The Porsche Macan is the sportiest SUV on the market. Outfit it with the Sport Chrono package, air suspension with adaptive dampers, and carbon-ceramic brakes, and it鈥檚 a bundle of fun on a racetrack or canyon road. But the vast majority of buyers don鈥檛 use it that way. They take the kids to school, shop for groceries, commute to work, and upstage their neighbors.

I drove the Porsche Macan S in Spain last year and loved its handling. Recently, I spent a week in a 2020 Porsche Macan S and treated it like my daily driver in and around Chicago. The experience gave me some insights into where it excels and where it fails. Here are the hits and misses of the 2020 Porsche Macan S.

2020 Porsche Macan S

2020 Porsche Macan S

HIt: Porsche does drive modes right

Too many automakers pussyfoot the steps between drive modes. Sport and Sport+ settings just aren鈥檛 sporty enough and the differences between the modes are often hard to detect. That鈥檚 not the case with Porsche. Each step along the way from Normal to Sport to Sport+ (only available with the Sport Chrono package) is its own, identifiable setting. Normal mode works well for everyday driving; the throttle isn鈥檛 too dull and the ride doesn鈥檛 wallow on the freeway. The Macan S becomes more alert in Sport mode, though some drivers will find the shift points too high-strung for commuting. All the settings are high-strung in Sport+, so much so that I wouldn鈥檛 recommend it for street driving. However, it鈥檚 a must for performance driving. And for those who want it their way, Porsche offers an Individual mode to let drivers pick the suspension, shift points, throttle response, and exhaust note settings they want.

2020 Porsche Macan S

2020 Porsche Macan S

Miss: The options add up quickly

My tester was an S model with a smattering of options. The Macan S鈥檚 $60,750 base price (including destination) tops its competitors, and my tester had nearly $15,000 in options that brought the total to $74,840.

I鈥檇 choose some of those options, namely the Sapphire Blue Metallic paint ($700), air suspension with adaptive dampers ($2,750), and Sport Chrono package ($1,360) that comes with a dash-mounted stopwatch and Sport+ mode.

Some of the options annoyed me. Why should I spend $1,170 for adaptive cruise control on a vehicle that already tops $60,000? Same goes for the $280 heated steering wheel, though I could see people gladly checking that box in northern climates. I鈥檓 also annoyed that it costs $360 to get Apple CarPlay, though it's also included in the $3,110 Premium Package that also comes with a Bose surround-sound audio system, LED headlights that point into corners and have automatic high beams, and auto-dimming mirrors. The $1,340 necessary to get 14-way power-adjustable front seats with memory left me thinking I鈥檇 stick with the standard eight-way seats. And $3,140 for the Macan Turbo wheels felt like an unnecessary expense given the variety of other good-looking wheels that cost less or nothing at all.

2020 Porsche Macan S

2020 Porsche Macan S

Hit: It has a sports car seating position

Given the seating position offered by those 14-way seats, maybe I would pay for them. The Macan S has the more prone seating position of a sports car, just higher off the ground. The front of the seat bottom raises to provide the thigh support and cupped seat configuration position I prefer. The steering wheel is small and sporty and it telescopes far enough for my elbows to bend about 90 degrees, which is ideal for performance maneuvers. I鈥檇 have to try the base eight-way seats to see if they can provide the same seating position. If not, I鈥檇 spend the $1,340.

2020 Porsche Macan S

2020 Porsche Macan S

Miss: The infotainment system needs some work

Unlike Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, Porsche hasn鈥檛 settled on an infotainment interface and stuck with it. That makes the learning curve steep for the new Porsche Communication Management system, even for repeat buyers. It has a lot of functionality, but some of the choices Porsche made befuddle me. One basic test is how easy a system scrolls through satellite radio channels. It鈥檚 a task best served by a rotating knob. The Macan has that knob, but Porsche uses it to pause, rewind, and fast-forward the music (enabled by an internal hard drive). Instead, occupants tap icons on the touchscreen to move up and down through satellite channels one at a time. Backward much?

The Macan also doesn鈥檛 have a USB Type A port; it only has USB-C ports. I know that鈥檚 the future and the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S I recently drove has the same issue, but with the money Apple charges for charging cords, don鈥檛 make me get a USB-C cable before I have to. How about ports for both?

2020 Porsche Macan S

2020 Porsche Macan S

Miss: It could use more space

The Macan has 17.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 53 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. That鈥檚 usable space that will work for a small family, but both measurements trail the BMW X3 by about 10 cubic feet. The Macan鈥檚 fast rear roofline gives it an almost coupe-like shape that cuts into rear cargo space. While most of the lost space is up high, the Macan is also shorter than the BMW, and that limits the more-usable space at floor level. The rear seat also has less leg room than many competitors.

2020 Porsche Macan S

2020 Porsche Macan S

Hit: The trade-offs are worth it

In all, the 2020 Porsche Macan trades some of its utility for style and performance. The infotainment system isn鈥檛 as easy to use as those from rivals, and its space is compromised. However, it still has enough utility to drive every day and its style and performance make it far more engaging to drive than the SUV appliances so many Americans have embraced.

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2020 Porsche Macan S

Base price: $60,750

Price as tested: $74,840

EPA fuel economy: 18 mpg city, 23 highway, 20 combined

The good: Seating position, delineated drive modes, performance makes trade-offs worthwhile

The bad: Pricey options, tight on space, infotainment