2021 Porsche Macan

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The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor
February 14, 2021

Buying tip

Spend up for adaptive dampers or an air suspension to best unlock the Macan’s capabilities, but that’s as far as most shoppers will need to go.

features & specs

19 city / 23 hwy
17 city / 22 hwy
18 city / 24 hwy

A natural athlete, the Porsche Macan is the standard-bearer for sporty small SUVs and it’s priced to match

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Porsche Macan? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Porsche Macan is a small crossover SUV with a decidedly sporty bent. It’s exactly what you should expect from Porsche, and it squares off against the BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, Range Rover Velar, and Alfa Romeo Stelvio, among others. 

Is the 2021 Porsche Macan a good SUV?

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The 2021 Macan is a terrific choice for drivers, less so for passengers. Still, if rear-seat space is not critical, put the Macan at the top of your list. It earns a 6.8 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Porsche Macan?

The Macan has been around for quite a while, and this year its infotainment catches up with rivals thanks to new Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Sinewy exterior styling takes the bigger Cayenne’s looks and whittles them down to a more manageable package. Inside, the Macan is nearly 911-like in its control layout. Porsche will paint and upholster a Macan just about any way you’d like, too, so don’t think the cheapest of Porsche SUVs is missing out on the fun involved in personalizing Stuttgart’s finest.

Base cars use a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that’s a little too pedestrian for our tastes, so consider spending up for the Macan S with its 348-horsepower turbocharged V-6. The GTS swaps in more grunt and sharper handling thanks to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6. All Macans are turbocharged, but only one is a Macan Turbo thanks to its 434-hp V-6. Confused? Test drive them all. You’ll have fun.

A 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox hustles power to all four wheels regardless of what’s under the hood. Handling is fantastic, and not just by SUV standards. Ride quality is firm without going overboard, especially with the optional adaptive dampers or air springs, both of which are worth the extra cost. 

Fuel economy isn’t a big selling point here. No Macan is highly-rated, and you’ll be hard-pressed to top 20 mpg in typical driving. 

Porsche charges extra for most active safety tech, including blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control, not to mention automatic emergency braking. 

How much does the 2021 Porsche Macan cost?

Macans start around $54,000 for the base car and climb quickly from there through S, GTS, and Turbo versions that start at $85,000. 

Bypass the base version unless you’re on a strict budget and spend instead for the Macan S or GTS. Plan to spend at least $10,000 in options since Porsche charges extra for just about everything short of seats and door handles. 

Where is the 2021 Porsche Macan made?

In Germany.


2021 Porsche Macan


The 2021 Porsche Macan channels enough Porsche cues into its smallest SUV.

Is the 2021 Porsche Macan a good-looking car?

The 2021 Macan isn’t gorgeous in a conventional way, but its slithery style takes the best of the Cayenne and shrinks it down. We rate it at 7 out of 10.

Up front, the Macan shares its basic style with the rest of the Porsche lineup, which may make it hard to spot in a parking lot full of Stuttgart’s sporty cars. The unique side blades are a playful touch, and they work as well in black as they do in silver or body color. At the rear, the 3D lightbar is another Porsche-signature cue, and it works well.

Inside, the dash can overwhelm with its numerous buttons and screens. It looks sharp in black, but we think it’s best appreciated in a lighter hue.

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2021 Porsche Macan


The 2021 Porsche Macan is a thrill ride in most forms.

Is the Porsche Macan 4WD?

Yes, though don’t go looking to take one off-road. 

How fast is the Porsche Macan?

The 2021 Macan is quick in any form, though the optional V-6s make the most out of this capable chassis. We score the 2021 Macan at an 8 out of 10 for its handling, its ride, and its powertrain.

The base Macan grabs a 2.0-liter turbo-4 shared with various Volkswagen and Audi products. It’s fine, and hustles to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, but it doesn’t feel as special as the turbocharged V-6 you’ll find in the Macan S that ups power by 100 hp to 348 hp. 

The GTS swaps in a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 rated at 375 hp, which shaves the 0-60 mph sprint to about 4.7 seconds. 

Macan Turbos are—you guessed it—turbocharged, just like the others. They send 434 hp to the wheels and trim the 60 mph haul to just 4.3 seconds.

Adding the Sport Chrono package shaves about a quarter of a second off 0-60 mph sprints regardless of engine choice thanks to special calibration.

All Macans use a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that is simply divine in its ability to fire off downshifts when needed. Few gearboxes are this good, though admittedly the transmission can occasionally stumble at low speeds in city traffic. 

Sure, the Macan is quick, but this small crossover’s handling and ride really set it apart. The steering is direct and sharp, far exceeding most rivals. The ride is composed and eager, without being fussy or tiresome even with the largest available wheel options.

Look to the adaptive dampers for the way they smother imperfections, or spring (see what we did there) for the air suspension, which can lower the Macan a bit for even better handling and less body lean. 

Braking is fantastic from the standard setup. The optional carbon composite brakes are track-ready but too grabby for daily driver use. Skip ‘em.

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2021 Porsche Macan

Comfort & Quality

The driver is clearly in command inside the 2021 Porsche Macan.

Passengers take a literal and figurative back seat when it comes to the 2021 Porsche Macan. We rate this small crossover at 7 out of 10 thanks to its comfy front seats and its reasonable cargo capacity. Row two is best for shorter stints. 

The standard sport seats are terrific, while the optional thrones are a try-before-you-buy item for bigger occupants. 

The cargo hold grows from 18 to 53 cubic feet with row two folded, which is enough to accommodate larger impulse buys but is well off most competitors.

The Macan has a quality feel inside in base form, though all the options can add up (quickly and expensively) to a luxurious, high-end cabin.

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2021 Porsche Macan


The 2021 Porsche Macan has not been crash tested, and it lacks most advanced collision-avoidance tech.

How safe is the Porsche Macan?

The IIHS and the NHTSA have not yet looked at the 2021 Porsche Macan. 

Porsche charges extra for basic collision-avoidance gear, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. This is a glaring, bizarre omission by 2021 standards, especially given the prices Porsche charges. 


2021 Porsche Macan


The 2021 Porsche Macan is mostly well-equipped for its price, but it’s missing some key features.

The 2021 Porsche Macan comes with a 10.9-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay (sorry, Android users), navigation, power-adjustable front seats, leather and synthetic suede seats, a power liftgate, and more. It scores an 8 out of 10 on the TCC scale for its standard gear, its optional equipment, and its big infotainment screen. 

Which Porsche Macan should I buy?

Bypass the base Macan—it’s a lease special, anyway—and grab either the S or GTS to unlock the most performance without going too overboard.

With a reasonable budget, you can upgrade the interior to leather upholstery, add LED headlights, the air suspension, and a few safety goodies for around $70,000 for a Macan S. But before you add too many sporty bits to the S, the GTS may make more sense. In Porsche-speak, GTS generally represents the best performance bits at a surprising discount. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Porsche Macan?

If you dare, a Macan Turbo with every bit and bauble—many of them truly over-the-top—can approach $150,000. Hey, it’s your money.

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2021 Porsche Macan

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Porsche Macan returns remarkably poor fuel economy

Is the 2021 Porsche Macan good on gas?

The 2021 Porsche Macan with all-wheel drive is very thirsty, even in base form. We rate it at 4 out of 10.

All Macans require premium fuel, and Porsche doesn’t offer American buyers a hybrid version. The base car is the greenest, but not by much. The EPA rates it at 19 mpg city, 23 highway, 21 combined. The S is about the same: 18/24/20 mpg. 

GTS and Turbo versions that slap on an extra turbocharger predictably use more fuel. Expect 19 mpg combined for either. 

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Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 4
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