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When Porsche first introduced the Cayenne SUV, sports car purists weren’t happy. Was the legendary automaker abandoning its race-bred roots? At the time, it seemed like it. But over the years, Porsche SUV sales have generated significant profits, helping the company keep building superlative performance cars.

These days, the Porsche Cayenne and Macan are strong sellers, helping grow the brand and putting a little sport in the SUV experience. Let’s take a look at the data.

2024 Porsche Cayenne and 2024 Porsche Macan: year to date sales figures

Sports cars are a lot of fun. There’s the engine note as the rpms climb. Tuned suspension keeps things planted in the corners. And racy bodywork has serious curb appeal. But everyday usability typically takes a back seat.

That’s what gives the Porsche Cayenne (from $79,200) and Porsche Macan (from $60,900) special appeal. With their SUV bodystyles, each can handle grocery runs and family trips with ease. But since they’re made by Porsche, they have performance to spare. While the Cayenne is a midsize design, the Macan is a compact ride.

According to GoodCarBadCar, Porsche sold 21,290 Macans so far in 2023. That’s an increase of 33.45% since last year.

And the Cayenne isn’t far behind, with 14,725 units sold during the same period. But sales have been even since 2022, with an increase of only .98%.

It’s common knowledge SUVs drive profits for car companies. And looking at these figures, it’s easy to see why both vehicles are vital to the company. Not only do the Cayenne and Macan contribute to Porsche’s financial well-being, but they also attract more customers to the brand.

Porsche’s line of sports cars set the standard for performance, but they’re not for everyone. Besides their substantial cost, they offer limited use in everyday scenarios. Sure, you can daily drive a 911, but would you want to? If it were us, we’d keep ours in a garage, taking it out for mountain drives and track events.

The sales figures demonstrate sports cars occupy a niche market. This year, 8,694 Porsche 911s (+17.19% YTD) found new buyers, while 3,100 Porsche 718s drove off the lot (+27.28% YTD). While those are solid numbers, they’re far behind mainstream vehicles.

So it appears Porsche found an ideal formula to keep profits high with SUVs, which enables them to continue manufacturing world-class sports cars. Looking at the latest 911 GT3 RS, their strategy seems to be working.

What makes these Porsche SUVs so popular?


5 Great Porsche Macan Alternatives for About $60,000

Standard SUVs can be a little boring. Whether the boxy styling or ponderous handling, driving a sport utility vehicle isn’t always entertaining. Porsche SUVs change that. From sculpted fenders to high-revving powerplants, the Cayenne and Macan make every ride more fun.

The midsize Cayenne offers sports sedan handling, seating for five, and all-wheel drive traction. Powerplants include a 348 hp turbo 3.0-liter V6, a 463 hp PHEV, and a roaring 468 hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. Every trim comes with adaptive dampers, for optimized handling in any conditions. And with sporty bodywork—like a large mesh grille, LED headlights, and Porsche crests/logos—the Cayenne adds a helping of style to the modern SUV.

So, for the driver who wants a 911 but needs an SUV, the Cayenne makes a lot of sense. It has first-rate dynamics and plenty of utility, combining performance and usability like little else. No wonder it sells so well.

Compared to the Cayenne, the Macan has a more taut, muscular appearance. A lower roofline and focused-looking fascia add even more sports car personality. And at almost $20,000 less, the compact SUV lets more buyers get behind the wheel.

Engine options include a 261 hp turbo 2.0-liter four and a 375 hp twin-turbo V-6. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and AWD bring quick shifts and off-the-line grip. Car and Driver lauded the Macan’s handling, from its comfortable ride to its cornering ability.

Considering the Macan’s more approachable price and sporty demeanor, it makes sense it outsells the Cayenne. Those living in cities may like it even more, with its agile moves and curb appeal.

The Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Macan are off to a strong start in 2023. The SUVs’ strong sales drive popularity and profits for the German brand, so it can keep doing what it does best: build performance cars like the 911.

While the Cayenne has more cargo space and horsepower, the Macan has athletic moves and low-slung style. Both give driving enthusiasts a combination of function and fun.