I recently had the chance to drive the latest Porsche Macan S, which is Porsche‘s small luxury crossover that slots below the medium-sized Cayenne. The Macan has long been heralded as the best small luxury crossover, but I’ve never reviewed it, so I wanted to see if I agreed. Given that the Macan was just updated substantially for 2019, it seemed like a good time to find out.
Here’s the basic overview. The Macan comes in two varieties: a base model with 250 horsepower and the S model with 350 hp, which I reviewed. Porsche recently announced that the Macan Turbo is on the way, and that version should have about 430 hp, but it has a limited appeal compared to the base and S versions, as it’s far more expensive.
So I tested out the Macan S, and I’m happy to say that I’m quite impressed. There are many reasons why, but let’s start with the interior: the Macan offers excellent quality compared to rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3 with better materials throughout. Then again, as I noted in my video review, the Macan has a higher price partly due to those materials — but it delivers.
The Macan also mostly delivers when it comes to technology. The latest version of the Macan includes the latest Porsche infotainment system, which is also installed in the newest Panamera and Cayenne. The system is great, as it’s intuitive and quick to respond to your touch — certainly better than the outgoing Macan’s infotainment system. Unfortunately, the Macan’s update still doesn’t adress its gauge cluster, which uses an old-school analog design with one small and outdated screen. This could be better, and so could the long line of buttons in the center, which emphasizes the options you’ve missed due to the large number of blanks.
On the road, however, the Macan shines. Despite being the mid-level model, the Macan S I drove, with its turbocharged V6, was quite thrilling. It’s fast, with a 0-to-60 mph time of around five seconds, and it handles exceptionally well for a compact crossover. It feels more like a hatchback with a low center of gravity. The grip is great, the steering feedback is fantastic, and the vehicle is great around corners. It’s this athleticism more than anything else that makes the Macan the best small luxury SUV. It’s competitive in all areas, but it truly stands out in this area.
But then there’s also the price. The Macan S starts around $61,000, but that figure can easily climb north of $70,000 with added options, and that’s big money for a compact crossover. Step into the world of Volvo, or Lincoln, or even BMW and $70,000 will generally buy you a nicely equipped midsize crossover that’s equivalent to the Cayenne. So is the Macan worth it?
Well, it’s no surprise at all that it’s pricey, as it combines the best driving dynamics in the segment with the Porsche name, and Porsche models have never been known to be less expensive than the competition. Buyers on a budget would be wise to consider something else, as Porsche models are not particularly budget-friendly. But if you’re looking for the best — not the cheapest, not the greatest value, not the most teched, but the overall best — the Macan certainly comes through. Find a Porsche Macan for sale
MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Autotrader Find: 2003 Ford F-350 With 845,000 Miles
The Ford Transit Connect Is the Cheapest Minivan in America
Video | Tyler Hoover and Doug DeMuro Discuss New Car Tech They Like Best