The 2021 Porsche Macan Turbo is the single best driving crossover on the planet. That’s not hyperbole, it’s truth. Despite a higher center of gravity and heftier curb weight than the Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman the compact luxury SUV is almost as enthralling. While the Turbo model shares a lot with the Porsche Macans we review separately, it packs the lines highest price tag and mightiest engine, a 434-hp twin-turbo V-6 that’s audibly rousing and brutally quick. It teams with a zealous dual-clutch automatic transmission and a tenacious all-wheel-drive system. Armed with these compelling attributes, the Porsche’s supernatural chassis tuning gives the driver an immersive experience that transcends the limitations of the SUV species. Consider also that it can carry more people and stuff than any sports car. Which is why we think the 2021 Macan Turbo is practically perfect—and vice versa.
What’s New for 2021?
For 2021, the only notable update to the Macan Turbo is the addition of Apple CarPlay, which was previously absent. Otherwise, everything carries over unchanged except for the base price, which rises by $1000.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While the Macan Turbo doesn’t have different trim levels, it does have a lengthy list of options. Porsche is known for its à la carte approach to personalization, and its compact crossover can be had with myriad wheel designs and even custom paint colors. Likewise, its cabin can be customized with unique trim combinations. Since appearance enhancements are subjective, we’d simply suggest adding equipment that makes the Macan Turbo better to ride in and drive. That includes the more-adjustable and well-bolstered Adaptive Sport Seats Plus; the Premium Package Plus (heated and ventilated front seats, upgraded LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, and more); the adaptive air suspension for adjustable ride quality; the sport exhaust system for a rowdier soundtrack; and the Sport Chrono package for its sportier drive modes.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Bolted between the Macan Turbo’s front fenders is a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 that develops 434 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. It hooks up to a seven-speed automatic transmission that sends power to standard all-wheel drive. While we haven’t driven the new Turbo, Porsche claims it’ll be quicker than the outgoing model and will have a slightly higher top speed of 167 mph. Additionally, it’ll feature a standard sport-exhaust system for a burlier sound as well as surface-coated brakes that reduce brake dust and should provide a sharper pedal response. Likewise, every Macan Turbo gets adaptive dampers and 20-inch wheels; an air suspension and carbon-ceramic brakes are both optional. The last Macan Turbo we tested had a supple ride that was well controlled in Comfort mode and firm in Sport mode. Every model we’ve driven handled exceptionally well, with little body roll and tons of grip. In fact, most of the vehicles in this class have cornering grip that would have done the best sports sedans proud not that many years ago. The Turbo’s steering isn’t quite as communicative as in Porsche’s sports cars, which is about as good as steering gets, but it’s surprisingly close—and transcendent compared with most other crossovers’.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the 2021 Macan Turbo will earn 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Compare that with the BMW X3 M40i that’s rated at 21 mpg city and 27 highway as well as the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 that’s rated at 18 mpg city and 24 highway. We haven’t run the Macan Turbo on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, so we can’t evaluate its real-world mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Macan Turbo’s cabin is noticeably tighter inside than every single competitor. The charitable way of looking at this is that it provides a cockpit like feel up front thanks to its wide, angled center console and well-bolstered sport seats, but there’s no good light that can be shed on the cramped back seat. With its sharply sloped rear window and shallow cargo hold, the Macan Turbo unsurprisingly takes up the rear of this pack in cargo volume. What space is back there behind the second row of seats is surprisingly useful, however, swallowing six carry-on bags behind the rear seat. But folding the Porsche’s second row reveals markedly less stowage area for carry-ons (16 total) than in key competitors—an issue that overlaps with its tight back seat.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Macan Turbo boasts a 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. Likewise, the system features a standard 14-speaker, 665-watt Bose audio system. Desirable infotainment options include a wireless-charging pad within the designated smartphone compartment.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2021 Macan Turbo hasn’t been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, the Porsche is available with a host of driver-assistance technologies. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
There’s nothing turbocharged about the Macan Turbo’s warranty, which boasts class-standard limited and powertrain coverage.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles
More Features and Specs