With a refined chassis, strong turbocharged engines, and a comfortable cabin, the 2021 Porsche Macan is dual-purpose package unlike any other vehicle on the road today. It’s equally at home tearing it up at a track day as it is running Sunday errands. Performance is impressive, and the Macan’s suspension is poise personified: taut while cornering but not so firm that it sacrifices ride comfort on the work commute. All-wheel drive is standard, and buyers can pick from one of three turbocharged engines. Some auto enthusiasts may kvetch about the infiltration of SUVs—and we’re guilty of similar complaints—but with the Macan, there are so few compromises that it deserves respect from even the most ardent SUV detractors.
What’s New for 2021?
Porsche has kept updates to the Macan simple for 2021: The only change is the addition of Apple CarPlay as a standard feature across the lineup.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Given the Macan’s athletic character, we’d skip the base model and go straight for the V-6–powered Macan S, which brings a meaningful bump in performance. Standard features include a 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 10-speaker audio system, and LED headlights. We’d also splurge a little for the optional Premium package to get its heated front and rear seats, auto-dimming mirrors, adaptive headlights, and an upgraded 14-speaker audio system, as well as for the Sport Chrono package for its driver-adjustable drive modes and launch-control feature. Additional amenities and numerous customization options can tack on thousands to a Macan’s bottom line, making it wise to know your budget before diving into the option sheet.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
We have yet to test the turbocharged four-cylinder that powers the base Macan, but we have strapped our test gear to the Macan S with its updated 348-hp twin-turbo V-6. The result is an impressive zero-to-60-mph time of 4.7 seconds, which is not only slightly quicker than before but also speedier than the times posted by both the Audi SQ5 and the Jaguar F-Pace S. It’s objectively unnecessary for an SUV to launch off the line as quickly as the Macan does, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the ride. The GTS model is powered by a 375-hp twin-turbo V-6 and delivered an even quicker 3.9-second zero-to-60-mph time. Quickness is important in a crossover with sporting intentions, but we wouldn’t be nearly as impressed with the Macan if it weren’t for its all-around competence on the road that makes it feel more like a sports sedan. The ride is wonderfully smooth and carefully controlled, and it’s rare for a jolt from the road to make its way into the cabin. The Macan’s tenacious attitude in corners makes it feel stable and planted. The steering is a tad lighter than in Porsche’s sports cars, but it’s still super accurate and pleasantly tactile.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Macan’s EPA ratings are very similar to those of its competitors, although a few rivals have better numbers on the highway. The base Macan carries estimates of 19 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, with the S model rated 1 mpg less around town. However, in our testing on our 200-mile real-world highway fuel-economy test route, the latest Macan S averaged 26 mpg, bettering its highway figure by 3 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Macan’s standard interior fittings are a disappointment in a crossover of this price and provenance, and it’s expensive to outfit one in a manner that befits the Porsche crest. There’s also less space for back-seat passengers in the Macan than in most competitors. The Macan’s power-adjustable seats for the driver and front-seat passenger, while comfortable, are the only pieces of standard interior equipment that feel luxurious. It’s possible to have the whole interior draped in leather, which would partly address the issue, but the $2330 that Porsche asks for just covering the center console in cowhide feels like price gouging, even for Porsche. A puny cargo hold and small interior cubbies make the Macan one of the least practical vehicles in this segment. But when has buying a Porsche ever been a rational choice? We fit six carry-on bags in the cargo bay and 16 with the rear seats folded, which should be enough for most people.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Porsche’s infotainment system can be had with all manner of high-tech features, including wireless device charging. But, as with nearly everything on the Macan’s equipment list, enjoying those features will cost you. USB ports and 12-volt outlets are sprinkled throughout the cabin, so driver and passengers alike should be able to keep their devices fully charged. With the standard mobile Wi-Fi package onboard, the family data plan might be able to escape a road trip unscathed, too. Apple CarPlay is standard across the board, but no Macan model yet offers Android Auto.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Macan hasn’t been tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Macan can be had with a wide array of driver-assistance technology, but almost none of it is standard. Key safety features include:
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Available automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Porsche’s warranty coverage is good but not great. The F-Pace and the Cadillac XT5 offer greater coverage in certain areas.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance covers 1 year or 10,000 miles
More Features and Specs