One 10Best Trucks and SUVs contender distinguished itself as the cheetah in our herd of buffalo: Porsche’s Macan is the crossover for those who know that America’s current cold shoulder for cars can be traced to an evil plot aimed at plugging our roads with high-riding, squared-off, hatch-backed trucks. Credit Porsche with focusing on the “sport” part of “sport-utility vehicle,” relegating utility to the working-class utes with too many seats and cargo holds stuffed with enough fertilizer to turn weekend relaxation into yard-work hell.
Every Macan is turbocharged because that’s how you squeeze just enough power from a modest amount of displacement. The GTS edition that flaunted snappy shifts from its dual-clutch automatic transmission and 4.4-second zero-to-60-mph prowess at our 10Best testing brings to the party 360 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at only 1650 rpm. Each twist of the left-hand-located ignition switch yields a raspy reminder that Porsche won Le Mans this year and 17 times in the past. This is the middle child in the Macan family’s set of three twin-turbo V-6s. The 3.0-liter S peaks at 340 horsepower, and the top Macan Turbo hammers home a nice round 400 horses from 3.6 liters. Those with troubled driving records should consider the 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder base model called, simply, Macan. Porsche lists its top speed at 142 mph versus more than 155 for the V-6s.
The Macan’s cockpit is available with microsuede-skinned sport buckets to secure you at the wheel when you indulge its 0.88 g cornering and superb braking—70 mph to zero in 157 feet!—attributes. The steering is delightfully quick and spiked with news from the pavement. And not only does the Macan easily outhandle the competition, but it also rides better, too, smoothing sharp road impacts in a way you’ll appreciate daily. This depth of competence is missing from many sporting intenders, which is why the Porsche’s elevated price seems justified. In the unlikely event you tire of the Macan’s appetite for road sport, you and your co-driver can while away trip miles deciphering the blizzard of console keys and switches. We counted 32 of them. (No fair consulting the owner’s manual.) At least there are simple, round knobs to control radio volume and tuning.
Some suggest the Macan falls short of crossover perfection by providing only 18 cubic feet of cargo space (with all seats in use). We say that’s bunk. The rear compartment’s floor is more than three feet deep and exceeds 40.0 inches wide. That’s ample space for helmets and Nomex or enough luggage to support a weeklong romantic getaway. More of the cargo volume we typically covet would ruin the Macan’s sleek fastback, and given how beautiful the result and how wonderful the Porsche drives, we’re more than willing to let it slide.