I just got a 2018 Base with the Sport Package and have been extremely happy with it. Driving in sport mode gives it great pick-up and smooth cruising on the highway. I also love that I can get 23 mpg. I also have a C7 Z06 so when I truly feel a need for speed, I'll drive that for a while. The best of both worlds !!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
The Macan S
- 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?)
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.
- 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.
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.