You really notice the difference when you have extra weight in the car, and especially when overtaking at speed. The base is fine around town and for 1-2 people; it lacks the punch and effortless power of the S when the car is loaded up or on the highway. One thing to consider is that the AUDI 4 turbo is a very highly stressed and very delicate engine, coupled with pushing along 1800kg, it simply won't last as long as the 6 cylinder. I too drove a Base as a loaner whilst my S was being serviced and thought it was good around town, but when I picked up my S and drove back to my country home, wow what a difference.I just got my 2017 Macan S not long ago, and i had to drop it off at the dealer for tire replacement.
They gave me a 2019 Macan base as the loaner car. That car felt pretty peppy when put into sports mode, and when I am at the right RPM.
Now that got me wonder what is the actual difference in performance between S and Base model. And was there any performance update for the 2019 Macan Base? (AFAIK, it should be identical to a 2017 one, but I might be wrong)