2017 Porsche Macan S Review: Sports Car On Stilts

– Detroit, Michigan

Buying a sporty SUV is always a compromise because its increased height and weight versus a coupe, hatchback, or sedan will always have negative effects on performance. If you’re looking for that blend of everyday utility and fun, though, the Porsche Macan S presents itself as an outlier. It’s not just fun to drive “for an SUV,” it’s fun to drive full stop. Without sacrificing anything in terms of the utility or comfort we expect from luxury SUVs, it still delivers huge thrills for its driver.

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Pros

Sports-car fun in all directions. It starts with a responsive 340-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 engine with a deliberate, linear power delivery that belies the fact two turbochargers are attached. The snappy dual-clutch transmission makes quick work of ratio changes, even downshifting several gears at once when you floor the throttle. Then there’s the razor-sharp steering, commanded by a noticeably small wheel; those help make the Macan feel small and nimble from the helm. And when you dial the adaptive suspension up to its stiffest setting and toss the Macan S through bends, it’s remarkably neutral, eagerly scribing your chosen line without fuss.

Ideal everyday package. With big-brother Cayenne growing ever larger but parking spaces, uh, not growing, the Macan strikes me as the idea...