Porsche Cayenne Vs. Macan: Performance SUVs Compared - SUV VEHICLE

Porsche Cayenne Vs. Macan: Performance SUVs Compared

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This guide is continuously updated for relevance, accuracy, and the most recent information. It was first published in March 2022 and updated in March 2024.


This guide covers:

  • Trims available
  • Engine options and performance
  • Dimension differences
  • Standard features
  • Interior updates and differences
  • Safety features
  • Takeaway

It’s hard to believe Porsche’s first SUV, the Cayenne, has been on the market for two decades. The luxury mid-size hauler faced significant criticism from Porsche purists back then, who ate their words when the Cayenne catapulted to the top of the popularity list. Following that up with the Macan, first arriving in 2014, a five-door luxury crossover SUV is now the Stuttgart-based brand’s top-seller, surpassing its larger sibling.

Cayenne vs Macan rear view driving on roadCayenne vs Macan rear view driving on road
2024 Cayenne (top) and 2024 Macan

The point? Porsche SUVs are on fire, and for good reason. The mid-size Cayenne and compact Macan are technologically advanced, aerodynamic, safe, and powerful. However, some critical differences make these luxury SUVs suitable for different consumers. Here’s a quick Porsche Cayenne vs. Macan comparison to highlight these dissimilarities. 

A Pair of Porsche SUVs in Plenty of Flavours

First, here’s a look at all the Cayenne and Macan trims available. The larger Cayenne has more choices, with about a dozen models in the stable courtesy of a new coupé variation, compared to a handful of Macans currently in the lineup.

Cayenne Models:

  • Cayenne Coupé
  • Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupé
  • Cayenne S Coupé
  • Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupé
  • Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid Coupe
  • Cayenne Turbo GT
  • Cayenne (base)
  • Cayenne E-Hybrid
  • Cayenne S
  • Cayenne S E-Hybrid
  • Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid

Macan Models:

  • Macan (base)
  • Macan T
  • Macan S
  • Macan GTS

Engine and Performance Differences

Spec Cayenne Macan
Max Horsepower 650 hp (4.0L V8 Turbo – Turbo GT) 434 hp (2.9L V6 Turbo – GTS)
Max Torque 442 lb-ft (4.0L V8 Turbo – Cayenne S) 295 lb-ft (2.0L I4 Turbo – Base/T)
Max Top Speed 189 mph (4.0L V8 Turbo – Turbo GT) Not specified

The Macan: Small but mighty GTS boasts massive power

2022 Porsche Macan GTS2022 Porsche Macan GTS
Macan GTS. Photo: Porsche

The Macan is the smaller of the two SUVs and is accessible in three powertrains. The standard turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder mill creates 261 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and mates to a 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung transmission. With this power, the Macan can zoom to 60 mph from a standstill position in 6.0 seconds, just 0.1 seconds slower than the entry-level Cayenne. Other engine options for the Macan include a 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 with 375 hp and 383 lb-ft and another 2.9L twin-turbo V6 with 434 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.

Electric Macan arrives for 2024

2024 Porsche Macan EV on the track2024 Porsche Macan EV on the track
2024 Porsche Macan EV. Photo: Porsche

We visited Germany to get a closer to the new Macan EV. All Macan EV models will feature a lithium-ion battery pack with an approximately 100 kWh capacity. The batteries consist of 12 modules with prismatic cells. Charging speed is expected to be up to 270 kW with the use of a DC fast charger. Porsche says the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in less than 22 minutes. 

Summary:

  • Macan and Macan T: Both models are powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 261 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This setup offers performance and efficiency for daily driving and spirited sessions​​​​.
  • Macan S: Upgrading to the Macan S brings a more potent 2.9L twin-turbo V6 engine into the mix, producing 375 horsepower. This option aims at drivers looking for enhanced performance capabilities without stepping into the high-performance realm​​.
  • Macan GTS: The top-of-the-range Macan GTS features the same 2.9L twin-turbo V6 as the S model but is tuned to generate 434 horsepower. This model is chosen for those seeking the most dynamic and engaging driving experience from the Macan lineup​​.

The Cayenne: Keeps Getting More Powerful

2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo E Hybrid in white parked on the street rear view2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo E Hybrid in white parked on the street rear view
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo E Hybrid. Photo: Daniel Rufiange

On the other hand, the 2024 Cayenne comes equipped with a 3.0L V6 churning out 348 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque, paired with 8-speed automatic transmission. Other choices comprise a 468-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 and a 650-horsepower twin-turbo V8. Both Porsche utility vehicles use an all-wheel-drive layout to power all the wheels.

Related2024 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid & Turbo E-Hybrid First Drive Review: Uncompromised Balance

2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo E Hybrid front wheels2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo E Hybrid front wheels
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo E Hybrid. Photo: Daniel Rufiange

Summary:

  • Cayenne & Cayenne E-Hybrid: Standard models come with a 3.0L V6 single-turbo producing 348 hp, and an E-Hybrid version combines this V6 with an electric motor for a total of 463 hp, blending efficiency with sportiness.
  • Cayenne S: Features a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 with 434 hp, offering a balance between performance and daily drivability.
  • Cayenne Turbo GT: Tops the range with a 4.0L V8 twin-turbo, delivering 650 hp for peak performance and dynamics.

Fuel economy: Small Macan is the clear winner

The smaller Macan wins with 19/25 mpg city/highway in fuel economy against the larger Cayenne’s 17/23 mpg city/highway. However, Cayenne’s larger fuel tank (23.7 gallons) with 521 miles highway range makes it more suitable for long road trips than Macan’s 17.1 gallons tank with 428 miles highway range.

Dimension, Size, and Cargo Differences

2024 Cayenne and 2024 Macan 4 side studio shots2024 Cayenne and 2024 Macan 4 side studio shots
2024 Cayenne and 2024 Macan 4

The Macan is shorter in length (8.0-in less), height (3.0-in less), width (2.0-in less), and wheelbase (3.5-in less). However, its smaller footprint makes it easier to maneuver in the city. 

While both Porsche SUVs can seat five passengers, the Cayenne is better if you want more room for occupants to stretch their legs and carry extra luggage. The new Macan offers 17.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 52.9 cubic feet, with seats folded against Cayenne’s 27.2 cubic feet and 60.3 cubic feet. 

When comparing the sizes of these two Porsche SUVs, you’ll observe some variances. The agile Macan boasts a lighter curb weight, shorter exterior length, and lower body height than its bigger counterpart. The Cayenne provides almost eight extra cubic feet of cargo space compared to the Macan. Both SUVs accommodate up to 5 passengers.

Standard Features

porsche cayenne vs macan comparisonporsche cayenne vs macan comparison
2022 models.

Since the Cayenne is a bigger, more powerful, and costlier alternative to the Macan, it has extra features. Our 2024 Porsche Cayenne vs Macan analysis reveals that both have many similarities regarding standard features. 

Both sport-utility vehicles come equipped with partial leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, four USB-C ports, a 10-speaker audio system, and Bluetooth.

Nevertheless, the Cayenne exceeds expectations with an optional optimized head-up display, higher towing capacity, and optional convenience features like cooled rear seats, seat massage, and a hands-free liftgate. The Cayenne also boasts an exclusive feature: an optional 10.9-inch touchscreen display on the passenger side, granting the front passenger control over various multimedia features.

Interior Updates and Differences

Cayenne Turbo GT front cabin interiorCayenne Turbo GT front cabin interior
2024 Cayenne Turbo GT

For the 2024 Cayenne, Porsche introduces a significantly digitized and driver-focused interior, drawing inspiration from the Porsche Taycan. A key highlight is the curved, free-standing 12.6-inch digital instrument cluster, enhancing the cockpit’s modernity. The interior also features a new Porsche Communication Management system with a 12.3-inch central display, complemented by an optional 10.9-inch passenger display for enriched interaction.

This setup is housed in a redesigned dashboard, emphasizing a blend of digital and analog elements for an intuitive driving experience. The gear selector’s relocation to the dashboard underscores the interior’s refined layout, making way for sophisticated console designs and improved functionality​​​​.

2024 Macan 4 interior front2024 Macan 4 interior front
2024 Macan 4

The Macan’s interior, while maintaining Porsche’s high standards of quality and design, focuses more on sporty dynamics and driver engagement. Both models share a commitment to integrating advanced technology and offering luxurious comfort, but the Cayenne pushes further into digital innovation and passenger interaction, reflecting its status as Porsche’s flagship SUV

Safety Features

Both SUVs boast in-demand standard safety equipment, including a backup camera, front & rear parking aid, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, stability control, and traction control. 

However, the Cayenne comes with additional standard driver assistance features such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-change and lane-keep assist, traffic-sign recognition, and Porsche Side Impact Protection System (POSIP).

Takeaway

Cayenne-vs-Macan-drivingCayenne-vs-Macan-driving
2024 models

If you are an individual/family who needs to commute daily within the city, the new Porsche Macan, with its turbo power delivery and receptive handling, is a superb option in the luxury compact SUV class. However, if you value more capacity for cargo, passengers, and towing, especially for long weekend escapes, the new 2024 Cayenne is hard to beat in the luxury mid-size SUV segment.  

The only thing missing from Porsche’s SUV stable is a full-size, 8-passenger option, but some questions remain before a 3-row Porsche arrives.

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