Jaguar F-Pace vs. Porsche Macan S
by The Car Family
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There are both essentially luxury oriented crossover SUVs with an attitude. Outside of gas mileage, all wheel drive, getting about 20 mpg on premium in mixed driving, and similar sized V6 engines there is little they have in common as small sport utility vehicles. The Macan is quieter, handles better, and its engine sounds more refined when challenged. The F-Pace has a better monitor, more interior room, a better spare tire set-up, and an appearance that is more appealing to some. The Macan is turbocharged and the Jaguar is supercharged
Porsche Macan S
Both vehicles have bigger brothers offering more horsepower, but at considerably more money and both have options that can add tens of thousands to the base price. We recommend the F-Pace Prestige model and the Macan S as best values. However, don’t even think about buying one without doing your homework as the option lists are extensive and expensive. For example, a high end Porsche audio Burmester High-End Surround Sound System costs $5700.
Where Jaguar has an advantage, and a huge one, is in pricing. You can get a base 340 horsepower F- Pace for $45,000 while Porsche only offers a four-cylinder Macan for around that amount. The Jaguar gives your 340 horsepower and the Macan 252. If you decide to get the Macan S, our choice, you get the same 340 horsepower as the F-Pace, but it could cost you around $7000 more. How much you get back of that difference is uncertain, but after three years Porsche indicates 61 percent. Jaguar has not released residual values, but usually 50 percent has been the average.
Jaguar provides a five-year, 60,000 mile warranty and Porsche a four year, 50,000 mile warranty. In either case it is whichever comes first, mileage or months.
The Jaguar interior is more traditional, but has a great monitor and some features that are exceptional such as a backup camera you can keep on even when driving on the road. The GPS is easy to use and, as the Macan, the map can be seen on the instrument panel. Albeit the F-Pace’s version is much larger and easier to read. There are more storage areas in the Jaguar, but the seats don’t hold you as firmly.
Road noise and engine noise on all but the smoothest roads are tiring in the Jaguar. The Macan is very quiet.
Both vehicles are fairly heavy despite Jaguar’s claim of an extensive use of aluminum. The Macan being slightly heaver by about 100 pounds with both tipping the scale just north of two tons. We didn’t test a Jaguar F-Pace diesel, but the starting price on this is listed at $40,000 which makes it for attractive. Another item we noticed is that Porsche dealers are starting to deal on Macans. Jaguar dealers have said, and we are waiting for more details, that there are doing to be some very attractive lease deals probably to make inroads in this lucrative segment.
Acceleration is nearly the same with the supercharged Jaguar engine responded a bit quicker to input, but both can reach 60 mph in a little over five seconds. Be warned that the F-Pace acceleration in Dynamic Mode can be abrupt. The Porsche torque arrives earlier, around 1500 rpm compared to 4500 in the F-Pace. Jaguar uses an eight-speed sequential shifter and Porsche has the tired and proven seven speed PDK double-clutch unit. The F-Pace unit is more gentle when prodded, but the Macan is quicker, if a bit more abrupt. Jaguar continues to use a circular shift selector knob which takes time to master. It also has some small arrow buttons that allow you to pursue Dynamic, normal, or Eco modes. Porsche has a sport mode with an upgrade to sport plus for more thrust. In the real world we found both cars could accelerate instantly when asked, but if you like cornering, the trimmer Macan is easily the better choice.
Bottom line: Porsche has the edge in quality at this point, but Jaguar is improving. Jaguar has the edge in cost, interior room, monitor, and traditional styling appeal. The Macan S has the edge in driving feel, overall performance, and comfort. The Jaguar pricing is going to challenge the four-cylinder Macan for those looking to enter this segment of the market. We highly recommend you drive these cars back-to-back to develop an appreciation for their differences. Our choice is the Macan simply because it more fun to drive. The Macan is easier to park, nifter on its feet, not as large, and more muscular looking. On the other hand, the F-Pace provides a bit more panache and driving appeal for those coming out of American SUVs and is fairly close to the Infiniti QX70. It is more laid-back and relaxed. As close as the Macan and F-Pace are in many regards, one you drive them they are world’s apart. You just have to decide what world that is going to be.