No automaker is more skilled at making an amalgamation of a sports car and an SUV as Porsche. As a great example, check out the 2018 Porsche Macan. The Macan minimizes the compromise in trading performance and handling for utility. But how does it do it?
It starts with what's under the hood. Five fast-revving and powerful engine options, from 252 horsepower all the way to 440 hp, give the Macan plenty of performance. That's combined with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, a quick-shifting seven-speed transmission and a suspension that's calibrated more for a winding mountain road than for off-roading. Equipped properly, though, the Macan performs respectably well once the road gives way to dirt or gravel.
Mix in a high-quality interior and an understated yet handsome exterior and you end up with a compact luxury crossover that's the sportiest in its class. There are a couple downsides. From an interior volume perspective, the Macan isn't the roomiest pick you can make. And like every other new Porsche, the Macan can be optioned and equipped to your heart's desire, but that often results in an uncomfortably steep price. But if you want a small crossover that's a lot like a sports car, the Macan is the way to go.
The 2018 Porsche Macan is a five-seat compact luxury SUV available in five trim levels that correspond to different engines: base, S, GTS, Turbo and Turbo with Performance Package. All come standard with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission as well as a respectable amount of standard features. Porsche adds a few more standard items as you move up in the range, but you'll likely need to visit the options list to get a Macan equipped the way you truly want.
The base model comes standard with features such as a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (252 hp, 273 lb-ft of torque), 18-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a lane departure warning system, a power liftgate, xenon headlights, automatic wipers, rear privacy glass, three-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, partial leather and simulated suede upholstery, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and a cargo cover. Electronic features include the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) 7-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite and HD radios, two USB ports and a CD player.
The Macan S gains a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine (340 hp, 339 lb-ft), 19-inch wheels, more powerful brakes, different exterior trim types and dual twin-pipe exhaust ports.
The Macan GTS has a more powerful version of the S engine (360 hp, 369 lb-ft) plus a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, 20-inch wheels, unique exterior design elements, a sport exhaust, adaptive headlights, front-seat memory functions and heated sport seats unique to the GTS.
The Macan Turbo builds on the Macan S with an even more powerful V6 engine (400 hp, 406 lb-ft), different 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, a heated steering wheel, upgraded front sport seats, full leather upholstery, a simulated suede headliner, a navigation system and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.
Finally, Porsche offers a Macan Turbo with Performance Package (440 hp, 442 lb-ft) trim that adds some engine tweaks for more power and an adaptive air suspension that features a lower ride height.
Most of the Turbo's extras are available on the other trims as part of the Macan's extensive options list. Although virtually all of those options are available as stand-alone items, there are two noteworthy packages that could make ordering or selecting a Macan a little simpler. The Premium package adds the adaptive headlights, auto-dimming mirrors, heated front and rear seats and the 14-speaker Bose system. The Premium Package Plus adds those items plus a panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, and 14-way power front seats with ventilation and memory functions.
Other options include (and we do mean "include" because there are countless trim, color and material customization choices) LED headlights, different wheels from 18 to 21 inches, carbon-ceramic disc brakes, surround-view parking cameras, lane departure intervention, adaptive cruise control, noise-reducing privacy glass, roof rails, an adaptive suspension (PASM), the adaptive air suspension, a sport exhaust, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (brakes individual wheels around turns to improve handling) and the Sport Chrono package (an enhanced Sport Plus driving mode and launch control). Inside, you can get a rear side sunshades, extended leather interior trim, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, Porsche Connect smartphone apps and a 16-speaker Burmester sound system.