There are several high-performance, five-door, five-passenger luxury crossovers you can buy. The Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan both fit that mold.
Like the BMW X3, the Porsche Macan is based on the Audi Q5 platform. From these underpinnings, Porsche suspension, coachwork, and drivetrain are added.
The Q5 uses Audi’s highly proven Quattro AWD system to give you better control of your SUV in dry, wet, and snowy weather. The Macan also benefits from all-wheel drive and uses Porsches Active all-wheel drive and the Porsche Traction Management system (PTM).
The base Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan power come from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. However, the Macan has more power from the start than the Q5, and Porsche offers it in trims that show off its sports car heritage.
Audi Q5 models, powertrains, and performance
There are four trim levels for the Audi Q5. They include the base Q5, the Q5 Sportback, the Audi SQ5, and the SQ5 Sportback. Their engines range from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower to a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 349 horsepower.
The less powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine can propel the Q5 from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds. Fuel mileage, powered by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the Audi Q5, will return 23 City/28 highway/and 25 combined miles per gallon.
The same 2.0-liter four-cylinder that powers the Audi Q5 Sportback also powers the base Q5. However, the engineers at Audi have tuned it to produce 261 horsepower.
The result of the added horsepower gives the Q5 Sportback the power to take it from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds, which is over a second faster than the base Q5.
When outfitted with the more powerful 349 horsepower, turbocharged V6, the SQ5 can make the run in 4.7 seconds. The estimated fuel mileage of the SQ5 and SQ5 Sportback is 19 city/24 highway/and 21 combined miles per gallon.
Every model of the Audi Q5 and SQ5 uses an eight-speed automatic transmission that drives all four wheels with Audi’s Quattro® all-wheel drive system. Audi has refined this system over the years and is one of the most adept all-wheel drive systems on the market.
Porsche Macan models, powertrains, and performance
The Porsche Macan looks like a scaled-down Cayenne and has the same DNA. However, the sports car heritage acquired from Porsche gives the Macan better performance and agility than many of the SUVs in this class.
Similar to the Audi Q5, the Porsche Macan has four trim levels. However, it only has one body style. Porsche doesn’t need to add a Sportback model to the Macan lineup because it already has a rear hatch that has a more sloped appearance than other SUVs, including the Cayenne.
The base model Porsche Macan is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 261 horsepower. This trim level has a zero to 60 miles per hour time of 6.0 seconds. Not really swift, but it’s a better time than the Audi Q50. On this trim, the estimated fuel mileage is 19 city/25 combined miles per gallon.
The next level is the Macan T, which uses the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder but has the Sport Chrono Package. The package addition shaves the zero to 60 seconds for this Macan model to 5.8 seconds. That two-tenths of a second adds about $5000 to the cost between the Macan and the Macan T.
Next in this fantastic lineup of luxury sports crossovers is the Porsche Macan S. It gets its power from a 2.9-liter V6 that produces 375 horsepower and can make it from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds.
However, the hottest SUV in this lineup, and the Audi Q5s, is the Porsche Macan GTS. When dropped into the Macan GTS, the 2.9-liter V6 from the Macan S gets tuned to produce 434 horsepower. As a result, zero to 60 times the Macan GTS is 4.3 seconds. Add the Sport Chrono Package, and that number drops to 4.1 seconds.
Related: Porsche Macan vs Cayenne
How is the Audi Q5 different from the Porsche Macan?
The Audi Q5 and the Porsche Macan have more commonalities than being built on the same subframe. They are both German crossovers, smaller representations of the Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne.
The more diminutive Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan haven’t lost the style of the larger versions. The Q5 has almost identical cargo space to the Porsche Macan but doesn’t have as powerful engines.
The most significant difference, however, between the Audi and the Porsche is their price. The top-of-the-line Audi SQ5 Sportback has a lower price than the entry-level Porsche Macan. That’s quite a difference, and if you vie for the less expensive Audi SQ5 Sportback, you will have more power than the base price Macan, at about the same price.
History of the Audi Q5
One of Audi’s beauties is that even though they keep up with technology, the coachwork doesn’t get rehashed yearly. They may get a sprucing up, but the base vehicle is the same.
Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, and other marques have successfully used this model. The Audi Q5 is an example of this philosophy.
Introduced to the world’s markets in 2008, Audi introduced the second generation of the Q5 in 2018. There have been a few changes from the original concept. However, the Q5 had a clean, modern style from the outset.
The most current facelift for the Audi Q5 happened in 2021 and is the face it wears today. The newer versions have more sharp angles that set off the lines of the Audi Q5.
In 2021, the Audi Q5 Sportback will be added to the Q5 lineup. It has the same underpinnings as the Q5 but has a slant back rear hatch that gives it a sportier look than the Q5 and SQ5.
History of the Porsche Macan
The Macan is the least expensive way to get a Porsche. As its lowest price model, it exudes all of the traits of Porsches that came before it. The Macan was introduced as the “Cajun” at its inception, short for ‘Cayenne Junior.’
Although the Macan may share its platform with the Audi Q5, the coachwork, modified suspension, and power are all Porsche. In its first generation, aside from a couple of facelifts and a tweak here and there, the Macan is the same SUV introduced in 2014.
The next generation of the Porsche Macan is currently under development and will be electrically powered.
The price range of the Audi Q5
The base Audi Q5 has a starting MSRP of $43,500. The top-level Audi SQ5 Sportback has a starting MSRP of $59,200. That’s a $12,000 difference for the same model due to larger engines and packages that include other upgrades to your Audi Q5.
The price range of the Porsche Macan
The starting MSRP of the Porsche Macan is $57,500, which is only $2000 less than the entry-level Audi Q5. However, the very quick Porsche Macan GTS will set you back $82,900 and outrun just about anything on the road, including the Audi SQ5 Sportback.
Design features and specs of the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan
These small luxury crossovers have interiors that few other SUV makers exceed. The cabins are filled with soft-touch materials and polished wood.
The electronic suites of the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan offer big, easy-to-see displays and plenty of speakers for your listening pleasure.
Both Audi and Porsche offer accessory packages for the Q5 and Macan. These packages provide detailed features to suit your wants and needs that will give your SUV its personality.
Safety features include lane departure alarms, active cruise control, and blind spot warnings. These safe SUVs have been on the market long enough that most of the kinks have been worked from them.
Related: Crossover vs SUV
Durability and reliability of the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan
Audi has made very reliable cars in the past. However, some newer models are not as reliable as their early vehicles. It has a J.D. Power score of 63, meaning they think it only has a fair reliability score.
However, one of the redeeming features of the Audi Q5 is its quattro® all-wheel-drive system. Audi has used this system to get power to all four wheels of their cars since 1980. So, there has been ample time to perfect the Audi Quattro drive.
The Porsche gets the base part, onto which everything is bolted, from the Audi Q5. However, they have a reliability score of 82, which J.D. Powers considers ‘great.’
This is interesting because the two cars are very similar, from their drive trains to their appearance and passenger capacities.
The Porsche 911, the basis for every Porsche produced, has a reliability score of 86. In addition, the 911 has been ranked as one of the most reliable sports cars.
The reputation of the Audi Q5 and the Porsche Macan
Although Audi has a good reputation, there are no real stand-out traits to the Q5. Unless you opt for the Sportback version, which has ample go power, and a sportier, more stylish appearance than the base model Audi Q5.
Owners of the Porsche Macan claim it drives like a sports car, and that’s good. However, many SUVs are top-heavy and have the handling characteristics of a two-wheel wagon.
Not the Porsche, however, and of the two, the Audi Q5 or the Macan, the Porsche will be a more fun car to drive. That’s especially so if you get one wearing a Macan GTS badge.
The size of the Audi Q5, compared to the Porsche Macan, is almost identical. However, the Audi Q5 has more rear cargo room, with the seats up or down. So, if you need a car with more cargo capacity, the Audi Q5 may be better for you.
The best way to decide on the car you want to buy is to road test it and any other similar vehicles you are considering. For example, I have always liked Audis and Porsches, which are similar. The price might be what you think when comparing the two, because the Audi Q5 and the Porsche Macan are very similar overall.