The Porsche Macan looks more “tall hatchback” than “small SUV,” but you won’t feel much relation to either behind the wheel. What do you need to know before you buy one? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.

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Porsche says the Macan is for people who like the idea of a sports car, but need a little more room in their life. If you’re about to say you’d rather buy three Miatas and an old pickup truck and a van for less than what the cheapest Macan would cost, don’t worry. Porsche isn’t talking to you.

A cynic would say most Macans will be relegated to a life of serving brand whores on grocery-duty in 30 MPH traffic. Maybe, but whatever you’re planning to do with yours you’ll get to appreciate exceptional build quality, reasonable seating for four people and a resoundingly satisfying click-up-and-down sequential transmission.

What It’s Like To Drive

The fully optioned Macan Turbo has road grip like fly paper and gives your gut an earnest tug out the ass when you mash the gas. You won’t doze off and think you’re in a 911, but handling is sharp enough to transcend anything else calling itself a crossover SUV. By a huge margin.

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The dual-clutch gearbox can be run in “Drive” when you’re hungover or driving granma home, but slapping it over to manual mode unlocks a super-snappy shifting experience that, again, is not worth comparing to other crossovers.

You’d have to be pretty talented (and reckless) to find a Macan Turbo’s limit on a public road. But a spirited ride down your favorite twisty road run is going to feel like boxing in an Iron Man suit.

The only downside to that emphasis on canyon-carving is that the ride’s a little on the stiff side. Available adjustable air suspension can cut a better balance with “normal” and two “sport” modes, but plunging into potholes isn’t ever going to feel much better than does in a low-slung Cayman.

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As for the “off-road” button on the center console, I wouldn’t count on it to get you much further than a rutty gravel driveway. Why risk scuffing those beautiful wheels, anyway?

What’s New About The 2016 Porsche Macan

Porsche’s Hans-Gerd Bode introduced the world to the Porsche Macan at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show and launched it later as a 2015 model. The Macan is Porsche’s fifth model in the lineup and represents Porsche’s first foray into the luxury compact CUV segment. The new car sits on Volkswagen’s MLB platform (shared with the Audi Q5 and all Audi A-models sans the A3) and promises not just good on-road ride and interior comfort, but true Porsche-esque driving

The second model year, 2016, didn’t bring many changes to the Macan, aside from three-zone climate control becoming standard. But 2017 brings a new trim, the 2017 Porsche Macan GTS.

Like other GTSs in Porsche’s lineup, the Macan GTS starts with a Macan S, tunes the engine for an additional 20 horsepower, and adds bigger brakes and suspension bits from the Turbo model. The Macan GTS also gets some appearance bits like blacked out exterior trim, unique wheels and special seats.

Powertrain Breakdown

Volkswagen offers a pair of twin-turbo V6s in the Macan. The base engine, found in the S model, cranks out 340 horses and 339 lb-ft of torque, enough to get the 4,112 pound CUV to 60 in five seconds when equipped with Sport Chrono package (which includes launch control).

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Next year’s GTS model gets a tuned version of that same 3.0-liter mill, but it will make 360 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 1,650 rpm. Porsche says a Sport Chrono Package-equipped GTS can scurry to 60 in 4.8 seconds.

The big dog in the lineup is the Macan Turbo, which gets a 400 horsepower 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6, an engine it shares with the Cayenne S and GTS. With the Sport Chrono box ticked, the Macan Turbo will get to 60 mph in a spritely 4.4 seconds.

2016 Porsche Macan Engine Options

EngineMax Horsepower (hp)Max Torque (lb-ft)
3.0L twin-turbo V6340 @ 5500 rpm (S)
339 @ 1450 rpm
3.6L twin-turbo V6400 @ 5500 rpm (Turbo)406 @ 1350 rpm

Fuel Economy Breakdown

Porsche didn’t get very creative with their fuel economy figures. One thing’s for sure, if you’re looking for a small sporty CUV that gets 17 MPG in the city, 23 MPG on the highway and 19 MPG combined, you can’t go wrong with a Macan. Despite the 60 horsepower disparity, the EPA rated fuel economy numbers are exactly the same for the two trims.

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No word yet on the fuel economy of next year’s GTS trim, but we if I had to guess, we’d go with 17/23/19.

2016 Porsche Macan Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Hwy/Combined)

-3.0L twin-turbo V6 3.6L twin-turbo V6
7-Speed
Automatic
17/23/19 (S)
17/23/19 (Turbo)

Trim Level Breakdown

Porsche offers two trim levels for now: The Macan S and the Macan Turbo, both of which route their power to all four wheels. Next year, there will be a new GTS trim slotting between the S and the Turbo. The $67,200 GTS trim is already on Porsche’s configurator tool, but won’t officially be on sale until March of 2016.

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All Macans get electro-mechanical power steering, a double wishbone front suspension and what Porsche calls a “self tracking trapezoidal link” suspension in the rear. All Macans get six-piston front brake calipers and single-piston floating rear clampers. Those calipers are putting the squeeze on 13.8-inch front rotors on the Macan S and 14.2-inchers on the Macan GTS and Turbo. Rear rotors are 13 inches on the S and GTS, while the Turbo gets the bigger 14-inch rear pizzas.

  • S: Starts at $58,300. Notable standard features: 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, 7-speed PDK automatic, all-wheel drive, 19” alloy wheels, power front seats with driver memory, three-zone automatic climate control, piano black interior package, dual exhaust, automatic rear hatch, eight-speaker audio system, power folding mirrors, comfort seats with Alcantara seat centers, bi-xenon automatic headlights with automatic leveling, Lane Departure Warning, Porsche Communication Management with seven-inch touchscreen. Notable options: Premium Package Plus: Porsche Dynamic Light System, Bose Surround Sound, auto-dimming mirrors, heated front and rear seats, 14-way power seats with memory, front vented seats, panoramic sunroof, proximity keyless ignition ($5,690); Premium Package: Porsche Dynamic Light System, Bose surround sound, auto-dimming mirrors, heated front and rear seats ($2,590); Porsche Active Suspension Management ($1,360); Air suspension including Porsche Active Suspension Management ($2,745); Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake ($8,150); Sport Chrono Package: Sport Plus button, launch control, stopwatch on dashboard ($1,290); Sport Exhaust System with selectable sound ($2,930); Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus ($1,490); Bose Surround Sound ($990); Panoramic Roof ($1,670); LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus: cornering LED headlights ($1,890); Adaptive Cruise Control ($1,440); Lane Change Assist and Lane Keep Assist ($1380); Front seat heating ($525); Front vented seats ($660); Leather interior Package ($2,035); Porsche Communication Management with Navigation ($1,730); Burmester High-End Surround Sound: 16 speakers with >1000 Watt output, 10-inch 300W subwoofer ($5,690)
  • GTS (2017 MY: Available March 2016): Starts at $67,200. Notable standard features over S: bi-xenon headlights in black including Porsche Dynamic Light System, SportDesign package, unique 20” wheels, Sports exhaust system with black tailpipes, air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management, GTS Sports Seats, GTS leather package with Alcantara seat centers, armrests, center console and door armrests. Notable options: Premium Package Plus: Bose surround sound, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear heated seats, panoramic roof, proximity keyless ignition ($3,390); Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus ($1,490); Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake ($8,150); Sport Chrono Package ($1,290); LED headlights ($540); Adaptive Cruise Control ($1,440); Lane Change Assist and Lane Keep Assist ($1380); Front vented seats ($660); Bose Surround Sound System ($990); Porsche Communication Management with Navigation ($1,730); Burmester High-End Surround Sound: 16 speakers with >1000 Watt output, 10-inch 300W subwoofer ($5,690)
  • Turbo: Starts at $73,900. Notable standard features over S: 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6, bigger brakes, unique exterior appearance, Navigation, Porsche Dynamic Light System with bi-Xenon headlights, LED fog lights, unique 19” wheels, unique exhaust system, Porsche Active Suspension Management, Bose 14-speaker audio system, 18-way adaptive sport seats with comfort memory package, leather package, Alcantara roof liner. Notable options: Premium Package Plus: auto-dimming mirrors, front vented seats, panoramic roof, proximity keyless ignition, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Change Assist ($3,590); LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus ($1,170); Panoramic Roof System ($1,670); Air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management ($1,385); Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus ($1,490); Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake ($8,150); Sport Chrono Package ($1,290); Sport Exhaust System ($2,930); adaptive Cruise Control ($1,440); Lane Change Assist and Lane Keep Assist ($1380); Front vented seats ($660); Leather interior Package ($2,035); Burmester High-End Surround Sound ($4,700).

Which One We’d Buy

As arousing as the driving experience of the Turbo is, you pretty much get the most Macan for you money with the base S and a couple key performance options.

The adjustable air suspension with active management ($2,745) makes the car feel a lot more fun with the taut “sport” and “sport plus” modes. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus ($1,490) seemed to really sharpen the car’s talons through the corners, and that’s where you’re going to have the most fun.

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That keeps your bill below $60,000 and basically buys you what the hottest hatchback on Earth wants to be when it grows up. Of course, if you have the means, the Turbo would be an excellent one-car quiver you could drive just about everywhere and never get bored of. At that point why not throw in the push-button “noisier exhaust” ($2,930) and ceramic composite brakes ($8,150)?

[Build Your Own Macan]

Important Facts At A Glance:

MSRP: $53,600-$73,000 Top Speed: 164 MPH [Turbo]

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Acceleration: 4.4s to 60 [Turbo w/Sport Chrono]

Max Advertised Towing Capacity: 4,409 pounds

MPG: 17 city / 23 hwy / 19 combined

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Engines: 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6

Max Horsepower/Torque: 400 hp/406 lb-ft [Turbo]

Curb Weight: ~4,112-4,244 pounds IIHS Safety Rating: NA

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Transmissions: 7-Speed dual-clutch Automatic

Drivetrain Layout: Front Engine, AWD

Photo credit: Porsche