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Life comes at you fast. Blink and you’ve got a mortgage, 23 kids, ten dogs, and no free time. For most consumers, that’s where the crossover comes in. Big enough to haul all the kids and dogs with ground clearance to spare, they do make sense to some. However, most enthusiasts will tell prospective buyers to go buy an older fast station wagon instead; and do so with torches and pitchforks raised. That said, those same enthusiasts will lower their torches when you tell them you’ve bought a Porsche Macan GTS. As they should.

Is the Porsche Macan a better value?

A baby blue Porsche Macan in a stained glass photobooth at it's release in Seoul.
The new Porsche Macan | Seong Joon Cho via Getty Images

Porsche’s Macan appears on the surface to be nothing more than something crafted by the bean-counters at the Zuffenhausen-based company. Designed to fit into the small SUV-shaped hole in Porsche’s lineup, it’s an easy vehicle to overlook. Need an SUV? Get a Cayenne. Wagon? A Porsche Panamera. But the Macan fits nicely in between, a car for those looking for a little more height without losing the sporty feel of a fast station wagon.

In keeping with the enthusiast-driven logic, the Macan GTS, which sits above the base Macan and Macan S, is the one to have. The GTS is near the top of the line, offering 360 hp and the best options. Only the Turbo S trim sits above it. Some of these options include adaptive dampers and a gruff-sounding valved exhaust. Just like the SUV itself, good on paper. But is it better than a wagon at the same price point?

A used 2017 Macan GTS like the one I was lucky enough to drive retails for around $50,000-$65,000. As far as newer station wagons go, there aren’t many performance wagons available at this price point. Porsche’s wagon competitor, the Panamera 4, will run you another $10,000 or so. Volvo’s V60 Polestar of similar vintage comes closest in price but lacks the fit and finish of the Macan. As far as used, small, fast luxury SUVs go, the Macan is king.

The Macan GTS is the GT-best

A shadowy photograph of the nose of the Porsche Macan , highlighting the body lines of the car.
The Porsche Macan, shown in S trim | Patrick T. Fallon via Getty Images

In addition to its twin-turbo V6, the Macan GTS touts all-wheel drive and Porsche’s fantastic 7-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, known alternatively as the PDK. Driving the GTS, the first thing you notice is the valved exhaust. Forgive the cliche, but the Macan GTS really does roar to life. Cold starts sound amazing, and the fantastic interior only adds to the initial impression the SUV gives off. Head-to-toe leather and carbon fiber make the 2017 Macan GTS feel like a 2021 model. The plethora of buttons on the center console is a little overwhelming at first, but the layout is familiar, and controls are easy to use.

Driving the Macan GTS proves that Porsche it’s head in the right place. The brakes inspire confidence despite the SUV’s portly 4,178-lb curb weight. Speaking of controlling that weight, Porsche nailed the suspension settings for the Macan, though Sport Plus mode is a bit bouncy. Comfort and Sport suspension settings are best, and body roll is minimal for an SUV of this size, especially given the Macan’s weight.

The twin-turbo V6’s power is so linear I had to check and make sure it did have turbos, and speed builds quickly enough to get you in trouble if you’re not careful. Thankfully, the Macan lets you know just how fast you’re going thanks to that fantastic exhaust, so it’s easier to be a nuisance to the neighbors than get a ticket. With that in mind, the Macan’s motor sits in the just-under-400hp sweet spot. Goldilocks, not too little, not too much. If so inclined, the Porsche does reward hooligan-like behavior. The combination of the above factors inspires confidence and lets you have fun.

The 2017 Porsche Macan GTS is a steal

The black, leather-wrapped wheel of a Porsche Macan photographed from the exterior looking in.
The interior of the Porsche Macan | Simon Song via Getty Images

The Porsche Macan GTS is shockingly competent. It eschews every stereotype surrounding the fast SUV, like lazy handling and poor ride. Interior quality is fantastic, controls are easy to learn and find, and it has driving fun in spades. From the outside looking in, the general public has no idea it will hit 60mph as fast as a stick-shift Carerra of the same year. That very same 2017 Carerra will also run you another $20-$30,000 over the 2017 Macan’s price of around $60,000.

As an enthusiast alternative to the ever-popular hot hatch or wagon (looking at you, Golf R) the Porsche Macan GTS is hard to beat. Not only is it hard to beat as a driver’s car, but the depreciation curve has also caught up to the Macan, keeping its pricing competitive with rivals new and old.