2020 Porsche Macan vs. 2019 Subaru Outback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Macan have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Subaru Outback doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Macan has standard Multi-collision Brake System, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outback doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Macan offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Outback only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Macan and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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The Macan comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Outback’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Macan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Outback’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The battery on the Macan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Macan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Outback’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 15th in initial quality. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

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The Macan has more powerful engines than the Outback:

Horsepower

Torque

Macan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Macan S 3.0 turbo V6

348 HP

354 lbs.-ft.

Macan Turbo 2.9 turbo V6

434 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

Outback 2.5i 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

175 HP

174 lbs.-ft.

Outback 3.6R 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

256 HP

247 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Macan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outback doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Macan has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outback (19.8 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Macan’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Outback doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Macan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outback:

Macan

Macan Turbo

Outback

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

15.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

14.6 inches

11.8 inches

The Macan offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Outback doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Macan has larger standard tires than the Outback (F:235/60R18 & R:255/55R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Macan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outback (F:265/40R21 & R:295/35R21 vs. 225/65R17).

The Macan’s standard 235/60R18 front and 255/55R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series front and 55 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium’s standard 65 series tires. The Macan’s optional 265/40R21 front and 295/35R21 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Outback Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Macan has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium. The Macan’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Outback Limited/Touring.

Suspension and Handling

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The Macan offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Outback’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Macan has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Macan’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Outback doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Macan’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Outback (110.5 inches vs. 108.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Macan is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Outback.

For greater off-road capability the Macan has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Outback (9 vs. 8.7 inches), allowing the Macan to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Macan is 5.4 inches shorter than the Outback, making the Macan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Towing

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The Macan’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outback’s (4409 vs. 2700 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 64% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Outback Limited, the Macan offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Macan’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Macan and the Outback have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Macan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outback prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Macan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Outback’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Macan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Outback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Macan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Outback doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The Macan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.

When the Macan with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Outback’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Macan keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Outback doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Macan has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.

Both the Macan and the Outback offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Macan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Outback Base/Premium doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Porsche Macan offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Outback doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/11

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Porsche Macan and the Subaru Outback, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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