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You have to look past the acceleration issue when thinking about the Macan. It is a great riding (with air suspension) comfortable vehicle that is really fun to drive. Great splash of practicality thrown in, and the build quality is fantastic. So is the 2.0T slow- absolutly not. By comparison, it is a second faster than our sold Diesel Cayenne and it is a bit faster than my Hemi Jeep Grand Cherokee. Neither of those SUVs are described as slow. So if you need to save some scratch, or would prefer more options over more horsepower, the 2.0T works fine.
 

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I am don't drive hard, but ended up going with the S. The difference in Base vs. S came down to the cold start... the S sounds just amazing during the first ignition of each day.

I wouldn't equate the Base to Spirit/ Frontier. You can spec out a Base model with some great options and luxuries. If anything, Base could be Economy Plus and Turbo is flying via Private Jet.
 

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2018 Sports Edition, Midnight Blue Metallic with Gray Interior
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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.
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 !!
 
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