I think it’s pretty safe to say that in 2021 smoking cigarettes is no longer an admirable habit. Shoppers almost always want a car that has not been smoked in, so it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense that one of the most admired luxury car brands in the world continues to market a “smoker package.”
In the grand scheme of silly things car makers do, this is a minor nitpick. But in the past few months I’ve had quite a few conversations with buyers of new and used Porsches who came across a car with a smoker package, and their initial reaction was “I don’t want that.”
Their assumption is that any car equipped with such a package was likely owned by a smoker and therefore no longer desirable. The reason the smoking package is so popular, especially among more recent models, has nothing to do with a high percentage of Porsche drivers being hooked on cigarettes.
According to the Porsche website, on the Macan the smoker package adds a little door in an area of the console that is normally open. This makes the console area a bit “cleaner” looking. The package also adds a cigarette lighter that can also be used as a 12 volt charging port.
Obviously, this charging port comes in handy to keep your cellphone powered up while driving. One of my driving routines, after I buckle my seatbelt, is to plug my phone into the charging chord. I imagine most drivers do the same.
Porsche is notorious for charging extra for simple things that lesser brands make standard, though surprisingly the smoker package is a no-cost option. What is confusing is that on models like the new 911, the package is an actual ashtray and does not include a charging port.
What the automaker should do is differentiate between an actual smoker package for folks who need an ashtray and the other package that lets you charge your phone. Perhaps they could call it the Tech Charging Package or something. Knowing Porsche, it would change the name and make it a $500 option.