The Macan’s about as fun to drive as it’s possible for a high-riding SUV to be, but the standard suspension feels a tad bumpy at slow speeds
You can get the Macan with one diesel and three petrol engines. The standard Macan – with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine – will be best if you spend most time around town. It’s not quite as smooth as the larger six-cylinder petrol models but much quieter than the slightly grumbly diesel version. Porsche claims the 2.0-litre petrol will return 38.7mpg but you’ll probably see a figure closer to 30mpg in normal driving.
The 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel will be a better bet if you cover lots of motorway miles – it has enough poke to easily overtake slow-moving traffic yet returns around 35mpg in normal driving, compared to Porsche’s claim of 44.8mpg. Its low-end grunt also makes it the model to pick if you regularly tow a trailer or ever head off road.
Turbo models with adaptive suspension are fast as you could ever want, comfortable and handle better than any other SUV on sale – they’re about as close to the complete package as you can get
High-performance S and GTS models turn the stylish Macan into a sports-car-rivalling sprinter but neither can match the 400hp Turbo model for outright speed. It’ll leap from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds and on to a top speed just shy of 170mph. They’re significantly more expensive to buy, however, and will struggle to return more than 20mpg in normal driving.
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.
The Macan feels sportier than the likes of the Audi Q5 thanks to its slightly stiffer suspension. It barely leans in tight corners but its firmer setup tends to highlights bumps in the road, especially with the largest 21-inch alloy wheels fitted.
You could never call the Macan uncomfortable, however, and its slightly fidgety suspension is a small price to pay for impressively confident, sporty handling. It’s even more fun to drive than the spritely Jaguar F-Pace and it’s streets ahead of the comfortable-but-unexciting Q5.
Turbo and GTS models come with adaptive suspension that offers an even better blend of handling and comfort. It’s available as an £816 extra on Diesel, S and GTS models and is well worth paying extra for. Air suspension is available as a £1,860 extra across the range but it dampens the Macan’s otherwise sharp handling and still isn’t quite as comfortable as the Audi Q5.
The Macan’s raised seating position gives you a clear view out over the road ahead but its large door mirrors 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 £867 for even greater peace of mind – especially handy if you’re worried about tall kerbs damaging your nice alloy wheels.
At motorway speeds you’ll hear very little wind noise and tyre roar is mostly muted – providing you avoid the optional 21-inch alloys. The automatic gearbox is a breeze to use and delivers smooth, near-instant shifts at speed. It’s a little sluggish at slow speeds, however, and can jerk slightly as you pull away – although this is a common problem with dual-clutch gearboxes.
Euro NCAP awarded the Macan a five-star safety rating in 2014. It’s worth noting that the tests are significantly stricter now but Porsche’s smallest SUV is still one of the safest family cars on sale. For a little extra protection, you can get a host of optional safety features – including lane keeping assist, active cruise control with automatic emergency braking and traffic sign recognition – across the Macan range.