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Porsche Macan vs Cayenne – Which is Better?

Porsche is renowned across the globe for its high performing and eye-catching cars. But how do you compare two models from the famous German manufacturer? The Macan and Cayenne are both highly sought-after SUVs. But despite both being made by Porsche, there’s plenty that sets these two cars apart…

Agile vs muscular – is it all about the looks?

Design-wise, the Porsche Macan is a mid-size, sporty, premium SUV. However, while an SUV makes a great family car, several features make the Macan equally suitable for the racetrack, attaining 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds at the top of the range. The Porsche Macan Turbo reaches 400 hp with its 3.6 litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a top speed of 165mph.

Safety ratings

That’s not to say it’s lacking in safety or reliability for all the family. Like the Cayenne, its credentials include a 5-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating. A multi-collision braking system holds the brakes to prevent the car from shunting forwards, among an array of other safety features.

Interior design

The Porsche Cayenne is not the prettiest on the outside, and there are plenty of drivers who’ll say it feels big on the road. But the interior is streamlined and highly suited to the tech-oriented driver, with its large HD screen, sharp visuals and touch-sensitive switchgear.

That’s combined with plenty of space, bolstering the Cayenne’s reputation as one of the most practically proficient Porsche models available. Front seats can be tailored to almost any position, with reclining rear seats for added passenger comfort. The bench of back seats can be adjusted, sliding back or forwards depending on whether you need more legroom or extra boot space. For the latter, the Cayenne offers a sizeable option compared to other SUVs, with at least 741 litres of space depending on the specific model. 

The Macan also benefits from multi-function touchscreen, but the design of the dash is simpler, and overall it’s a more compact car. Given that compact nature, it’s understandable that the boot space is a slightly less impressive 500 litres. However, with rear seats folding flat, the maximum load increases to 1,500 litres – so you won’t be short on space if you need to move a few larger items.

Performance and practicality

In terms of performance, the Macan does have this agility that the Cayenne is perhaps lacking in. It also has extensive optional extras. Macans are fitted with the Porsche PDK twin-clutch automatic gearbox, a coasting function and are flexible on drive modes – you can alter engine responsiveness, for example.

If you’re going off-road, there’s the option of a torque-vectoring system. Having said that, choosing too many add-ons if you are buying a Macan (or a Cayenne for that matter) is going to ratchet up the costs.

From a practical viewpoint, the Cayenne has rear-parking sensors as standard – which are certainly needed, given the size. In both cases, for comfort, the advice is that you go for air suspension. But if that’s a given, both are great for longer journeys. 

Weighing up the green credentials…

In 2018 Porsche called a halt to worldwide diesel engine sales. A used Macan diesel should run at around 45mpg and something like a 3.0 litre V6 diesel will definitely cut costs – but then the emissions are relatively high. 

Fuel efficiency

The Macan range starts with a 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine. For fuel economy, the standard petrol model is best, and although there is no Macan hybrid option, it is slightly more fuel efficient than the Cayenne. 


It has to be said that the Cayenne is high in emissions on all models apart from the E-Hybrids, which of course are part electric. So, if going green is your concern and you prefer the Cayenne, an E-Hybrid is the natural choice. 

BIK rates

The BIK rate for both the Cayenne (say, the petrol 3.6 Tiptronic S model) and the Macan (for example, the petrol S 3.0 PDK model) comes in at a consistent 37% in both cases, so that shouldn’t affect your decision.

For the lease car driver?

Both the Cayenne and the Macan are by all accounts reliable. According to What Car’s reliability surveys from 2010-2017, the Cayenne is both solidly built and dependable. Similarly, the Macan was placed third best in its class in the most recent survey.

For leasing, the Macan is a smaller car than the Cayenne – potentially a lot easier to park. But since it’s still spacious enough for five people and a whole load of luggage, it could be just the ticket.

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