Porsche isn’t known for creating classically luxurious car interiors. Though well crafted, they’re typically rather plain, devoid of the pomp and sparkle we see in Mercedes-Benz interiors, for instance. This is by-design, as Porsche has a history of non-nonsense sports cars with which to tie even daily driver-type vehicles like the 2020 Porsche Macan.
That said, daily drivers like the Macan are more likely to be reasonably cross-shopped, as there are numerous competitors from Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Jaguar and others that do provide more of a classic luxurious experience. And while the Macan Turbo pictured here is about as good as it gets from a driving perspective, you also don’t lose much of any performance opting for the spicy variants of the competition. Therefore, things like the interior start to matter more than they did and still do in Porsche’s sports cars.
Just as we’d expect from Porsche, the interior ergonomics and driving position are second to none. You sit reasonably low yet forward visibility is superb. The sloping roofline really cuts into rearward visibility; a compromise, an exterior design compromise. You can drop the perfect (optional GT Sport) steering wheel right into your lap, and it never obscures the gauges. Seriously, there is no better steering wheel on any other car in this class. It’s the perfect amount of thickness, is quite small in diameter and has clicky metal paddle shifters mounted on the back.
Those gauges might be old style Porsche at this point — newer models have multiple digital screens — but that doesn’t make them bad whatsoever. The lightning-quick tachometer is mounted in the center where it should be, and the easy-to-read digital speedometer is nestled within it. They don’t take up much space, and they make keeping track of your vitals a no-nonsense task.
That center stack, though … yes, it looks old now. Porsche has transitioned from this massive, intimidating array of physical buttons into a sheet of glossy black touch capacitive ones. The new setup looks more polished, but don’t write off the Macan for not keeping with the times. Real, clickable buttons are a dying breed, and while it may take you a month to memorize where all of them are, once that happens, they’re far easier to use than the touch capacitive ones while driving. Sunlight never renders them impossible to see or read either. At the same time, cars like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3 have much more elegant solutions than this black plastic mess. The Macan feels premium, but it sure doesn’t feel luxurious.
As for the interior trim and decor, it’s customizable to your heart’s content. Our Macan Turbo didn’t have any extras in that department, and it had the standard level of leather in two-tone beige and black for $220 extra. That left us with aluminum trim on the dash and doors and squishy-feeling plastic where the leather ended. It all feels fine to the touch, but it’s decidedly plain to look at. The design is straight edges everywhere, lacking tremendously in the flair department. I’d go so far as to say it looks boring. As Porsche interiors tend to do, though, this one will likely age well.
The Macan is a small car, but it’s still relatively sparse when it comes to storage space. You get two small-ish cupholders, and the tiny center storage compartment for front passengers. There is a small slot to stick your phone in there so it doesn’t slide around, but the space still isn’t all that useful for storage. Both of the front USB ports are hidden in there, and they’re both USB Type-C outlets. The backseat is also pretty tight for larger adults, but only the taller folks will be complaining. Porsche could use a wider entry-exit point for the rear seats, because it’s a worse squeeze getting in there than it is once you’re situated. Anybody sitting in the middle will be met with a very tall central tunnel, too.
When it comes to tech, the Macan is surprisingly able. Porsche managed to cram in its latest infotainment system on the 10.9-inch widescreen found in front of the shifter. It’ll run Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto (shame!). The system is snappy, appears modern and focuses on making the essentials easy to deal with. It doesn’t have fancy revitalization programs or disco ball effects programmed in, but none of those competitor extras were missed during our time behind the wheel. Watch out for a full Porsche infotainment system breakdown coming soon.
The Macan pictured here is the Turbo, and it costs $94,000. The luxury-per-dollar price doesn’t exactly add up when one can hop in a 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S for about the same price. That Mercedes is tons more intriguing and luxurious than the Porsche inside, a result of the hugely different brand personalities and priorities. For a basic interior that is driver-focused, clean and classy, the Porsche excels. If the Porsche crest isn’t enough for you, the still-quick, gaudy, high-tech competitors await.