Porsche Cayenne GTS & Porsche Macan GTS

2016 Cayenne GTS vs. 2016 Macan GTS

"Older and younger siblings versus each other; which one will we pick?" said Issam.

"Porsche was known to build high-performance and high-end sports cars. In the present era, Porsche has made a glorious status in the automotive industry by building high-performance and high-end SUVs as well!"

"Those GTS's are driver-focused SUVs."

"The Macan GTS is a blend of an extremely fast SUV and a very compliant sports car."

"The GTS might be considered as the sweet spot in the Cayenne portfolio."

It's been quite a long time since we did a head-to-head feature. Last time we did it with BMW M Powers. It was the first generation BMW M3 E30 versus the BMW M3 E92. This time we picked up two siblings from the Porsche official dealership in Lebanon: Cayenne GTS and Macan GTS. Which one will we pick for our daily drive?

Porsche Cayenne GTS
If we go back to the old days (around the 80's), people used to say, "Why doesn't Porsche produce an SUV capable of being driven on a circuit?" But at that time they would have called you a fantasist! All these years later, the Cayenne has become a breath of air for the whole company. How is that? Well, because the Cayenne is Porsche's best selling model ever. Buyers loved it. Porsche sold as many Cayennes as any other Porsche model by quite a large margin. And the Cayenne GTS, which we tested, is the top of the line, with a muscular body, lowered ride height and the essence of a sports car.

The Cayenne's sales triumph allowed Porsche to build the ultimate Cayenne GTS. The GTS differs from its Turbo counterparts, with a 20 mm drop in suspension for better handling; a great looking stance with 20-inch alloy wheels. You can surely raise the suspension for off-road travel. The Porsche Cayenne GTS, regardless of its price tag, will divide many consumers into two groups: the ones who love it and the ones who hate it. That's why we acquired, along with the Cayenne GTS, its younger sibling - the Macan GTS.

Just imagine accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in five seconds in the Cayenne! But, keep in mind that with great power, comes the need for unlimited safety. The 2016 Porsche Cayenne GTS is equipped with safety features like the Porsche Traction Management, Automatic Brake Differential, Anti-Slip Regulation, Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Stability Management, ABS, Trailer Stability Management, Brake-Pad Wear Monitoring, electric parking brake, Porsche Hill Control, front seat-mounted airbags, side-curtain airbags, Roll-Over Sensor, LATCH System, alarm system with Ultrasonic Interior Surveillance, engine immobilizer, and rear side airbags.

How does it drive on the Lebanese roads? The Cayenne GTS has a stiff suspension; almost all the deficiencies on the road are felt into the cockpit. There is slight body roll when cornering due to the stiff suspension, but with the help of the PDCC - Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, the tires stick to the asphalt road like a magnet and provided us satisfactory confidence. The passenger sitting on your right may not feel comfortable when you are driving on a bumpy road at high speed!

Porsche Macan GTS
Positioned between the Macan S and the top-tier Turbo, the GTS does more than just bridge the gap. When Porsche presented the tenth member of the GTS family, the Macan GTS, Porsche claimed that this is the sportiest Macan version. Like its siblings, it offers superior driving dynamics combined with gorgeous GTS design cues. The Macan GTS sits 15 mm closer to the ground than the Macan S and the adaptive damper control of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) - a standard feature here - has an even sportier setting. The Macan GTS moves through all four wheels with a 3.0 liter V6 engine armed with two turbochargers and delivers 360 horsepower on the crank (40 horsepower less than the Turbo).

The stylistic changes are familiar to those who have seen a Porsche GTS model: blacked-out badging and trim for the windows and lower fascias, as well as black wheels (20-inches). The door embellishments are matte black and have glossy GTS logos, and LED headlamps are among the options.
How does it drive on our famous Lebanese roads?

When we got to the twisty open roads of Batroun highway that takes us up to Tannourine, we engaged Sport+ and let the Macan GTS truly bloom. I have to admit that the Macan GTS lives for those corners. For such an SUV, it takes a special person to exploit that on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, there's certainly no valid reason to mention that the Macan GTS is an SUV; it felt as remarkably dynamic as a Cayman! Comfort is the default setting for the GTS suspension and it softens the dampers to the point that it cannot be compared to the stiffness of its older sibling the Cayenne GTS. Body roll is almost nonexistent in the Macan. It felt like the car was one piece.

Verdict
After a long day on board both SUVs from Porsche, it is quite impressive that SUVs are made to handle incredible horsepower and handling efforts and still provide us comfortable driving dynamics. It's evident that racing technology and experience truly does ooze down from the circuit onto the street. We give Porsche credit for that creation! Cayenne would ultimately fit your family, with more storage and mature, stunning looks. Macan, on the other hand, is the real hardcore SUV that would definitely give you the pleasure of a Cayman. What's our pick? Well my friend Adon picked the Macan GTS and I have chosen the Cayenne GTS. The difference is quite slight between the two siblings. It is a matter of taste and priorities.

Porsche Cayenne GTS Specs
3.6 L twin turbocharged V6, 440 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 600 Nm @ 1,600 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode, AWD
0-100 km/h: 5.1 secs, top speed: 262 km/h, fuel consumption: 12.6 - 11.5 L/100 km
Weight: 2,110 kg
Pros: Lots of variant/trims to choose from in the Cayenne model, imposing looks, magnificent interior, lovely exhaust sound, huge price difference between the entry-level Cayenne and the top one
Cons: No heads up display (HUD), price tag becomes expensive when adding options, shaking cabin on high-speed due to stiff suspension, no keyless entry start/stop
Rivals: BMW X5, BMW X6, Maserati Levante, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, Infiniti QX70, Range Rover Sport, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
One word: domestic
4 stars

Porsche Macan GTS Specs
3.0 L V6 biturbo, 360 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 500 Nm @ 1,650 - 4,000 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch transmission, AWD
0-100 km/h: 5.0 secs, top speed: 256 km/h, fuel consumption: 10.2 - 9.2 L/100 km
Weight: 1,895 kg
Pros: Cornering skills, superb driving dynamics versus the Cayenne, perfect driving position
Cons: Small infotainment screen, not a remarkable exterior versus the Cayenne, tight rear legroom, expensive when adding options to it
Rivals: Jaguar F-Pace, BMW X3, BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Cadillac XT5, Audi Q5, Lexus RX
One word: nippy   
4.5 stars

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