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Porsche Macan review

The Porsche Macan is a practical, roomy SUV that’s also quick and fun-to-drive. The interior has also been brought into line with alternatives thanks to 2021 updates. 

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Buy or lease the Porsche Macan at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £50,935 - £68,065
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Buy or lease the Porsche Macan at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £50,935 - £68,065
carwow price from
Monthly from
£608*
wowscore
9/10
This score is awarded by our team of
expert reviewers
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers
after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • One of the most fun to drive SUVs
  • A practical Porsche
  • Macan GTS's impressive performance

What's not so good

  • Base 2.0-litre Macan isn't very sporty
  • High running costs
  • Expensive optional extras

Porsche Macan: what would you like to read next?

Is the Porsche Macan a good car?

The Porsche Macan is a sporting SUV that has the Sports and Utility traits well and truly covered. Think of it as a combination of the size and power of Anthony Joshua and the pace of Usain Bolt and you’ve got some idea of the Macan’s blend of talents.

It’s several years old now, but the Macan is still fighting fit and has just received another facelift for 2021, after its first in 2018.

As always, it blends a typically Porsche-like driving experience with plenty of practicality and technology, although there are now roomier, more comfortable and more efficient alternatives out there these days.

Externally, the Macan receives light alterations including a new grille with active aero shutters to improve efficiency. There’s also some new black trim around the front and sides, a revised rear diffuser and upgraded LED headlights on all models.

Inside is where things get more interesting. At long last, the Macan’s baffling array of centre console buttons have been replaced by a classier-looking touch sensitive panel, much like that found in most other Porsches. It’s actually easier to get on with than the old physical buttons, and certainly looks the part.

There’s also a general quality boost inside, while a wide variety of trim and upholstery can lighten up what would otherwise be a bit of a dark cabin. A new steering wheel taken from the 911 and a now standard analogue clock completes the upgrades over the 2018 model. Sure, there are now more modern cabin designs out there, but there’s no knocking the quality.

You get less room in the back than in a Mercedes GLC or a Volvo XC60, but the Macan can still happily accommodate two tall adults in the rear and there are enough storage cubbies to keep the cabin neat and tidy.

The boot is also pretty practical, it has room for a set of suitcases with space left over to squeeze in some soft bags – though other SUVs have even more room. Fold away the back seats and the Macan will happily swallow an adult’s mountain bike with both its wheels attached.

The Macan might be getting on a bit, but if you want an SUV that drives and feels like a sports car then it's still top of the tree.

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
carwow expert

It’s only when you get out on the road that the Macan truly reveals its trump card – it’s an SUV that drives more than a little like a Porsche sports car.  Quick steering gives it the responses of a regular SUV on a caffeine hit and, because the front tyres grip hard into the tarmac, you can exploit this added agility.

All of the Macan’s engines have been revised for 2021 to offer more power and performance without harming efficiency.

The 265hp 2.0-litre petrol model is the cheapest to run (there are no diesels in the range any more) but its engine – which is found in cars such as the VW Golf GTI – isn’t exactly thrilling in the heavier Porsche.

If you want your Porsche Macan be as entertaining in a straight line as well as in the bends, then you’ll want the Macan S. Its six-cylinder, 380hp 2.9-litre engine has a tuneful rasp, plenty of torque and performance that’ll keep most hot hatches honest.

If even the S isn’t enough for you, there is the GTS model which replaces the old Turbo. With 440hp its straight line performance isn’t far off that of a 911, while the GTS gets handling tweaks to make it even sharper in the bends.

The downside of the Porsche’s sporty drive is that it can’t iron out a bumpy road quite as well as a similarly specified Mercedes GLC. That said, the Macan can be specced with plenty of driver assists to make motorway slogs and traffic jam more relaxing.

So the Porsche Macan remains great to drive even if other, newer SUVs have the measure of it in terms of comfort and practicality.

How practical is it?

The Porsche Macan has lots of head and legroom in the front seats, but taller people will struggle to get into the rear seats and could well not have enough headroom.

Boot (seats up)
488 - 500 litres
Boot (seats down)
1,500 - 1,503 litres

All Macans come with an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat and six-way adjustable passenger’s seat as standard so you’ll have no trouble getting comfortable – even if you’re over six-foot tall. Unfortunately, you’ll have to fork out for the optional 14-way adjustable seats – or the even fancier 18-way adjustable sports seats – if you want additional lumbar support to help stave off back ache on long journeys.

There’s plenty of headroom in the front too, despite the Macan’s sporty sloping roofline – but a slight bulge in the driver’s footwell means there’s not loads of space to stretch out if you have large feet.

There’s quite a bit less rear leg room in the Macan than you get in an Audi Q5 and your six-foot-tall friends will be left wanting a little for headroom, too. Carrying three abreast is more comfortable in a Volvo XC60 and a large central tunnel means there isn’t much room for your centre passenger’s feet.

The back doors don’t open particularly wide and their openings are quite narrow, so climbing in the back can prove tricky for tall passengers. Fitting a bulky child seat will also prove difficult but at least the Isofix anchor points are clearly marked and come with handy flip-up covers instead of easy-to-lose removable caps.

Unfortunately there aren’t many large cubby holes dotted around the Macan’s cabin. The door bins are too small to hold a one-litre bottle and the glovebox isn’t particularly generous either. The two cupholders sandwiched between the front seats are reasonably wide, but you’ll struggle for somewhere to put anything bigger than a medium-sized cup of coffee.

You’ll find a reasonably deep storage bin under the central armrest, however. It’s big enough to store a few phones and comes with a USB socket to keep them charged, too. There’s a 12V socket under a plastic cover in the centre console to keep other large devices topped-up, too.

You can fit 500 litres of luggage in the Macan’s boot with all five seats in place – 50 litres less than in the Audi Q5, BMW X3 or Mercedes GLC. That’s still big enough for a baby stroller and some soft bags or a few sets of golf clubs though. There’s no annoying boot lip to lift heavy luggage over and the boot’s square shape makes it easy to pack full of suitcases, cardboard boxes and the like.

The rear seats fold in a handy three-way (40:20:40) split so you can carry long luggage and two rear passengers at once. There aren’t any handy seat release catches in the boot, however, so you’ll have to lean forwards to flip them down yourself.

With the rear seats out of the way you’ll have 1,500 litres of space to fill. It’s big enough to carry a bike without removing its wheels but 50 litres less than an Audi Q5 and 100 less than both the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC. The Macan’s boot is completely flat with the rear seats folded so it’s a breeze to slide heavy boxes up behind the front seats. There are a few handy tether points in the floor but you won’t find some shopping hooks to stop your groceries rolling around.

There’s a 12V socket by the boot so you can charge a few devices on the move and you’ll find a sizeable storage compartment under the boot floor. It’s just about deep enough to hold a bicycle helmet and a few small soft bags or hide a couple of valuables safely out of sight.

What's it like to drive?

The Porsche Macan is about as fun to drive as it’s possible for a high-riding SUV to be, but it’s thirsty and there are more comfortable alternatives

The Macan is now available with a choice of three petrol engines, all of which have been updated for 2021.

The standard Macan is ideal if you spend most of your time cruising around town. It’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, which has been upgraded from 245hp to 265hp for the 2021 facelift. Oddly, that’s less than the same engine puts out in the VW Golf R, but it’s enough for a reasonable 0-60mph time of six seconds (or 5.8sec with the optional Sports Chrono pack)

Put simply, it’s fine if you’re not too bothered about your Macan feeling or sounding like a Porsche. But it’s never exciting, while 28mpg isn’t exactly something to write home about.

The Macan S, however, ups the ante with a more exciting and substantially more powerful V6. For 2021, it’s now a 2.9-litre engine pumping out 280hp, up from the old car’s 354hp. It gets from 0-60mph half a second quicker than before (4.6sec, or 4.4 sec with the Sports Plus package), plus it sounds and goes how you’d expect a Porsche to – particularly if you spec the optional sports exhaust.

The Macan GTS is now the range-topping model, replacing the old Turbo version. Its 2.9-litre V6 turbo V6 produces exactly the same power – 440hp – as the old Turbo, and if you spec the Sports Plus package it can accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.1sec (4.3sec without). That’s knocking on the door of the 911 Carrera, and it certainly feels it, with loads of mid-range punch and a fruity soundtrack.

All models come with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive as standard. The former makes light work of heavy traffic and long journeys while four-wheel drive helps maximise grip on slippery surfaces – handy if you live somewhere that’s regularly affected by harsh winters.

When it comes to having fun on a country road, the Macan sets a benchmark that other SUVs this size have yet to match.

Powerful and well-tuned brakes mean you can push on on country roads with confidence and the quick, accurate steering helps you guide the Macan into corners, knowing that you’ll get plenty of warning when the front tyres start to run out of grip.

Even through a series of sharp bends, the car’s controlled suspension stops body lean from getting out of hand. It’s not quite as comfortable over bumps as a regular Audi Q5 – especially if you choose the huge 21-inch wheels – but it’s not enough of a problem that you absolutely must opt for the comfier still optional air suspension.

In the GTS, however, air suspension is standard, but it’s been further developed with a sportier tune and 10mm lower ride height. It’s a really sharp and engaging driver’s car for something so big and heavy, but does sacrifice some comfort as a result.

If relaxing cruising is what you’re after, you’ll be better off spending your money on the Macan’s optional autonomous driving aids. They include active cruise control that’ll accelerate and brake for you on the motorway and traffic jam assist, which can do that as well as steering the Macan in nose-to-tail traffic. It’s worth noting that the Macan had a five-star NCAP safety rating even before this clever kit was offered.

At lower speeds in town, the Macan’s raised seating position gives you a clear view out over the road ahead but its large door mirror housings create sizeable blind spots at junctions and roundabouts.

Parking is made relatively stress-free by the standard front and rear parking sensors. You can get a 360-degree camera fitted for even greater peace of mind or – if you’re especially worried about tall kerbs damaging your nice alloy wheels – just let the optional park assist steer the car into spaces for you.

What's it like inside?

The Porsche Macan’s cabin looks great and feels plush, but if you want to make it look even better you’ll need to spend a wedge of cash on expensive options

Next Read full interior review
Buy a new or used Porsche Macan at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £50,935 - £68,065
  • Build your perfect car or choose from our recommendations based on your needs
  • Dealers come to you with their best offers
  • Compare offers and buy with confidence
Buy or lease the Porsche Macan at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £50,935 - £68,065
carwow price from
Monthly from
£608*
Buy or lease the Porsche Macan at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £50,935 - £68,065
carwow price from
Monthly from
£608*