Porsche's SUV lineup began with the mid-size Cayenne, but the compact Macan delivers a heartier helping of the brand's sporting ethos while still offering more space for people and cargo than a sports car. A turbocharged four-cylinder is standard but the mid-range S and top-spec GTS are equipped with significantly more powerful twin-turbo V-6 engines. Handling is crisp and all Macan models provide a joyful driving demeanor that even the most hardened SUV detractors will appreciate. This is why it's one of our favorite crossovers. Rivals such as the BMW X3 or Genesis GV70 offer more luxury equipment as standard, but the Macan stands alone as an upscale, compact SUV that satisfies its driver first and fulfills its other missions second.
What's New for 2023?
Porsche has added a Macan T trim to the lineup which features an adaptive suspension as well as the brand's popular Sport Chrono package, which includes a set of driving modes and a launch-control feature. The Macan T is powered by the base Macan's 261-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine; all-wheel drive is standard just as it is on the rest of the lineup.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Given the Macan's athletic character, we'd skip the base model and go straight for the V-6-powered S, which brings a meaningful bump in performance. Standard features include a 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 10-speaker audio system, and LED headlights. We'd also splurge a little for the Premium package for its heated front and rear seats, adaptive headlights, and an upgraded 14-speaker audio system. The Sport Chrono pack has our attention, too, for its driver-adjustable drive modes and launch-control feature.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
We have yet to attach a VBox data logger to a 2023 model with the base turbo four-cylinder, but we've taken a test drive and found its power to be more than adequate. The one we've tested is the GTS model, which comes with a 434-hp twin-turbo V-6, and it jumped to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. That's significantly quicker than the times posted by the Audi SQ5 and Jaguar F-Pace S. An SUV probably doesn't need to launch off the line as quickly as that, but we sure appreciate it. Quickness is important in a crossover with sporting intentions, but we wouldn't be nearly as impressed with the Macan if it weren't for its all-around competence on the road. It feels remarkably like a sports sedan. The ride is wonderfully smooth and carefully controlled, and it's rare for a jolt from the pavement to make itself known to the driver. The steering is a tad lighter than it is in Porsche's sports cars, but it's still super accurate and pleasantly tactile.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The most efficient Macan, according to the EPA, is the base model with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which is rated for 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Both the S and GTS models, which are powered by the twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6, are rated for 17 mpg city, but the S managed a 23 mpg highway rating versus 22 for the GTS. On our 75-mph real-world highway fuel-economy loop, the Macan S averaged 26 mpg, bettering its highway figure by 3 mpg. For more information about the Macan's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Macan's standard interior fittings are a disappointment in a crossover of this price and provenance, and it's expensive to outfit one in a manner that befits the Porsche crest. There's also less space for back-seat passengers in the Macan than in most competitors. The power-adjustable seats for the driver and front passenger, while comfortable, are the only pieces of standard interior equipment that feel luxurious. You could have the whole interior draped in leather, which would partly address the issue, but Porsche—living up to its price-gouging reputation—requires an extra $2230 just to cover the dashboard and doors in cowhide. A puny cargo hold and small interior cubbies make the Macan one of the least practical vehicles in this segment. But when has buying a Porsche ever been a rational choice? We fit six carry-on bags in behind the bench and 16 with the rear seats folded, which should be enough for most people.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Porsche's infotainment system can be had with all manner of high-tech features, but they'll cost you. USB ports and 12-volt outlets are sprinkled throughout the cabin, so everyone should be able to keep their devices fully charged. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay come standard, but no Macan offers Android Auto.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Macan can be had with a wide array of driver-assistance technology, but almost none of it is standard. For more information about the Macan's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Available automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Porsche's warranty coverage is good but not great. The F-Pace and the Cadillac XT5 offer better coverage in certain areas.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance covers one year or 10,000 miles