2018 Porsche Macan

2018 Porsche Macan Review

Fast and functional, the Macan is one of the top-rated small luxury crossover SUVs.
4.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

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.



what's new

The 2018 Porsche Macan is unchanged.

we recommend

We like the balance of price and performance you get in the Macan S. It has more capability than you'll likely ever need, yet it is still tame enough for daily driving. As for options, the Premium Package Plus is a good place to start since it adds a nice grouping of desirable equipment without getting too fancy with the customization possibilities.

trim levels & features

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.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo (twin-turbo 3.6L V6 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Macan has received slight revisions, including more engine choices, and a new infotainment unit. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Macan.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.5 / 5.0

Acceleration5.0 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering4.5 / 5.0
Handling4.5 / 5.0
Drivability5.0 / 5.0

Comfort

5.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort5.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration5.0 / 5.0
Climate control4.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use5.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out5.0 / 5.0
Driving position5.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility3.0 / 5.0
Quality5.0 / 5.0

Utility

3.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage2.5 / 5.0
Cargo space2.0 / 5.0

Technology

3.5 / 5.0

Audio & navigation4.5 / 5.0
Smartphone integration3.0 / 5.0
Voice control2.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The Porsche Macan Turbo is undisputedly the quickest compact SUV on the market and among the best-handling. Despite this, it is also one of the most civilized SUVs to drive. Lesser-known fact: Even with all this on-road performance, the Macan has impressive off-road and towing capabilities.

acceleration

edmunds rating
A 400-hp, twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 plus a quick-shifting transmission and good isolation make the Macan Turbo deceptively fast. Utilizing the optional launch-control feature, the Macan Turbo rockets to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

braking

edmunds rating
We didn't expect such a light and soft pedal action from Porsche. The brakes are still plenty capable, just oddly vague. All-season tires didn't help our panic-brake numbers; the Macan Turbo stopped from 60 mph in a longish 120 feet.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering response and precision are better than in direct competitors, although in truth we'd still like a little more driver feedback through the steering wheel. Excellent straight-line highway stability and road isolation.

handling

edmunds rating
The Macan Turbo is one of the best-handling SUVs available, even when fitted with low-grip all-season tires. Standard self-adjusting multimode shocks provide confident and poised manners, making the Macan perform like a good sport sedan.

drivability

edmunds rating
Engine, brakes and steering work in concert, and the Macan is sized perfectly for easily getting around a city. Still substantial enough for long drives. Auto stop-start to save fuel is reasonably unobtrusive (and defeatable).

comfort

edmunds rating
The Macan Turbo is more highly equipped than the S model, coming with premium seats and self-adjusting multimode suspension. For a compact SUV, comfort doesn't get much better than this.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
With 18-way adaptive, heated, leather front seats (optionally ventilated), the Macan offers a high level of support and comfort. The rear seats are split 40/20/40 and are nearly as bolstered as the fronts.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The Macan Turbo comes standard with adaptive suspension dampers, and our test vehicle was outfitted with the optional air suspension, too. The air suspension can feel floaty at times but does a nice job smoothing out bumps.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
With barely perceptible wind noise and a highly muffled exhaust note, the Macan Turbo is quiet even during maximum acceleration. This isolation is part of the reason it's so easy to exceed the speed limit.

climate control

edmunds rating
Three-zone climate control is standard and works quietly and effectively. You can even set how aggressively the auto climate control system works. Though the buttons are small and fiddly, just set the temperature as you please and leave everything in auto, you won't ever have to touch it again.

interior

edmunds rating
Outstanding ergonomics and a low stance make the Macan feel like a perfectly tailored suit. It feels "right-sized" when you drive it. Downsides: Outward visibility is hampered a bit by thick roof pillars, and the cargo capacity is small, even for a compact SUV.

ease of use

edmunds rating
Initially intimidating, the waterfall of buttons and rocker switches is actually an ergonomic triumph. After some familiarity, the 7-inch touchscreen navigation and audio systems become intuitive. Porsche instrumentation is the best.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The Macan Turbo, especially when equipped with the optional air suspension, sits lower than most compact SUVs. Makes for fuss-free entry and exit.

driving position

edmunds rating
With the number of adjustments you can make, you need to spend time moving the seat around so you can be really comfortable. The relationship between the steering wheel and the seat is just about perfect, but you do have to remember that, as in all Porsches, the ignition is on the left.

roominess

edmunds rating
For a small SUV, the Macan feels pretty large inside, thanks to a low dashboard, ample-size windows and plenty of passenger room. It seems Porsche focused more on people space than luggage room.

visibility

edmunds rating
The outward sightlines are pretty typical for small SUVs, meaning not fantastic, and there are some noticeable blind spots. Optional aids will help with this, including front/rear parking sensors, rear camera and blind-spot monitoring.

quality

edmunds rating
Not exactly unexpected, coming from Porsche, the Macan Turbo has an impeccable build quality. The car's construction is one of its standout features. Even the base Macan S shines brighter than any rival.

utility

edmunds rating
It's clear what compromises Porsche had to make to build the Macan and make sure that it stayed sporty. It doesn't carry as much cargo, nor is it as spacious on the inside, as just about all of its competitors. But there are other SUVs that satisfy that criteria.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
Small-item storage is lacking, handled by modest door pockets, a glovebox and a deep, but small, center armrest bin.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Luggage space is 18 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 53 cubic feet with seats folded flat. That's limited cargo space, even for a compact SUV. Tie-down loops in the cargo area are a nice touch and lay flat when not in use.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
Latch points are easily accessible in their own compartments. There are three upper anchors for flexible car-seat placement. It's a bit of a reach, but the outer two top anchors are accessible from the side doors.

technology

edmunds rating
The Macan features Porsche's latest tech interface, but it isn't the most user-friendly on the market. Porsche has its own Android/iOS compatible app to help monitor and control some of the Macan's systems such as navigation and security, though accessing it requires a monthly fee.

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
The audio system is easy to use, and accessing memory presents and sources can be done from the head unit or steering wheel. The screen is on the small side, although it is high in resolution and responsive to swipes and taps, as well as multitouch gestures like pinching.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
Apple Carplay is standard, which works relatively well once you get it connected but may take a few attempts. The native music system is easy to understand but it doesn't index music quickly nor does it always obey commands.

voice control

edmunds rating
Underwhelming voice control. It has a difficult time responding to basic commands, and its menu structure has a steep learning curve. If you've got Siri at your disposal, use that feature instead since it's much more responsive.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.