£46,182 - £63,245 Price range
31 - 46 MPG
Have you got over Porsche offering SUVs yet? Good. How about diesels? Even better. Given the huge success of the Cayenne it was only a matter of time before Porsche expanded its crossover range, and the Macan is the fruit of that labour.
Ignore any claims that it’s an Audi Q5 in drag – the two share only around a third of all components. It just takes a glance at the car’s review scores to see this is a proper Porsche. In true Porsche style, testers enthuse about its performance and handling. And plenty of other things, for that matter.
For most reviewers, the Macan’s interior is a success. For a select few who aren’t as keen, the Panamera-style dash with its multitude of buttons is a little too confusing, and its packed instrument cluster a little more informative than typical crossover buyers will be used to.
But in terms of driving position, look, feel, quality and use, it’s a great environment. It feels both “expensive” and “high-tech”, while driver and front passenger have comfortable and supportive seats. The rear row will technically hold three adults, but holding two is kinder and even they won’t have quite as much room as in some competitors’ cars. The 500-litre boot is a decent size and shape, too.
This is where the Macan really scores. While some reviewers pooh-pooh Porsche’s suggestion the Macan is a proper “sports car”, all agree that it’s stunningly capable nevertheless. It sets new dynamic standards for the class, even considering the talents of rivals such as BMW’s X3 and the Range Rover Evoque.
Porsche has judged the ride and handling perfectly, both “fluid” and “engaging” in a way few others offer. Opinions on the steering vary – all agree it’s direct and well-weighted, but some say it’s short on feel while others suggest it has “plenty of feedback”. There’s lots of grip though, and if you’ve got the skills, the more powerful cars can even be coaxed into controlled oversteer.
Three engines are available at launch, all V6 and all turbocharged. One of those is diesel, and the one actually badged “Turbo” has a brace of turbos to serve up more than 400 horses. It’s very quick, but most reviewers prefer the regular turbocharged S. With 355 horsepower it’s hardly a slouch, but sings sweetly and costs a great deal less.
It’s expected to be the highest-seller, equal with the S Diesel. Less powerful at 254 hp (but offering 438 lb-ft of torque), it’s still a brisk device, reaching 62 mph in little over six seconds with the Sport Chrono package. It emits a sporty growl under acceleration and most testers say it’s fairly smooth and refined. The biggest benefit is in emissions and economy – 161 g/km for the former (for a £175 annual road-tax bill), and 46.3 mpg for the latter.
With that little confusion over with, you'll be pleased to hear it's actually a very nice engine - plenty quick enough with its 355-horsepower output (and 5.2-second 0-62 time) but also refined and responsive. Porsche expects to sell as many Macan S as it does diesels - perhaps because it costs little more, but offers a great deal more performance.
Buyers should enjoy the car's performance too. It's neither as quick, sonorous nor sharp as the petrol engines, but "manages to sound sporty". It's also fairly potent, with a 0-60 time as low as 6.1 seconds, and according to one tester, "supremely refined".
This view isn't shared by a few reviewers though, so it's worth giving the S Diesel a test drive to see if you can live with the refinement. As a sensible-but-fun purchase though, the Macan S Diesel is right up there.
Descriptions vary from merely "fast", through "seriously fast" and "terrifically energetic". There are six cylinders, 3.6 litres and two turbochargers at your disposal, and it's as smooth as it is quick. Linear and responsive, too.
The price tag and 31 mpg economy could make it a rare sight on UK roads though - and both the diesel and regular Macan S are so competent that the Turbo is by no means an essential purchase.
As a crossover, the Macan isn’t cheap – BMW, Audi and others will all offer you similarly-performing cars for less money. As a Porsche, the Macan is a bit of a steal – its £40,000+ price tag puts it half way up the Boxster range, and you can’t fit four adults in a Boxster without doing something highly immoral and/or illegal. The petrol S is barely more than the S Diesel, though at nearly £60,000 the Turbo isn’t cheap.
Equipment levels are good though, economy isn’t bad (on the diesel at least) and as a Porsche, it should hold its value. Not least because the first year’s shipment has already sold out – expect used examples to cost more than new ones for a while…
As you’ve probably guessed from the score above, the Macan is highly-rated by the experts. Looks aside (which are an acquired taste, but probably better than those of the Cayenne and Panamera…) it’s one of the best cars in its class, handling far better than any rival and touting pride of ownership that only a Porsche can offer.
It’s expensive and not as practical as some, but frankly few owners will care – Porsche will sell these in huge numbers, and every one will help fund cars like the stalwart 911…