My, how the world has changed. If you’re shopping for a compact luxury SUV, the names Jaguar and Porsche must now be on your test-drive list. These traditional sports-car brands now produce two of the most desirable entries in this growing, popular segment: the all-new 2017 Jaguar F-PACE and the updated 2017 Porsche Macan. But which one is better? And which would be a better fit for you? To help you find out, we’ve created a close comparison of the F-PACE and Macan.
2017 Jaguar F-PACE
The F-PACE is an all-new SUV mechanically related to the XE and XF sport sedans. See all 2017 Jaguar F-PACE models available near you
2017 Porsche Macan
For 2017, every Porsche Macan gets an improved touchscreen electronics interface as well as a standard rearview camera, parking sensors and a lane-departure warning system. There’s also a new base model that features a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine as well as a new, sport-oriented GTS model. See all 2017 Porsche Macan models available near you
The scant reliability data available for the Macan would indicate it’s slightly below-industry average. There’s no data available for the all-new F-PACE and barely any for Jaguar as a brand. Having said that, Jaguar has improved dramatically from the days of old, and our experience indicates that its vehicles should be typical for a European luxury car in terms of reliability — not great, but not terrible. The F-PACE’s warranty is excellent, though, with 5 years and 60,000 miles of coverage; every other luxury maker, including Porsche, only offers 4 years.
The Jaguar F-PACE is the more efficient choice regardless of which model you choose, but if you opt for the 20D model, the difference is substantial. Its 180-horsepower turbodiesel engine should return an combine fuel-economy rating in the upper 20 miles-per-gallon range. The 35T model is far quicker thanks to its 3.0-liter supercharged V6 (good for either 340 hp or 380 hp), but fuel economy lowers to 18 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in combined driving.
Still, that’s a bit better than the Macan S, which has a 340-hp turbocharged V6 that returns 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy. If you want something thriftier, the new-for-2017 base Macan model’s 252-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder returns 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy. The more powerful GTS and Turbo models offer fuel economy similar to the Macan S. Even though the F-PACE is more efficient, these are still commendable fuel-economy figures.
The 2017 Macan comes with more standard safety equipment than the F-PACE and most competitors as well (though it does cost more). For instance, its standard rearview camera, parking sensors and lane-departure warning system are all optional on the Jaguar F-PACE. Both luxury SUVs can be optioned with a blind spot monitoring system, forward-collision warning, automatic braking system and lane-keep assist.
No third-party crash-testing has been performed on either of these vehicles.
The 2017 F-PACE is available with two touchscreen interfaces. The standard InControl Touch system is acceptable but ultimately a bit behind the times. The optional InControl Touch Pro is a clear improvement, as it has a larger screen with big buttons, fast response times and easy-to-read visuals.
A slight advantage goes to the 2017 Macan, as there’s only one touchscreen interface that’s been upgraded substantially from last year. Besides its own bigger screen with more user-friendly controls, the Porsche Communication Management system now includes Apple CarPlay as standard. Though likely for future Jaguars, the F-PACE is not yet available with this popular, if imperfect, technology. Android Auto is not yet available on either.
The available tech options are otherwise similar for both, but if we’re to call out one distinctive feature, it’s the F-PACE’s optional Activity Key. Resembling a Fit Bit, this waterproof electronic bracelet serves as a key should you be doing something (kayaking, mountain biking) where carrying a key around is not ideal.
This is a big win for the Jaguar F-PACE. It has a cheaper base price, includes more features for the money and boasts substantially more interior space. Cargo room is especially disparate, with the F-PACE being one of the roomiest in the segment and the Macan one of the least.
It’s true that the F-PACE can get quite pricey as you move up its trim level structure, but nothing compares to the economic damage done by sampling from Porsche’s extensive options catalog.
Even though the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE demonstrates a level of driver engagement that betters most competitors, the Porsche Macan is ultimately the better choice if you’re seeking a small luxury SUV that drives like a sports car. You may also appreciate its higher-quality cabin. However, the F-PACE is a well-rounded choice with more practical benefits than the Porsche can offer at a lower price, which means the Jaguar is likely a better fit for more people.