What Is a Poor Man’s Porsche?

When you think of Porsche, you likely think of high-profile, high-performance, luxury rides, and cars revolutionary in design and exhilarating. However, these cars come with lofty price tags. It’s not like you can buy a “cheap” Porsche.

So, what does it mean when people say a car is a poor man’s Porsche? And does the trope only apply to non-Porsche brands that offer slightly lower price points? Some sources say the poor man’s Porsche may be 4as impressive as an actual Porsche. And we explored further to find out more.

Porsche has a distinct persona of high-performance luxury

White Porsche dealership with Porsche written in red on the outside with grass and shrubbery.
Porsche dealership | Getty Images

The Porsche badge represents high-performance vehicles with top-notch luxury. The German manufacturer has been well-known for some of the industry’s most iconic sportscar designs. However, with outstanding performance comes even greater costs to purchase.

Just scrolling through the Porsche website, you’ll see immediately that Porsche-level performance comes at a price. You can buy the Porsche 911 with a starting MSRP of $101,200. The popular Porsche Taycan has an MSRP of $82,700. You can’t buy a new Porsche Panamera for less than $88,400. Those stickers rival the listing prices of small American homes! Additionally, those costs represent basic models. Tack on extras and custom features, and your Porsche will be even more expensive.

What does it mean to own a ‘poor man’s Porsche?’

Torque News talks about the poor man’s Porsche. You might have read or heard some older generations say “poor man’s Porsche” before. Typically, they would refer to any vehicle that demonstrated quality and performance without the Porsche-level pricing. 

Examples of those old-school vehicles in the poor man’s Porsche category might include the lightweight Subaru BRZ or the zippy Mazda Miata. These rides were considered equally fun to drive as the Porsche options but only cost a fraction of the price to own.

However, don’t presume that Porsche doesn’t want in on the poor man’s Porsche phenomenon. There have been several affordable models that many say qualify in the cheap category over the years. Cars like the Porsche Boxster from 1996 only cost about $40,000, and the Porsche Cayenne from 2003 could be purchased for less than $56,000.

Meet the Porsche Macan, the brand’s lowest-priced model

If you want to own a poor man’s Porsche without losing the Porsche badge, you should see the Porsche Macan. It’s what you’d expect from the German automaker, harnessed with raw power, sleek design, and high-quality materials. You can buy one today for $52,100, making it the brand’s cheapest model.

There are three trim levels, including the Porsche Macan, the Macan S, or the Macan GTS. However, you’ll have to spend closer to $72,000 for that higher-tiered level. If you want the base model, poor man’s Porsche of today, you won’t be disappointed. Each 2021 Porsche Macan comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine capable of harnessing 248 horses and providing 173 lb-ft of torque. 

Additionally, the base model Porsche Macan comes with leather and faux suede interiors, a 10.9-inch infotainment screen, a ten-speaker audio system, and 18-inch wheels. It will look and feel like the luxury Porsche experience you expect. According to Edmunds, there’s plenty of driver safety tech as standard, including front and rear parking sensors and lane-departure warnings.

When you think of a poor man’s Porsche, you might assume the vehicle has to bear another badge. But the Porsche Macan proves the automaker wants in on the “affordable” action and can produce its own poor man’s Porsche. It makes sense that Porsche builds the best poor man’s Porsche you can buy.

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