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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, I visited our local Porsche dealer to test drive two used Macans that they have on the lot. A 2017 Macan S and a 2018 Macan Base. Both were similarly spec’d with the following differences; engines (of course), base tires and wheels on the Base model and Spyder 21”rims and tires on the S. The S also had a heated steering wheel. Other than that, each model was identical in options.

The SA I’ve been working with is excellent. We discussed the benefits of going CPO over purchasing from a non-CPO seller like CarMax, for example. I asked a number of questions regarding maintenance and repairs during the CPO period. I was especially interested in making sure transfer case and timing chain cover issues were covered. In fact, he brought up the transfer case issue before I did. He said he knew of one case and he believes it’s a factory issue. In that instance the owner of the Macan was an older lady that he felt was not driving the car in such a way that would cause the problem.

The SA gave me the keys to each model and told me to take my time and have fun with the test drives. I spent about an hour with each model, driving each on similar conditions; highway, city traffic and back roads. Here’s my take after driving each model:

The Base Macan
  • Seems to be very peppy, especially when starting out.
  • Even with 18” tires and rims, it handled quite well.
  • Acceleration when passing on the highway was very good.
  • Like every 4-cylinder engine I’ve driven, it can get a little buzzy when pushing it.
  • Very comfortable ride.
  • Got my first, ”Is that a Porsche?” from my neighbor when I stopped by the house for a minute. (I guess I’lll need to get used to that, right?)

The Macan S
  • Power delivery is much smoother as you accelerate. The Base feels a little quicker off the line.
  • This thing is definitely fast. When approaching the highway from the on ramp, I was to speed before I knew it.
  • There seemed to be a little less engine noise.
  • Excellent handling, especially with the larger tires and rims.
  • It reminded me a lot of my Volvo Polestar-tuned XC60 in terms of a planted feel.
Overall, for my purposes, I think I would be happy with either model. I really hoped that the test drive would rule one out over the other, but I was more impressed with the Base than I expected.

As far as price differences between the two, the S was about 6K more than the Base, so that wouldn’t be enough of a deciding factor at the end of the day. Also, the fuel savings between the 4 and 6 cylinder seem to be negligible as well. If you drive it as a Porsche should be driven, fuel economy isn’t necessarily a factor anyway.

So, that’s my quick take from a newbie‘s perspective. At the end of the day, I would be perfectly happy with a Base model, especially considering that it’s going to be a daily driver and I’m not planing to race everyone at stoplights. However, if the right S comes along, I would take it in a heartbeat.
 

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FWIW, the TCC (timing chain cover) oil leak issue really isn't a function of the way a Macan has been driven.
If you dig around a bit you'll find it's root cause is overtightening of some number of TCC Torx bolts when the
engine was assembled.

After some number of heat/cold cycles, some number of the bolts may fracture allowing oil to seep apst the
sealant between the TCC and the engine block and/or heads.


Good luck - the way I see it, it's a trade-off between power & fuel economy.
 

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Your post is a good assessment but there are a few things to note . Your test drives were on a first generation Macan . The Macan.1 base car is a 4 cylinder Audi engine . The Macan.1 is a twin turbo Porsche engine . That's a big difference .

Had you driven a second generation car the setup is different . The Macan.2 base car is still a single turbo 4 cylinder Audi engine however the S is a single Turbo 6 cylinder Audi engine . In short the huge change is with the S on the refresh .

If discussing used and CPO cars then the real drive is with the GTS and Turbo if intrigued by the S . The GTS has a slightly spicier engine than the S (slight power bump and throttle map tilted to performance) plus it gets air suspension, upgraded wheels and styling cues at a bundled price bargain . The Turbo gets the real power plus it was produced 2 extra model years giving it a significant competitive price .

My overall feeling is that even though all 4 of my Macans have been basically reliable I am aware of inherent problems . One of my cars did have the transfer case (expensive if out of warranty) and my latest GTS has been trouble free .

My concern if buying an older CPO car is contingent with time . For instance supposing one buys a 2016 Macan Turbo in the low 50's with a CPO . In two years he is left with an out of warranty higher mile 6 year old SUV .Older Porsche SUVs plummet in price and they are not easy to sell as typically SUVs are rational cars . It's not like buying an older 911 or Boxster where the car can become a leisure toy .

Sadly I see Porsche moving towards electric cars with the next Macan . In 2014 when I first came here I pounded the pavement that the only real choice at that time was the Macan Turbo (to the dismay of a few S owners) . Now I have shifted my attention to the base car .

If however this its a first Porsche and you just can't take the idea of not getting a real taste of Porsche but need an SUV then do drive a GTS and Turbo . Take a deep breath afterwards and go for it . Just know that that thrill has a little risk .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
FWIW, the TCC (timing chain cover) oil leak issue really isn't a function of the way a Macan has been driven.
If you dig around a bit you'll find it's root cause is overtightening of some number of TCC Torx bolts when the
engine was assembled.

After some number of heat/cold cycles, some number of the bolts may fracture allowing oil to seep apst the
sealant between the TCC and the engine block and/or heads.


Good luck - the way I see it, it's a trade-off between power & fuel economy.
Thanks!

I’ve been digging around the forum on this issue and have found that seems to be the consensus. Even my SA mentioned that he thought the issue had to do with the bolts being over tightened at the factory. He didn’t think it came from driving style, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Your post is a good assessment but there are a few things to note . Your test drives were on a first generation Macan . The Macan.1 base car is a 4 cylinder Audi engine . The Macan.1 is a twin turbo Porsche engine . That's a big difference .

Had you driven a second generation car the setup is different . The Macan.2 base car is still a single turbo 4 cylinder Audi engine however the S is a single Turbo 6 cylinder Audi engine . In short the huge change is with the S on the refresh .

If discussing used and CPO cars then the real drive is with the GTS and Turbo if intrigued by the S . The GTS has a slightly spicier engine than the S (slight power bump and throttle map tilted to performance) plus it gets air suspension, upgraded wheels and styling cues at a bundled price bargain . The Turbo gets the real power plus it was produced 2 extra model years giving it a significant competitive price .

My overall feeling is that even though all 4 of my Macans have been basically reliable I am aware of inherent problems . One of my cars did have the transfer case (expensive if out of warranty) and my latest GTS has been trouble free .

My concern if buying an older CPO car is contingent with time . For instance supposing one buys a 2016 Macan Turbo in the low 50's with a CPO . In two years he is left with an out of warranty higher mile 6 year old SUV .Older Porsche SUVs plummet in price and they are not easy to sell as typically SUVs are rational cars . It's not like buying an older 911 or Boxster where the car can become a leisure toy .

Sadly I see Porsche moving towards electric cars with the next Macan . In 2014 when I first came here I pounded the pavement that the only real choice at that time was the Macan Turbo (to the dismay of a few S owners) . Now I have shifted my attention to the base car .

If however this its a first Porsche and you just can't take the idea of not getting a real taste of Porsche but need an SUV then do drive a GTS and Turbo . Take a deep breath afterwards and go for it . Just know that that thrill has a little risk .
Thanks for the excellent advice @yarralis 1. I believe that I remembered reading that the Macan 2 S has the Audi engine in it. I should have made that clear in my original post when making the comparison.

I really should take a look at the GTS as well. I remember you made some good points about percentage costs of options in relation to the prices of the Base and GTS models.

The forum has been a great resource in my search. If I hadn’t come across it, I wouldn’t have learned about the transfer case and timing chain cover issues. It’s good to know about this going in and what to ask about/look for before pulling the trigger.

I don’t know if it because today’s car are so complex, but it seems like no matter the brand/model, there seems to be an issue or two associated with it. From Ford’s issues with the EcoBoost engines, to the timing chain tensioner on some 2.0 liter VW engines to air suspension issues with Lexus LS models, just as examples. If a repair out of warranty, it’s an expensive fix. That‘s why forums like this are such a valuable resource. People need to go into a purchase with their eyes open to any potential issues that may crop up later. Information is a valuable commodity.

I would not be surprised if Porsche decides to electrify the next gen Macan, either. What do you think, full electric or a hybrid to increase the power?
 

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My 2 cents: Base (economy/coach on Frontier or Spirit), S (business class on one of the top 3 US airlines), GTS (first class on one fo the top 3 US airlines)) or Turbo (first class on Emirates or Singapore Airlines). In my view, there is a huge difference between flying coach on Frontier or Spirit and business class on Delta for example but not a big difference between flying business class on Delta and first class on United. Now flying first class on Singapore or Emirates that is another level. I was fortunate to try all the above. I pick the S since that was the best cost/benefit for me. You pick how you want to travel. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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My 2 cents: Base (economy/coach on Frontier or Spirit), S (business class on one of the top 3 US airlines), GTS (first class on one fo the top 3 US airlines)) or Turbo (first class on Emirates or Singapore Airlines). In my view, there is a huge difference between flying coach on Frontier or Spirit and business class on Delta for example but not a big difference between flying business class on Delta and first class on United. Now flying first class on Singapore or Emirates that is another level. I was fortunate to try all the above. I pick the S since that was the best cost/benefit for me. You pick how you want to travel. :)
I’d love to travel 1st class on Singapore or Emirates!! You;’re right, they’re a whole other level! :)
 

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Thanks for the excellent advice @yarralis 1. I believe that I remembered reading that the Macan 2 S has the Audi engine in it. I should have made that clear in my original post when making the comparison.

I really should take a look at the GTS as well. I remember you made some good points about percentage costs of options in relation to the prices of the Base and GTS models.https://www.macanforum.com/threads/this-is-what-makes-the-gts-different.115105/

The forum has been a great resource in my search. If I hadn’t come across it, I wouldn’t have learned about the transfer case and timing chain cover issues. It’s good to know about this going in and what to ask about/look for before pulling the trigger.

I don’t know if it because today’s car are so complex, but it seems like no matter the brand/model, there seems to be an issue or two associated with it. From Ford’s issues with the EcoBoost engines, to the timing chain tensioner on some 2.0 liter VW engines to air suspension issues with Lexus LS models, just as examples. If a repair out of warranty, it’s an expensive fix. That‘s why forums like this are such a valuable resource. People need to go into a purchase with their eyes open to any potential issues that may crop up later. Information is a valuable commodity.

I would not be surprised if Porsche decides to electrify the next gen Macan, either. What do you think, full electric or a hybrid to increase the power?
This member did a full comparison a few years ago on how the GTS differs from the S . His post was very well written and it became a sticky. THIS is what makes the GTS different...

I see @santastico has you in Turbo territory . It's very easy to do in the land of Porsche . I remember test driving a 718 and then driving home a 911 GTS . It happens .

Look if you really want to spec a GTS or Turbo I know it can happen . The spread of a CPO Macan S and a new Macan Turbo is about 60K . A CPO GTS is 55-60K and a new Turbo is 95K. I've been in those shoes every time I buy a Porsche and thus far have never regretted writing that check . I started out my replies trying to save you money . A stripped base car is the least expensive new Porsche anyone can buy . However there are ways to hedge excessive cost at the top trims .
 

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My 2 cents: Base (economy/coach on Frontier or Spirit), S (business class on one of the top 3 US airlines), GTS (first class on one fo the top 3 US airlines)) or Turbo (first class on Emirates or Singapore Airlines). In my view, there is a huge difference between flying coach on Frontier or Spirit and business class on Delta for example but not a big difference between flying business class on Delta and first class on United. Now flying first class on Singapore or Emirates that is another level. I was fortunate to try all the above. I pick the S since that was the best cost/benefit for me. You pick how you want to travel. :)
You are taking him down a very slippery slope .
 

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You are taking him down a very slippery slope .
Not really. I love flying business class. First class is way out of my reach. I avoid flying coach on Spirit airlines.
 

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Not really. I love flying business class. First class is way out of my reach. I avoid flying coach on Spirit airlines.
When I fly for work, we have to fly coach. If we choose to fly business or above, the cost difference is on our dime.
 

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My 2 cents: Base (economy/coach on Frontier or Spirit), S (business class on one of the top 3 US airlines), GTS (first class on one fo the top 3 US airlines))
This is a brilliant analogy and a great guide to choosing any car if you're a FF on any airline with "loyalty rewards." Every human would choose first over "back of the bus." So...say you're a perennial PM on Delta and have a CC that gives you a yearly companion freebie. Do you use your PM complimentary upgrades on short hops or your longest flights? Who wouldn't pick the longest flight, say, RDU-ANC versus DTW-ORD to spend their FF miles/comp upgrades?

Car-wise, to use the airline analogy, does it make sense to base a build on ones' flight patterns? Are you a short hopper or a FF on long routes? Do you require the intended engineering of <fill in the blanks>> build for a run between Anchorage and Homer or MIA-FLL (Both requiring Porsche approved mosquito shields...snark) Does one spend miles/upgrades on something that isn't all together of value? Does one need .9 on the g-pad, even with open freeway ramps in Amarillo?

If one is a daily driver, doing pretty much the same things weekly, less than 200 miles in stop/to traffic on level ground on the flats, consider where to allocate resources?

PS: Pro tip, ALWAYS board last, even if the upgrade, but tell the gate agent the reason. She'll nod and laugh, guaranteed. Less butt-sitting, crappy air, cheap booze...plus a good look at who's onboard....

PPS: Anyone on hilly terrain on good roads, please disregard this post...sorry
 

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@Faux Paws: Not trying to change the subject but I love talking about flying and read a lot of travel blogs. I am based at MSP so a Delta flyer. Have been Delta 360 or Diamond for many years but I am happy to say that I am drastically reducing my air travel even before COVID-19. I have millions of miles but have decided to spend more time with family after putting an average of 250k miles ever year. I used to fly twice a month to Europe so a long hauler. I usually use miles to upgrade all my family to business when flying internationally on vacation.

Back to my analogy, I would never buy a Base Macan but that is just me. I don't fly coach on Spirt. Period. As for the Turbo, I only fly first when I get upgraded due to my status since I don't pay for it and my jobs don't pay first class. If I ever have enough money to spend I would happily buy a Turbo. Now it comes down to the S and GTS. I actually have a 2015 Macan so GTS was not an option at that time. However, I loaded my S very similar to a GTS. I have PASM, AS, Sport Chrono, 20" Spyder wheels, etc... If it was today, I would buy a GTS instead of loading a S to be similarly priced to the GTS. However, a S with Cobb and some other options is not bad at all. Again, I prefer to fly international business class on Delta than fly first on United or AA. Delta is bad when you compare to Singapore, Emirates, Qatar but it blows any other US airline out of the water. UA and AA are just bad airlines in my opinion.

As for your pro tip, it depends on the situation. If I am tired I just want to board first and get to my seat, get acclimated and crash before take off. I immediately put my noise cancelling headsets and almost rarely engage with anyone on the plane. I almost never eat or drink alcohol on any flight. I can get better food at the airport or lounge and way better alcohol at my home so no need to drink cheap stuff on a plane.
 

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I think it really depends on what you are looking for an in car. What it will do for you. What kind of driving you do. What your commute is like, if you are comfortable with a car when out of warranty. What other car you might have. What kind of driving you do.

I drive a 718 and also have a 996 project car that I spin around in on weekends. I get all the kicks I need out of those two cars. I dont drive either of them in the snow or on a shitty weather day - just not fun. I needed a car that would be dependable, a good ride and would suffice for snow days, rain days, when more than two seats are needed etc. I hit on the macan. I tried the S and I loved it but new at the kind of build I wanted would have run me (with a 10% discount 65K). The macan base as you said was zippy off the line and although not a beast it did drive like a Porsche with the PDK and was nicer and more engaging than the X1,2,3 or any of the other cars in its ilk. I also decided I would not want to carry it beyond its warranty and also wanted to have some equity remaining in the car.

The final Verdict was a an ex-loaner base with 3500 miles (2018) with a CPO that had 5.5 years left on warranty and was pristine with a 61K build that I got for 40K. I can drive this for 5.5 years and not worry about major issues and when I trade it in at that point will likely still have 50-60% of the price that I paid as value. For me it is a hands down win. On shitty days I get into a car that I am comfortable with an engine and gear box that is more than adequate and doesnt make me feel like I am pining for my babies in the garage. When we have to go out for errands that my other cars can not handle I am still having fun with it .

Would I be satisfied with it as a performance car if I did not have a boxster - absolutely not but for what I need it for it is perfect
 

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Yesterday, I visited our local Porsche dealer to test drive two used Macans that they have on the lot. A 2017 Macan S and a 2018 Macan Base. Both were similarly spec’d with the following differences; engines (of course), base tires and wheels on the Base model and Spyder 21”rims and tires on the S. The S also had a heated steering wheel. Other than that, each model was identical in options.

The SA I’ve been working with is excellent. We discussed the benefits of going CPO over purchasing from a non-CPO seller like CarMax, for example. I asked a number of questions regarding maintenance and repairs during the CPO period. I was especially interested in making sure transfer case and timing chain cover issues were covered. In fact, he brought up the transfer case issue before I did. He said he knew of one case and he believes it’s a factory issue. In that instance the owner of the Macan was an older lady that he felt was not driving the car in such a way that would cause the problem.

The SA gave me the keys to each model and told me to take my time and have fun with the test drives. I spent about an hour with each model, driving each on similar conditions; highway, city traffic and back roads. Here’s my take after driving each model:

The Base Macan
  • Seems to be very peppy, especially when starting out.
  • Even with 18” tires and rims, it handled quite well.
  • Acceleration when passing on the highway was very good.
  • Like every 4-cylinder engine I’ve driven, it can get a little buzzy when pushing it.
  • Very comfortable ride.
  • Got my first, ”Is that a Porsche?” from my neighbor when I stopped by the house for a minute. (I guess I’lll need to get used to that, right?)
The Macan S
  • Power delivery is much smoother as you accelerate. The Base feels a little quicker off the line.
  • This thing is definitely fast. When approaching the highway from the on ramp, I was to speed before I knew it.
  • There seemed to be a little less engine noise.
  • Excellent handling, especially with the larger tires and rims.
  • It reminded me a lot of my Volvo Polestar-tuned XC60 in terms of a planted feel.
Overall, for my purposes, I think I would be happy with either model. I really hoped that the test drive would rule one out over the other, but I was more impressed with the Base than I expected.

As far as price differences between the two, the S was about 6K more than the Base, so that wouldn’t be enough of a deciding factor at the end of the day. Also, the fuel savings between the 4 and 6 cylinder seem to be negligible as well. If you drive it as a Porsche should be driven, fuel economy isn’t necessarily a factor anyway.

So, that’s my quick take from a newbie‘s perspective. At the end of the day, I would be perfectly happy with a Base model, especially considering that it’s going to be a daily driver and I’m not planing to race everyone at stoplights. However, if the right S comes along, I would take it in a heartbeat.
So I’ve had both. My 2018 S had it’s life ended when a woman pulled out from behind a stop sign but I had none. I t-boned her totaling both cars. We both walked away without injuries which in the grand scheme of life is all that matters. I replaced it just before the virus shut life in Pennsylvania and New Jersey down using my insurance payout to cover the whole thing. I dropped down to a base model because I didn’t want to pht out the extra money. I miss the S. Of course it had more power but it handled better. It had 19” wheels and the base has 20” wheels which may play a role. It also sounded like a Porsche which the base doesn’t. That may not seem like much but when you are used to that purr you miss it. My gut says if you get the base you won’t be dissatisfied. BTW, both of mine were/are CPO’s that I got with under 5k miles.
 

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Given that you're buying in the S model year range where both the transfer case and the valve cover leak are major issues and headaches, the 2.0T is the wise choice if simply extra power isn't a big deal to you. They're light and nimble, and if you do a lot of city driving more they're great.
 

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I bought my 2016 Macan S two years old with 11k miles and an extended warranty. I also did a Cobb stage one tune which takes the HP from roughly 340 to 440 hp. Only then did it wake up and become a Porsche. I found this to be the best value for me at under $50k. The only issue (so far) has been the transfer case covered under warranty. As for flying, I always have the best seat with the windows in front of me. I hate having to fly in the back of any cattle car no matter how nice it is... I like to be in the drivers seat!
 
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