More mid-size than compact
The Macan shares some bones with the Audi Q5, but it's notably wider and longer, and the driving position is lower--lower even than the Cayenne, by almost 2.8 inches.
The relationships are at once familial and complex, just like the VW Group itself. The Macan may start from some Q5 architecture, but it gets its own high-strength steel body and doors, and has aluminum hood and tailgate skins.
By the numbers, the Macan is larger than the Q5, at 75.7 inches wide (+1.0 inches versus Q5), and 185 inches long (+3.4 inches). The wheelbase is the same, at 110.5 inches, and height is down to 63.9 inches (-1.3 inches). Against the Cayenne, it's nearly six inches shorter overall, and down 3.5 inches in wheelbase. We can easily see the Macan's dimensions iterating into a next-gen Q5, while the Cayenne could adopt the seven-passenger configuration of today's Q7 as it grows out of Macan territory.
The Macan suits four adults just fine. The Porsche-class accommodations bring standard eight-way power front seats, standard leather upholstery, and an option for 18-way front seats in the Macan S (they're standard on the Turbo). The 18-way seats are fantastic, with high side bolsters, thick lumbar bladders, and heating with available ventilation. The controls wall off driver from front passenger, with the two-dozen-plus buttons on the console flagrantly defying the trend to touchscreen all the things.
Rear-seat head and knee room are where the Macan fades in the Cayenne comparisons. The bottom cushion is low and short, still ample for adults to use--but adult knees will make contact with the front seatbacks holding six-footers, and the sunroof puts the headliner to the heads of big back-seaters.
The utility part of the equation is executed well. Doors have deep bottle pockets, and the center console's more generous than in many German SUVs. The Macan's rear bench splits so that a slim middle section folds independently to create an armrest. All three sections fold down to expand the cargo space and to render the Macan a two-seater, in true Porsche style. With the rear seat up, there's 17.7 cubic feet of space; seats folded flat, it's 53 cubic feet. There's storage below the cargo floor, the tailgate's power-operated, and with the air suspension, the Macan has a low mode for easier cargo loading.