I drove an $82,000 Porsche Macan S to see if this bestselling, sporty crossover is worth the steep price — here’s the verdict

The Macan is Porsche's "entry level" SUV, slotted a notch below the Cayenne in the lineup. It hit the streets in 2014, following the wildly successful launch of the Cayenne more than a decade earlier. The Macan (it means "tiger" in the language of Indonesia) has become Porsche's bestselling vehicle, moving more almost 21,500 units in 2018.

I personally have never been a Macan fan, although I think its big brother, the Cayenne, is perhaps the finest SUV ever created by human hands. It's tough to follow a revelation — that's what the Cayenne was, a staggering achievement from the company that has been known almost exclusively for the iconic two-door 911 sports car.

We've driven several Macans here at BI and have generally leaned toward the Macan S as offering the best combination of price and performance. The base Macan, stickering at a little over $50,000 with a four-cylinder engine, isn't enough Porsche for us, while the more savage high-performance crossovers, such as the raucous GTS, put far too deep a dent in the wallet (and aren't that much fun to drive at everyday speeds).

The Macan S, with a $58,600 base price and a 3.0-liter turbocharged six making 348 horsepower with 354 pound-feet of torque, looks good on paper. The 5-second 0-60 time is nothing to scoff at. But, um, unfortunately the as-tested $82,000 price tag is. Our Macan enjoyed over $22,000 in options.

If you have the case, they are of course worth it. The 20-inch gloss-black wheels were $3,000 — and gorgeous. The black-and-garnet-red leather interior was $4,000 — and gorgeous. The "Chalk" exterior paint job was another $3,000 — and hypnotically gorgeous.

So you get what you pay for with the Macan. But all the expensive goodies don't significantly upgrade the performance.

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