You should know that the Porsche Macan shares some of its components with humbler and cheaper models from elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group. You should know this not because it matters but because friends and casual acquaintances are likely to share this information in the belief it makes the Macan less of a Porsche and anyone who buys one less of a judge of cars.
You know better, though. If you’re not looking for a low-slung sports car, this is the pick of Porsche’s range, even if it is currently the oldest member of the clan. In engineering, as in high-end hash slinging, the finest chefs can turn even humble ingredients into truly sublime creations.
While the Macan looks like an SUV, it doesn’t drive like one. Smaller and more agile than the Cayenne, it can be hustled like an oversized hot hatch. You sit higher from the ground, but the Macan corners with a deftness and adjustability completely at odds with its shape and stance, resisting understeer about as well as anything with an engine up front thanks both to its huge traction and its willingness to play.
As in previous years, the Macan’s 10Best award is restricted to the V-6 models, all of which use turbocharged engines shared with other Porsche and Audi vehicles. The list now includes the newly arrived 375-hp GTS, which occupies the narrow niche between the 348-hp Macan S and 434-hp Macan Turbo. The GTS is our pick of the range due to its combination of sonorous performance, a pliant ride, and steering that gets amazingly close to the feel and precision of Porsche’s sports cars. We took the GTS to a racetrack during 10Best testing—the only SUV to make that cut—and were charmed that it’s not just competent but every bit as entertaining as the two-door 10Best winners. This rare spread of talents means that one Macan can effectively turn your single-car garage into a multi-horse stable.