Car and Driver 10 Best Trucks and SUVs
From the January 2024 issue of Car and driver.
If mid-century fortune tellers really had a line about the future, all of Sid Mead’s illustrations of happy sci-fi suburbanites would have shown them galloping around glass-walled skyscrapers in Porsche Macans. Talk about a flying car. The Macan looks like a June bug (especially the GTS in Python Green), but it pulses and moves like a hummingbird. From the base four-cylinder Macan to the six-cylinder GTS, Porsche’s small SUV delivers on the badge’s sports car promise, only with more space and headroom.
Porsche achieves greatness in a not-so-great class of compact crossovers by placing the Macan’s long body on a chassis so agile and responsive that one wonders if the German manufacturer has discovered some secret alchemy to imbue steel and aluminum with life force—a trained Border Collie. While the 261-hp 2.0-liter turbo engine backed by a quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in the base Macan provides enough thrust to put the body through its paces, the real magic happens when the 434-hp twin-turbocharged engine comes in. The Macan GTS’s 2.9-liter V-6 joins the mix. With a 3.5-second 60-mph time and the smart direction changes of a high-dollar lawyer, the GTS can roar and weave through bends on a leisurely weekend cruise or politely cruise through an afternoon of errands. The Macan is so closely tied to its driver’s desires that it can feel disconcerting to open the door and climb down rather than hoisting itself up with the traditional grunt and shake needed to exit a 911. For the elegance of getting out on its own, it deserves praise.
No receiver is perfect, and the Macan’s simple dashboard and console didn’t impress all reviewers, even with the standard 10.9-inch infotainment screen and 10-speaker stereo. But the Porsche is not on this list as a budget buy. For those who want the Premium Plus package, leather upholstery, and the addition of Sport Chrono, the cabin gets several steps more luxurious.
As a pure workhorse, the Macan can’t compete for cargo space and rear legroom, but no other SUV of this size offers such temptation to take the long way to your destination.
Temptation always comes at a cost, and the Macan starts at $62,550, with a well-optioned GTS easily exceeding six figures. However, to paraphrase senior editor Ezra Dyer’s notes from the logbooks, some little things are worth hefty prices. Consider the Macan a spoonful of caviar, a slice of joy on top of the daily grind.
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Porsche Macan 2024
261-hp turbo 2.0-liter inline-4, 375- or 434-hp twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6; 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Base: $62,550 – $88,450
grandfather Test results
60 mph: 3.5-5.0 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.1-13.7 seconds
Top speed (MFR claim): 144-169 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 148-163 ft
Road Grip, 300′ Ski Pad: 0.89-0.98g
EPA Combo/City/Highway: 19–21/17–19/22–25 mpg
Senior Editor, Features
Like a sleeper agent activated late in the game, Elana Scherr didn’t know her calling at a young age. Like many girls, she planned to become an artist, astronaut, and veterinarian, and approached the latter by attending UCLA’s art school. She drew pictures of cars but never owned one. Reluctantly getting a driver’s license at age 21, Ilana discovered that not only did she love cars and want to drive them, but that other people loved cars and wanted to read about them, which meant someone had to write about them. Since getting her activation codes, Ilana has written for numerous car magazines and websites, covering classics, car culture, technology, motorsport and new car reviews.