Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Is Slower, Uglier, and a Better Sports Car Than the 2021 Porsche Macan

Comparing vehicles is tough. They are often too close to really matter that much like the Kia Sorento and the Kia Telluride. However, sometimes they are so different that the comparison is silly, like a Ferrari 458 and a Toyota Camry. But some models that seem very different aren’t as different as you might think. Even more, they could save you some wasted money if only some brave journalist would compare the two—exhibit A; The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, and the 2021 Porsche Macan. 

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek and 2021 Porsche Macan are both good

Consumer Reports rated both models, and although they were fairly close, there was a clear winner. The Porsche Macan scored 76/100. That is pretty good, especially for a luxury/sports brand like Porsche. However, the Subaru Crosstrek breezed right by with an 84/100. 

A green 2020 Porsche Macan on display
The 2020 Porsche Macan on display | Photo via Porsche

These are two pretty different cars, technically, but I would argue they are quite similar as far as intent goes. 

What are these two SUVs for?

Simply put, they’re sports cars. They may not be sports cars in the way we usually use the word, but they are, in fact, sports cars. The crossover SUV craze has all but replaced the sedan. These vehicles are basically trying to be sedans but with a taller stance and more roof for the family, hence the crossover segment’s success. Ok. Now that we know why they are being compared let’s compare. 

A mustard yellow 2021 Subaru Crosstrek with a bike attached to its roof rack driving down a dirt roat
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek showing off its capability | Photo via Subaru

RELATED: Subaru Fixed the Crosstrek’s Only Problem

Is the Subaru Crosstrek a good car?

The Crosstrek is one of the finest examples of a crossover there is. It isn’t a big blundering thing that pretends to mix SUV and car. The Crosstrek literally is a slightly bigger car that has a tall suspension and AWD. It is the perfect crossover. Its sporty size, AWD transmission, and starting price of $22,245 make it the perfect adventure mobile

Subaru fitted the Sport model a larger 2.5-liter flat-four for a little added power to help with highway speeds and quicker passing. This motor upgrade is still far from fast. While Subaru took away the Manual transmission for 2.5-liter Sport, it has allowed fans to have it in the less powerful 2.0-liter. Again, this is a slow vehicle, but speed isn’t what makes it a sports car, doing sport driving is. 

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport | Subaru

Subaru is known for its famous AWD systems, and the Crosstrek makes good on its fame. This is a capable and strong off-roader. I doubt you’ll be doing much rock crawling, but a dirt road turns into a scrambling, dusty rally track. Unlike most crossover SUVs, the Crosstrek is pulling 29 mpg, which is super impressive for an AWD vehicle, much less one with this much room. 

Is the Porsche Macan a good car?

Sure. The Sporty SUV has proven to fill a desire in the car market. It turns out people really want the comforts and size of an SUV while still telling people they drive a Porsche. Ok. OK. I can be a bit harsh toward Porsche folks, but the truth is, the Macan is good, just not as good as the Crosstrek. 

RELATED: The 2021 Kia Sportage Just Killed the 2021 Porsche Macan On Consumer Reports

First of all, the Porsche is literally double the price, and for what? A Porsche badge and some horsepower? Yes, the Porsche Macan is nearly infinitely faster than the Crosstrek, maxing out at 345 hp compared to the Subie’s max of 182 hp. The Macan hits 60 mph in 6.4 seconds if properly equipped. The Crosstrek does it in about 10 minutes or so (10.2 seconds). 

It is also worth noting that the interior of the Porshe is very nice. High-quality leather and fine stitching cover the cabin beautifully as it should for nearly $60k. It also looks great. The Subaru is not going to be winning any beauty pageants. So it’s nice and fairly fast, but is it a better sports car? I don’t think so. 

How will you use these two cars? 

Let’s be honest; most people will not use the Macan like a sports car. They will drive it to the store, pick kids up from school, and make some road trips. These are not sports car activities. However, the slower, less fancy Crosstrek will most likely be driven hard. 

Buying a Crosstrek most likely means you will use the AWD in the snow, mud, dirt, gravel, or otherwise to get to some hard to reach location to do some sporty or adventurous activity. Crosstrek owners are more likely to use their car for a specific driving task that not all cars can do. This is the key. The Porsche is great, but it is not nearly the sports car the Subaru Crosstrek is.