2018 Porsche Macan Review
2018 Porsche Macan Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Vehicle Test EngineerCalvin Kim is an automotive journalist at Edmunds.
- Quick acceleration regardless of engine choice
- Most athletic and engaging to drive SUV in its segment
- Surprisingly comfortable and composed ride
- Long list of options means you can customize every last detail
- Less rear-seat and cargo space than segment competitors
- Must pay for numerous stand-alone options to get full-featured cabin
- The Porsche Macan returns unchanged for 2018
- Part of the first Macan generation introduced for 2015
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?
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Porsche Macan 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.92 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$220/mo for Macan Base
Avg. Midsize SUV
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.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Porsche Macan as one of Edmunds' Best Luxury SUVs for this year.
Edmunds' Expert Rating8.0 / 10
The 2018 Porsche Macan isn't the biggest or least expensive model in its class, but it's the most entertaining to drive thanks to its engines and nimble handling. A high-quality interior and plenty of customization round out the Macan's favorable traits.
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.
|Overall||8.0 / 10|
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
Single-button off-road mode customizes transmission, throttle and brakes for low-grip situations. A downhill assistant manages speed, and our Macan's optional air suspension increases ground clearance by 1.5 inches, for a total of 9 inches.
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.
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.
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 & vibration9.0
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.
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.
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 use9.0
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 out9.0
The Macan Turbo, especially when equipped with the optional air suspension, sits lower than most compact SUVs. Makes for fuss-free entry and exit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is lacking, handled by modest door pockets, a glovebox and a deep, but small, center armrest bin.
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 accommodation
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.
Provided it's equipped with its optional tow hitch receiver, the Macan is rated to tow a braked-trailer up to 4,409 pounds. The trailer brake controller will have to be aftermarket; one is not integrated or available.
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
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.
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.
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.
Which Macan does Edmunds 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.
2018 Porsche Macan models
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.
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Macan drives like the Cayman with more room
2018 Porsche Macan 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
This car is very quiet, has excellent acceleration and handles like the Cayman (which I also own). This car replaced a 2017 Mercedes GL250 which I regret purchasing. Front seat comfort is exceptionally comfortable even for my 6’7” neighbor that went for a test drive (however, you wouldn’t want to be sitting in the rear seat behind him). Update 9-30-18: I now have more than 13,000 miles … on the Macan, which is primarily used for business. I have not had any issues with the car whatsoever. Even though it’s the base model, the acceleration on the highway for passing is still impressive. Throttle response and grip from a standing start is excellent compliments in part to the all wheel drive. In contrast, the Mercedes GLA 250 was downright annoying; it required careful pressure on the throttle to avoid spinning the front tires and once in motion, the throttle steer was terrible. Porsche exceptional engineering eliminates these annoying factors. July of this year we took one of the grandkids with us on a road trip to the smoky mountains in North Carolina for a wedding. The car had plenty of room even with the plug in refrigerator in the back. Handling on the mountain roads, with a somewhat heavier load than normal, was superb. The 12 hour drive was very comfortable. We both love the seats and interior design. The lane change assist eliminates the blind spot and makes driving much safer and easier. The lane keep assist is something we both could live without, but when active, it’s a rather subtle sound so we’ve just learned to keep it on. I’ve had a few clients mention that “business must be good” when I arrive in the Porsche. My response is usually “don’t let the badge fool you, it’s cheaper than some pick up trucks.” Service: The 10k mile service at Champion Porsche is a pleasure and a striking difference from Pompano Beach Mercedes dealer across the street, which is terrible ( even the service manager doesn’t return calls). What I don’t like- I bought the factory roof racks (which I only install if I need to haul large items) and although they are easy to install and remove, they add considerable wind noise. Update April 1st 2019: The car now has more than 25,000 miles after 13 months. The enjoyment continues. My wife and I both love the handling and comfort of this car. In fact in February, we went to the Porsche 48 hours club race in Sebring; and instead of entering out Cayman in the autocross, we decided to run the Macan. Our goal was simple. We just wanted to see how well the car handled driving fast in a safe autocross environment. Again the Macan surprised both of us with its exceptional handling. At the end of the day we won first place in men’s and ladies stock class. And we drove faster than some 911’s, Caymans and too! The 20K mile service was about $1200.00 or so, which we expected, but could surprise a first time Porsche owner. That included all of the factory recommended service including windshield wipers. The tire wear is very good with no unusual wear. What we don’t like- the rear window and lift gate seems to collect more dust and dirt than other cars. The lift gate can sometimes be finicky when closing with the push buttons (one button closes the gate without locking and the other closes and locks the car). We learned the hard way to watch and make sure it closes all the way before driving away. Update 4-2-20 I now have about 44,650 miles on the Macan. No mechanical issues whatsoever. I did notice however after the 40k mile service the PDK transmission shifted smoother (they changed the transmission fluid) I had to install two new rear tires as a result of nails and I’m on the third windscreen. Road debris (I’m on the interstate highways often) caused cracks. I still love this little SUV. Update 10-2-20. The Macan is still performing flawlessly. One thing that needs to be improved is the gas fill drain. It’s gets clogged easily and will retain water. It’s very easy to check and clean however. Update 4-2-21. The Macan now has 60,520 miles. The transfer case failed around 52,000 miles and was replaced at not cost under warranty. Other than that the car has been flawless. We still love the handling and performance of this base model and have plans to purchase another Macan in the near future. Update 10-2-2021. Our Macan now has 69k miles on the clock. We are still very impressed with this CUV. The comfort and sporty feel on the road and curves is outstanding. Reliability has been excellent. We drove the S model but find the 2.0 liter base model to be very fast and economical. For reference, we also own a 718 GT4 so we have a very fast car to compare it to. The reviews tend to push the S model as you’d expect. However, if you are not sure, I suggest you drive both. Do not underestimate the base model Macan. We are so impressed we built our own to our spec and will have the new 2022 base model arrive in January 2022.
4 out of 5 stars
2018 Porsche Macan S 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 7AM)
After over 50,000 miles with no issues other than 10,000 miles services this is the best vehicle we have owned. Prior vehicles include Audi A7, Cayenne, Q5, Boxster S, MB SL 550. Yes, service costs can be high but most ordinary maintenance is in YouTube. I did the complete 40,000 mile service in the garage at a cost of about $500 vs dealer cost of $1,600. This is an excellent highway … car which can cruise all day at 80+ MPH. In the city it leaves most in the rear view mirror. In summary, the car is a daily driver which delivers great fun like no other SUV. One caution...options can be very expensive, so beware!
5 out of 5 stars
Fun, fast, comfortable
Lynn Fredericks, 09/16/2018
2018 Porsche Macan 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Owned 3 mo/5k miles, daily driver. My office. Pros, comfort, ride quality, quiet, fast, handles amazing, easy in/out,fun. Can handle 2 iPhones simultaneously, WiFi good, initial fit finish is excellent. Cons. Porsche snobs (either think you are rich or look down their nose at it.) active advanced safety options not as good as last car.long learning curve, porsche does things different, … learning how to accelerate with turbo lag. ( initially issue, but now after I got used to ok.) lack of in cabin storage. Ordering took 2 weeks to figure out. I am into cars and this is my first Porsche, and I now know why they are so loved. Last car was a nightmare, Jeep Grand Cherokee which basically cost what macan did, only kept 18 month. Didn’t want same problems so went for top of quality list this time. If something happens to macan would go order another one. I was given one of the models with bigger engines as a loaner, and prefer this little 4cyl., it is more nimble and plenty of acceleration. To The on line wanna be trolls, who told me to buy a Toyota, when I asked about daily use questions, I’m glad I didn’t listen to you, “flash” brings a smile to my face evert time I start her up! Update: 60k miles. No problems. Drives like new still. Update. Brakes at 65k. Found independent repair shop, but brakes still $2500. Still love it. No problems. Update. 76k miles. No problems. Still love it. Put deposit on macan EV luv so much Update 85k. No problems. Drives and looks like new. Porsche stands behind cars. They updated communication unit when 3g turndown made some tech obsolete for free. $3k upgrade. (Subaru won’t fix moms car with 10k under warranty that has design flaw battery unit) software upgrade (free) fixed all cars advanced safety features glitches. Do their recommended maintenance and stays like new. Love brand so much after experience with this car I traded my Vette for Boxster. No word on when ev macan coming 2023/04 93k runs and looks like new. No issues
5 out of 5 stars
Great car. Worth the price
2018 Porsche Macan S 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 7AM)
I’ve owned a Macan S for just over a year. Absolutely love it. I wanted a practical performance vehicle and have lusted over Porches for years. I haven’t been disappointed. Acceleration is fabulous but with a hint of turbo lag. Once the twin turbos spin up, look out. You can accelerate fom 70 to 110 in a few heartbeats. Handling is as I hoped it would be. All in all a great car. If you … are concerned about fuel efficiency, buy a Honda. Update 4/1/2020. Absolutely no issues with the car.
2018 Macan Highlights
|Combined MPG||22 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$220/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||all wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
Our experts like the Macan models:
- Lane Keep Assist
- Warns you if you're about to drift out of your lane via audible cue and steering correction.
- Lane Change Assist
- Lets you know when there's a car in your blind spots by activating a light in the side mirror.
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Active Safe
- Sounds an audible warning and applies brakes if necessary to prevent a potential frontal collision.