When buying a Porschethe decision on which model to buy was pretty simple: you could get the 911 or a Boxster, these days there’s an SUV, a crossover and an EV too, with the usual plethora of different variants of each model.
While the Cayman is a completely different beast from the Cayenne completely and in every way imaginable; the Porsche Macan appeared in 2014 with a simple goal: to provide a lucrative model in this growing niche of high-end sports crossovers.
It performed well and although it’s a slightly watered down version of the Cayman and Cayenne, it might be the best of both worlds.
The Porsche Macan: a crossover that wants to be a sports car
We all know a crossover isn’t a sports car, but things are changing and today’s sporty crossover SUV is yesterday’s capable sedan or coupe.
Porsche states on its website that the Macan is actually a practical sports car with 5 seats and 5 doors; however, speed alone does not make a sports car.
Either way, this car – whatever it is – could be the sweet spot between the focused Cayman and the large, practical Cayenne, with a selection of transmissions available to offer something for everyone.
This model dates from 2014, and little by little it gained the four-cylinder engine just like the Cayman and Boxster; it offers different powers and combines agile handling with more practicality than a Cayman but less heavy than a Cayenne.
The Cayman is the most fun you can have (without 911)
Sure, the 911 is at the top of the sports car pile, but the Macan has its own selection of engines, all with a seven-speed automatic transmission; a 2-liter 4-cylinder with 261 hp and a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 engine with 375 or 434 hp, plus a 0-100 km/h time ranging from 6.5 seconds to 4.5 seconds for the Macan more faster and more powerful Models S and GTS. All cars are four wheel drive and the engine is in the front.
For the 718 Cayman which sits alongside the convertible Boxster in the model range, the 2-litre flat-four engine returns this time with 300 hp and there is the addition of a 2.5-litre flat-four with 350 hp or the awesome 4-liter flat-six that generates nearly 400 hp.
This time the Porsche comes with the holy grail of a six-speed manual gearbox, seven-speed dual-clutch is also available if you don’t like swapping cogs yourself with a stick – the engine now sits in the middle in the rear and the power goes to the rear wheels.
While the entry-level 2-litre Macan takes 6.5 seconds to hit 100 km/h, the cheapest 2-litre Cayman only takes 5.1 seconds thanks to the extra 40 bhp and lower weight.
Porsche’s Cayenne Isn’t a Sports Car, But It’s Definitely a Porsche
While prices are around $57,000 for the Macan and $61,000 for the Cayman, the Cayenne starts at around $70,000, but you get more metal and bulk for the added expense.
This big Porsche was divisive back when it surfaced in 2002, as it was the first time Porsche had made something so different and at odds with its sports car heritage: a line that Ferrari , Maserati, Lotus and many others have all subsequently also crossed paths.
It is, however, a well-sorted crossover SUV and outputs start at around 335 hp for the entry-level V6 turbo followed by almost 460 hp for the GTS which has a twin-turbo V8, something that doesn’t. is not available in the smaller Cayman and Macan.
There’s actually a bewildering array of different models available in the Cayenne range – made more numerous by the fact that it also comes in SUV form and a ‘Coupé’ which is a slightly restyled version of the same car.
Hybrid versions are also available for the Cayenne and then there are the performance-oriented models with 550 hp for the Cayenne Turbo and a whopping 680 hp in the catchy-named Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid that can hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, just like a Ferrari F50 .
Porsche’s Macan seems to be straddling the lineup well for now
The Cayenne can tow 7700 pounds while being comfortable, practical and somehow thrifty with an official combined economy figure of 20 mpg available for 6-cylinders and above for hybrids.
It also offers an abnormally good level of agility and handling for a car of its size according to numerous road tests, and driving experience belies its weight and bulk – plus, if you really want power, you have the nearly 700hp version on offer.
At the other end is the Cayman, with its mid-rear-engine and rear-wheel-drive mated to an optional manual gearbox, it’s every driver’s dream vehicle, but some people want the performance and the image without compromising on practicality – you have to swallow a bag of golf clubs or head to the ski resort on the weekend.
For that reason, the less expensive Macan offers most of the style and image, all of the Porsche technology and interior materials in a more easygoing format.
It still doesn’t compromise on power – the GTS’ twin-turbo six-cylinder can muster 434bhp and drop a 4.5-second 0-60mph time: enough for most people.
In an age where brand association, infotainment, practicality and straight-line power reign supreme, this more rounded offering from Porsche loses the purity of a true sports car to gain more from all the rest ; perhaps that’s why the sporty crossover is booming.
Here’s how much a 1993 Porsche 911 GT2 is worth today
About the Author