2015 Porsche Macan TurboEnlarge Photo
Winning at stuff
Your basic Macan S sports a fair and balanced amount of gear for its $50,295 pricetag--all-wheel drive, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, leather seat surfaces, power heated front seats, a power tailgate. From that starting point--on through the $73,295 Macan Turbo--it's a tilt-a-whirl ride through Porsche's impressively listicled options smorgasboard. You can have adaptive or air suspensions, off-road kit, carbon-fiber trim, a multitude of leathers and suedes, a fantastic 16-speaker Burmester sound system, mobile connectivity, navigation, and 20-inch (or 18-inch or, heck, 21-inch) wheels and summer tires, if you want them.
For safety, the requisites add that all-wheel-drive system, with options for lane-keeping alerts, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control. Go full-tilt, and a Macan Turbo can easily pass the $100,000 mark.
In a decade since Porsche wended its way into the profit-rich world of sport-utes (and giving cause for Lamborghini and Bentley utes to come), the prejudice against performances crossover utes has just...dissolved. Jeep has one. Mercedes has a few. Land Rover, from what we understand, has quite a few.
The Macan makes a logical, if not shattering, next step for Porsche. When it goes on sale late in the spring, it'll have a lower base price to lure in a new niche of buyers who maybe can't stretch into a Cayenne. And fret though some of us insiders may, there's no family war brewing. You can spend more than $100,000 on a Macan--but a great one is about $81,000. A truly great Cayenne is in the hundred-grand ballpark, with top versions retailing for more than $200,000 fully trimmed. The top Audi SQ5 starts at just over $51,000. Anyone worried about overlap, shouldn't. Selling 15,000 a year will be kein problem.
If you're already configuring your Macan on the Porsche site, we'd suggest you take a long look at that limited-run SQ5 before you ante up for a purely base $50,295 Macan S. (Also, good luck finding one.) Your compromise position: a Macan S with navigation, a panoramic roof, three-mode shocks, torque vectoring, Sport Chrono, aluminum trim, and Bose audio, for $64,825.
No holds barred? In almost every slide that projects out of our brain, it's the Porsche Macan Turbo that parks front and center, full frame. It's not the best SUV we've ridden in, or taken off-road. It's the best one we've driven--and that semantic difference makes all the difference.