2019 Porsche Macan

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Kirk Bell Kirk Bell Senior Editor
February 6, 2019

Buying tip

Take advantage of the Macan’s natural athleticism and only choose the performance options you’ll really use.

features & specs

19 city / 23 hwy
18 city / 23 hwy

For performance and engagement, the 2019 Porsche Macan is our choice among compact crossovers despite some more-powerful rivals.

The Porsche Macan is a compact luxury crossover that’s every bit worth the badge affixed to its updated face. This year, base and S trims stick around with improved connectivity, engines, and handling.

That works in its favor since the 2019 Macan is the best-handling compact crossover on the market, and we rate it a 7.0 overall. It’s the most affordable Porsche, but buyers looking for power will want the more expensive Macan S with its turbo V-6. Options also increase prices rapidly, and Porsche offers a lot of them, so be careful when ordering. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 2019 update gives the Macan a look that fits with the rest of the Porsche lineup. The nose is tweaked slightly and it reads as no other brand but Porsche. From there, the sheet metal rises to meet the windshield and curves back to where it resolves into a rear spoiler. Side blades are unique to the Macan, and they are now offered in silver, as well as black or body color. New wheels and a full-width taillight bar complete the exterior changes. Inside, the Macan gets a new 10.9-inch touchscreen in place of a 7.0-inch unit and it has the secondary effect of eliminating a few of the vehicle’s buttons. The rest of the cabin is as sporty as the exterior.

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Under that curved hood lies a choice of two turbocharged engines: a base 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 248 horsepower or a turbocharged V-6 rated at 348 hp in the Macan S that rockets the crossover SUV to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Suspension changes quicken turn-in response, create more neutral handling, and improve ride quality. The Macan drives like a raised sport sedan. It steers with precision, attacks corners with verve, and has the agility to change direction and back again unlike any other crossover. A variety of performance options improve its natural athleticism. They include adaptive air springs, adjustable dampers, a torque-vectoring rear differential, and carbon-ceramic brakes.

All-wheel-drive is standard, and it, too, contributes to the athletic feel by sending the majority of power to the rear, although it can shuffle all of the torque up front when needed.

With a starting price just over $50,000, the Macan is within reach for more buyers than any other Porsche. It comes well-equipped with features such as navigation, Apple CarPlay compatibility, a wireless internet hotspot, four USB ports, three-zone automatic climate control, leather and Alcantara upholstery, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Buyers can opt for 14- or 18-way sport seats, Bose or Burmester sound systems, and various types of interior trim.

Automatic emergency braking is available on crossovers equipped with adaptive cruise control. Porsche makes a surround-view camera system, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors available as options, though. Don’t expect the Macan to be crash-tested anytime soon.


2019 Porsche Macan


Apply sporty cues to the compact crossover formula and the result is the Porsche Macan.

Styling changes bring the 2019 Porsche Macan in line with the rest of the Porsche lineup, though it has its idiosyncrasies. The overall design reads as a scaled-down Cayenne, but it looks sportier here, and the available 21-inch wheels and wide tires reveal this crossover is a real performer.

We give the Macan a 7 out of 10 for styling for its overall exterior presence and sporty and attractive interior. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Macan’s nose is unmistakably Porsche with its three front air intakes and rounded (but not round) headlights. Those outer air intakes get a new design with what look like outer ducts that visually widen the front end. The front driving lights also move from the top of the side air intakes into the second strake down.

The front end curves up to meet the windshield, a differentiating factor in a world of high nosed-vehicles, and the Macan’s profile is finished off with a spoiler that juts out the back. Along the sides, the Macan has a feature found on no other vehicle in the U.S.: lower side blades that come in black, body color, or now, silver. New wheel designs are offered this year as well.

The easiest way to tell the 2019 Macan from its predecessors is from the rear. This year it gets the 3D LED taillight strip that has become a brand signature. It features raised Porsche lettering and flows into taillights that wrap around into the sides of the Macan.  

Inside, the Macan is awash with buttons lined up like dutiful school children on either side of the wide center console. A 10.9-inch touchscreen dominates the center of the dash and removes some of the buttons that used to reside there.

The rest of the dashboard is classic Porsche: sport seats, small steering wheel with the ignition to the left, and the tachometer right in the middle of the instrument cluster. Just right.

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2019 Porsche Macan


The most agile crossover SUV on the market, the Porsche Macan is a sport sedan on stilts with plenty of power to boot.

With the release of the Lamborghini Urus, the 2019 Porsche Macan no longer may be the best-performing crossover on the road, but it’s the most nimble, and changes for 2019 only make it better. It also offers lively turbocharged engines backed by a willing 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. We give it an 8 out of 10 for performance. Any more and you’ll need a sports car. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Porsche Macan shares its platform with the last-generation Audi Q5. While the Audi has moved on to a next-generation architecture, the tweaks the tried-and-true underpinnings of the structure it’s had since its 2015 release. Fine with us because the Macan is the most agile and fun crossover on the market.

Porsche cut some unsprung weight from the front suspension, widened the front wheels, chose new tires, installed new engine mounts, and revised the spring and damping rates as well as the anti-roll bars. It was all in the name of improved ride quality and steering response, and more neutral handling, and it worked.

The Macan offers tires in diameters ranging from 18 to 21 inches, and all are staggered sizes. It’s a sports car trick that is uncommon for crossovers. It helps the Macan track better through turns without wanting to push through at the front or kick out at the back.

Buyers have three options for suspensions: standard steel springs and conventional dampers, steel springs with adjustable dampers, and adaptive air springs with the adjustable dampers. The Macan is nimble with all of the setups, but the top suspension is the sportiest. The air suspension lowers the ride height 0.6 inches and activating Sport+ mode sets it down another 0.4 inches. The air springs fight body lean through turns, while the adjustable dampers can be set to soak up bumps or provide the quickest responses. The ride becomes rather firm with the available 21-inch wheels, so Sport+ mode with that setup is best used for glass-smooth roads.

With any suspension, the Macan turns into corners like a sports car, and shifts its weight side to side like a sport sedan. In fact, that’s the overall feel: a raised sport sedan. That is partially aided by the all-wheel-drive system that can send all of the torque to the front wheels when needed, but usually routes about 80 percent to the rear for a rear-wheel-drive feel.

The available summer tires provide excellent grip, while the brakes offers a high, strong, consistent pedal feel.

We have not driven a turbo-4 model, but the Macan S is the stuff of hot rods. The engine is the same size as last year, but it now has a single twin-scroll turbo instead of twin turbos. Output increases from 340 hp and 339 pound-feet of torque to 348 and 354, respectively.

The turbo V-6 shoots the Macan from 0-60 mph in just 5.1 seconds, a tenth quicker than last year. It crackles and pops on overrun and blats between shifts of the quick-acting 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sport and Sport+ modes increase throttle response, hold gears longer, and make shifts quicker. Normal mode relaxes the powertrain for everyday driving.

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2019 Porsche Macan

Comfort & Quality

The Porsche Macan adds a dab of practicality to Porsche’s usual formula of exhilarating performance.

The 2019 Porsche Macan’s cockpit feels like a raised up sports car. Sport seats, a small steering wheel, and a command seating position provide excellent control. It’s strange to think that there’s decent capacity for passengers and cargo behind the driver, but there is. It’s just not overly spacious for either. We rate the 2019 Macan a 7 out of 10 for comfort and quality for its front seat and excellent fit and finish. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Sit in the 14- or 18-way adjustable sport seats, grip the Alcantara-wrapped, small-diameter steering wheel, stare down the road from the raised position, and the Macan feels like a sports car on stilts, but it has the utility of a compact crossover. The rear seat will work well for two adults, unless they are quite tall, though three-across will have to be very good friends. Behind those seats it has a modest 17.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and the rear seats fold down to open that up to 53.0 cubic feet. That’s small for the class, but it will tote the groceries just fine.

The cabin materials are top notch and well assembled. It’s a mixture of leather, aluminum, and Alcantara, and Porsche lets buyers add more of any of these, plus carbon-fiber and wood to various interior components. We especially like the Alcantara on the seats. It provides the grip we need when driving the Macan like a Porsche.

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2019 Porsche Macan


The 2019 Porsche Macan lacks a crash-test results and can’t be fitted with automatic emergency braking.

The Porsche Macan hasn't been crash tested yet, and it lacks standard automatic emergency braking. Without safety data, we can’t give the Macan a rating for safety. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Standard safety features on the 2019 Porsche Macan consist of eight airbags (including front knee airbags), front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and lane-departure warnings. Options include a surround-view camera system, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors.

Automatic emergency braking is standard on cars equipped with adaptive cruise control.

Still, with a solid structure, nimble handling, and a decent set of available active safety features, the Macan should be rather safe.


2019 Porsche Macan


The Macan is the most affordable Porsche, but you can option it with performance and amenities to break the budget.

The Macan stands as the most affordable Porsche model with a price of $50,950 for the 248-hp base model or $59,650 for the 348-hp S model. It comes well-equipped, too. That makes it a relative bargain in the Porsche lineup, and Porsche offers a smorgasbord of options to let buyers personalize their crossovers. We give the Macan points for its array of options and ability to customize the cabin and reasonable price—relatively speaking. That leaves us with a 7 for features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Porsche cuts down the Macan lineup for 2019 as it readies the lineup makeover. It is now offered only in base and S models. A GTS will likely return in a year or so. There is no word on a more-powerful Turbo.

The base Macan comes standard with a 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation and real-time traffic information, a wireless internet hotspot, Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto) compatibility, a 10-speaker audio system, four USB ports (two up front and two in the back seat), three-zone automatic climate control, leather and Alcantara upholstery, steering wheel shift paddles, 8-way power front seats, a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat, a power liftgate, active grille shutters, auto start/stop, Sport and Off-Road modes, LED headlights and taillights, a rear spoiler, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The S model adds bigger brakes with 6-piston front calipers and 19-inch wheels.

Buyers can go on a shopping spree with options. Performance options include adjustable dampers with three settings, an adaptive air suspension with the adjustable dampers, an electrically controlled rear differential lock that provides torque vectoring, a sport exhaust system, carbon-ceramic brakes, and 20- and 21-inch wheels with summer tires. The Sport Chrono Package adds a stopwatch on the dash, launch control, and a mode switch on the steering wheel that adds a Sport+ mode and a Sport Response button.

Buyers can also opt for 14- or 18-way adjustable sport seats, Bose or Burmester audio systems, Apple CarPlay, and various bits of interior trim in leather, Alcantara, wood, carbon fiber, and aluminum.

Porsche’s infotainment system is modernized this year with a larger touchscreen. The system is also connected to the cloud to offer real-time traffic information and Google search capability. Through the Porsche Connect app, owners can monitor vehicle and security systems, lock or unlock the doors, send navigation routes to the vehicle, and connect to Amazon Music accounts.

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2019 Porsche Macan

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Porsche Macan is compact but not very frugal at the pump.

The 2019 Porsche Macan isn't very frugal, although only the Macan S has been rated by the EPA so far.

We land at a 4 out of 10 for its 18 mpg city, 23 highway, 20 combined rating, which is about the same as last year's Macan S. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The 2018 Macan with the 2.0-liter turbo-4 was rated at 20 mpg city, 25 highway, 22 combined. The 2019 model could get slightly better numbers due to changes in the direct-injection system.

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Styling 7
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety N/A
Features 7
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