Porsche Cayenne versus Macan: Performance SUVs That Handle like a Sports Car

A Girls Guide To Cars | Porsche Cayenne Versus Macan: Performance Suvs That Handle Like A Sports Car - Cayenne Back Featured

Honestly, how can you choose? We’re here to help.

So you like sports cars but you need an SUV. You’ve always dreamt of having a Porsche (who hasn’t?), but need something a little more practical than a 911. Enter the Porsche Macan and the Cayenne, Porsche’s two SUVs. One is a little smaller (the compact Macan), and one is more full-size (the Cayenne). And these aren’t any regular SUVs, they’re more like sports cars disguised as SUVs. I had the opportunity to test drive them both, and most days they were essentially luxury grocery-getters and take-out transporters, but I also did quite a few solo joyrides.

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Porsche Macan S

The Porsche Macan S is a little more compact. Photo: Connie Peters

Your Gold-Plated and Hand-Painted Choices

So let’s talk about this performance SUV that is capable of towing, hauling gear + kids but has gold-plated and hand-painted accents, a performance motor and German engineering with European styling and luxury? Yes, yes, SIGN ME UP! Now to choose between the Cayenne and the Macan…

Garnet Red Porsche Macan Interior

I simply ADORE this Garnet Red interior on the Macan S. Photo: Connie Peters

Let’s do a quick breakdown:

A Girls Guide To Cars | Porsche Cayenne Versus Macan: Performance Suvs That Handle Like A Sports Car - Comparison Porsche I recently had the opportunity to drive both of these beauties back to back thanks to the Portfolio by OpenRoad luxury car subscription in Vancouver, BC. I will share my favorite, or should I say which one is now on my “I WILL OWN IT ONE DAY LIST’ (Did I mention red interiors are my new favorite?) So let’s talk about their names. Porsche Cayenne is named after the famous spicy pepper, though it shares its name with French Guiana’s Capital city. The Macan means “Tiger” (another good reason it’s now on my list!).

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Tail Clear Lights On Porsche Macan

Look at those beautiful clear taillights on the rear of the Porsche Macan SUV. Photo: Connie Peters

The Biggest Differences are Size and Price

There is a LOT more cargo space in the Cayenne over the Macan. Not just behind the passenger space, but for the passengers, too. The rear seat is adjustable, sliding, and reclining and there is just simply more legroom in the Cayenne. Do you need that space? Do you have strollers and gear to cart around, or is it just you and the groceries? What about towing? Are you hauling a small camper or motorbikes every weekend? The Porsche Cayenne can tow up to 7,700 lbs, where the Macan can only tow about 4,400 lbs, which is obviously a huge difference. Keep in mind that each will require additional options from the base models in order to tow. With a $16,000 USD difference in the starting price, plus a bit extra if options are added (and let’s face it, everything is optional and additional on a Porsche), the Cayenne will set you back quite a bit more.

Porsche Cayenne

The larger more stately Porsche Cayenne. Photo: Connie Peters

Either Choice Will Leave you Loving your Drive

Whether you choose the off-road capable Porsche Cayenne with air suspension and water fording abilities of up to 19.6″ or the compact and even more agile Porsche Macan, you will love the drive. Porsche SUVs act like sports cars on the road, of course…it’s in their DNA. The handling and acceleration in both cars is better than their competitors and add a bit of clout with their special badges. The Cayenne base model comes with a 3.6 liter V6 and the Macan with a 2.0L 4 cylinder. I was surprised that their fuel economy seems to be on par with one another, though I didn’t do enough driving to be able to properly compare them. However, and this is a big one, both require 93 octane premium fuel. In Canada that is often above and beyond what most gas stations offer though it’s easy to find in the US. Either way, be prepared to spend even more on fuel.

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Porsche Macan Red Interior

This to-die-for interior is the Garnet Red on Macan S. Photo: Connie Peters

Everything Costs Extra, but the Garnet Red is Worth It

Every Porsche can be customized at length on their website, but my personal ‘must-have’ is the Garnet Red interior on the Macan S I drove. The red seat belts and vibrant leather made for the most ‘extra’ car I’ve driven, hands down (in a good way), even though it’s a CAD $2,230 upgrade. The interior is simply a thing of beauty. There is no hard plastic to be found anywhere and all the surfaces are high end – soft touch, leather, embossed. That said, there was barely anywhere to put things! I found it awkward every single time to find a place for my phone, purse, and drink because of the lack of storage cubbies.

Porsche Cayenne Steering Wheel

A gold-plated badge feels posh. Photo: Connie Peters

The Tech is All Here

The rear camera moves and has a panorama button to change your viewpoint. There is also a 360-degree overhead view, which I love for safety. The rear camera panorama view is shown in this TikTok:

@xoconniepetersI couldn’t love this car more! Thanks to Portfolio by Open Road for letting me test the Porsche Cayenne! ##porsche ##shedrivesnow ##carchallenge ##luxury♬ Baguettes in the Face – Mustard

The instrument panel is high resolution making it very crisp and clear and is customizable. The Bose surround-sound audio in the Cayenne was exceptional and must be an upgrade as the Macan S I had didn’t have that. The rear seats even get dual-zone climate control.

Porsche Driver Cabin

All soft and high-end materials in the Porsche Cayenne. Photo: Connie Peters

First Impressions: Oh Yeahhhhh

On first impressions, I adored the way the Cayenne felt to drive and handle, but the moment I first stepped foot into the Macan, I knew it was the one for me. It’s smaller, more refined, a gorgeous package inside and out and an absolute joy to drive. Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to try both the Cayenne and Macan S through the Portfolio by Open Road luxury car subscription service.

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Connie Peters is a mother of 3 girls in suburban Vancouver, Canada and has been an online entrepreneur since... More about Connie Peters