical with EPA figures of 18/23/20 mpg on the same cycles, while the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 in the GTS returns 17/22/19 mpg.
The Macan doesn't feature Porsche's latest digital driver's display, but the cabin is still a stunning place to be. Leather and Alcantara surround you while a prominent 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment display takes center stage. The system features SiriusXM satellite radio, voice control, and navigation, but Apple CarPlay is not standard and Android Auto is overlooked completely. In the back, things get a little worse, as the confining levels of headroom and legroom make this more of an oversized hatchback than a supremely practical SUV. Nevertheless, it looks and feels good, and that's what the buyers want.
The Porsche Macan seats five, but the rear seats are only really usable by teenagers at best. Fortunately, the front seats are far better and feature eight-way power-adjustment as standard. These can be upgraded to 14-way power seats, or you can even opt for 18-way adaptive sport seats with active bolsters. Regardless of which you end up with, the view out is good in the front and headroom and legroom are accommodating for even taller individuals. Ingress and egress are good too, thanks to large front doors, although the rear is less capacious in all respects.
As standard, the Macan comes with a mix of black leather with Alcantara seat centers, or you can have Agate Grey in place of the black. A black and Mojave Beige two-tone combo is also available for $260 or you can opt for no Alcantara in a range of colors that includes the aforementioned combos as well as a Black and Garnet Red combo. These cost up to $1,960 while full leather costs as much as $3,880 and natural leather in Espresso costs $4,920. The GTS gets the same choices along with unique options that include Carmine Red stitching as part of the GTS interior package.
The Macan is not the most spacious vehicle around, but it does reasonably well for smaller families with a cargo area offering 17.6 cubic feet of volume - enough for all occupants to bring carry-on luggage. If you need more space, the seats fold in a 40/20/40 split to open up 52.9 cubic feet of volume.
In the cabin, some reasonably sized door pockets are supplemented by large cupholders and a decent glovebox, while the front and rear armrests offer additional storage beneath the surface.
As standard, the Macan comes with a power tailgate, LED headlights, and tri-zone climate control on every model. You also get cruise control, lane-departure warning, a rearview camera, parking sensors, hill start assist, hill descent control, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, and post-collision braking. On the GTS, adaptive air suspension is added along with a sports exhaust system and heated front seats, but a lot more is on offer if you're willing to shell out extra. A panoramic roof, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, adaptive LED Matrix headlights, and the Sport Chrono package with its dashtop chronograph and launch control function are all available as options. Also up for grabs are features like thermally and noise insulated glass, a surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep and lane-change assists, a heated steering wheel, rear sunshades, wireless charging, and a heated windshield.
The infotainment system consists of Porsche's 10.9-inch touchscreen display with SiriusXM satellite radio, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth audio streaming, four USB-C ports with two for connectivity, voice control, and navigation. Apple CarPlay is an optional extra, but a 10-speaker sound system is standard. If that's not good enough for you, a Bose 12-speaker setup and Burmester 12-speaker surround-sound arrangement are available too. Sadly, Android Auto is still not offered, and we do have issues with the system as it fails to be as intuitive as we'd like. Nevertheless, the images and graphics are attractive, and the layout is clean.
Thus far, the Porsche Macan has been free of recalls in the USA since 2018's model, indicating that any teething issues have been resolved and reliability should be tried and true.
In case of any problems, Porsche provides a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty that includes paint coverage, along with a 12-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty for all new Porsches. In addition, one year or 10,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance is included, whichever comes first.
None of the US's major crash-test ratings agencies have subjected the Porsche Macan to review for safety. However, with a comprehensive list of standard and optional safety features, you can rest assured that it is a safe vehicle.
As standard, the Macan offers numerous safety features including frontal, side-impact, and curtain airbags. You also get hill start assist, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, lane-departure warning, rain-sensing wipers, and post-collision braking. Options include adaptive LED Matrix headlights, lane-keep assist, blind-spot assist, a surround-view camera, and adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning, plus autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
The Macan is not the biggest compact luxury SUV around, and it's expensive alongside some competitors. It's also rather poorly equipped when compared to some less ostentatious competition. However, none of that matters. This a vehicle that will be bought as a justification for the underlying desire for a sports car. As long as the kids can fit in the back, the buyer of the Macan will be pleased. Fortunately, in the other respects, the ones that matter to the Porsche enthusiast, the Macan is utterly excellent. Few can even come close to the handling ability of the Macan, and with the GTS variant, acceleration and top speed are truly exhilarating. Furthermore, the interior is beautifully finished, as one would expect, and there are no cut corners or compromises when it comes to quality. For what it's meant to be - a sporty, luxurious, and genuinely fancy SUV - the Macan is perfect.
The cheapest Macan is the base model, which arrives at a price of $50,900 before a delivery fee of $1,350. The mid-level Macan S starts at an MSRP of $59,400, while the top GTS trim costs from $71,300. As usual, that price can rise steeply depending on options, and a fully loaded Porsche Macan GTS can cost in excess of $135,000.
The Macan is available in three trims: Macan, Macan S, and Macan GTS.
The base variant is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. It rides on 18-inch wheels and has a dual-exit exhaust system, along with LED lighting, leather and Alcantara upholstery, and eight-way power-adjustable front seats. You also get parking sensors, cruise control, lane-departure warning, hill descent control, and a 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with ten speakers, a Wi-Fi hotspot, navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio. This model can accelerate from 0-60 mph in as little as 6.1 seconds and tops out at 141 mph.
The Macan S gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 348 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. In addition to the base model's standard features, this version gets 19-inch wheels, Titanium brake calipers, a silver rev counter, and a quad-exit exhaust system. This model is capable of 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 157 mph.
The top GTS trim gets black exhaust tips, clear taillights, sport seats with heating in front, adaptive air suspension, 20-inch wheels, red brake calipers, adaptive LED headlights, and a sports exhaust system. With its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, this variant produces 375 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to get from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds if the Sport Chrono package is equipped. It tops out at a maximum speed of 162 mph.
Various packages are available for the Macan range, with the base model having access to most of the same options as the rest of the range, although prices differ as you climb the trim ladder. 18-way adaptive sport seats are available and cost $2,080 ($1,710 on the Macan S). The Premium Package Plus costs considerably more at $6,500, down to $5,020 on the GTS model, but adds a panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a Bose 12-speaker sound system, Apple CarPlay with wireless connectivity, adaptive LED headlights, and 14-way power-adjustable front seats. Adaptive air suspension - which is standard on the GTS - costs $2,750 while the Sport Chrono package with its launch control function costs $1,360 across all trims. If you opt for this, the available off-road compass cannot be specced.
At its price, the Porsche Macan is a reasonably capable vehicle in base form and boasts a good number of features - but it's not as quick as you'd want a Porsche to be. The GTS is brilliant but is also very pricey and is overkill for a vehicle like this. Therefore, our pick would be the mid-level S. It's quick and it looks better than the base version, but it needs some features. Thus, we'd add adaptive cruise control, lane-keep and lane-change assist, and the Premium Package Plus suite for its ventilated front and heated rear seats, upgraded sound system, Apple CarPlay, and adaptive LED headlights. All in, you'll be spending just under $70,000.
The Cayenne is the original Porsche SUV and the Macan's big brother. It starts at a base price of $66,800 but offers far more room and practicality, allowing you to fill the rear seats with full-size adults. It also has at least 335 hp and, depending on which model you opt for, gets adaptive air suspension as standard, along with a massive 12.3-inch infotainment display and a pair of seven-inch driver info displays. Fold the seats down and you have an impressive space of 60.3 cubic feet to work with, while towing capacity on even the entry-level variant is considerably greater than that of the Macan at 7,700 lbs - over 3,000 lbs more than the smaller SUV. Naturally, numerous options can hike the price further, but for its greater space and ability, as well as its more advanced standard and available tech, we'd go for the Cayenne.
A cheaper alternative to the new Porsche Macan is the Audi Q5, a vehicle that shares various underpinnings with Stuttgart's compact SUV. In the base Audi, you get the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot as in the entry-level Macan, with the same output. With a slightly lower curb weight and a towing capacity nine pounds short of what you get with the Porsche, the Audi Q5 bests its cousin in fuel economy, returning a combined EPA figure of 24 mpg versus the Macan's 21. The Q5 is also slightly larger in comparison, with a much larger cargo area behind the rear seats that measures 25.1 cubes versus the Porsche's 17.6. For its price and how much you get, the Q5 is arguably the smarter choice, but the Macan's effortless style and standard bragging rights will be hard to look past.
Check out some informative Porsche Macan video reviews below.