This is a Porsche for living. Don’t judge the Porsche Macan by the appearance, while it looks like the baby sister to the Porsche Cayenne – it drives like the older brother to the 911. Think of it more like 911 with a little more room, or let’s just call it a Porsche 911 disguised as an SUV. Technically it is a crossover, of which my test drive proved it does a great job of crossing over from a luxury sportscar to daily driver with appreciable storage. A Porsche will always be a Porsche regardless of body style. The engineering, the driving style, the intuitive aspect as the car becomes one with the driver are in the Porsche DNA. The new Macan is no different. While it shares a mere 15% of the components and engineering with the Audi Q5, it is not an Q5 with a bigger price tag. It is a different car and drives like a different car.
Not 500 feet into my test drive I said, “it drives like a 911.”
The Macan is all Porsche, even a Porsche (911-to-the core) purists can love.
THE LOOK The big front grille, allowing for massive air intake and a characteristic distinction of Porsche Turbo’s is a constant on all Macan models.
Aside from the powerful look, this new hood design is purposeful, engineered to feed air directly into the engine area.
DRIVING Speaking of purists, lets talk transmission, all Macan models come with the seven-speed PDK transmission, which stands for Porsche Doppelkupplung, a double clutch gearbox. For non-gearheads like me, it means the car is an automatic one can shift, if you prefer. Also known as hands-off wife driving mode and paddle shift husband driving mode.
The 3.6 litre V6 goes, in all seven speeds – it goes, when you want, where you want. Technically the 3.o litre Macan S is also a turbo-charged engine but, lets not quibble over semantics.
The Macan, while one sits higher than in the 911, grips and corners just like a low slung 911. The 15 or 18-way adjustable seats and telescoping steering wheel allow every driver, from a petite female to a big burly male to find their personal position for optimal comfort and control. When cornering fast, the Macan seat holds, rather than shifts the driver out of the seat. Part of the 18-way adjustablity is the ability to pump up the side bolsters as needed, love it!
SPACE RELATIONS This is a Porsche for living. A Porsche for daily errands, carting kids or pets around, grocery shopping, a day of girl shopping or family road-trips. With 53 cu. ft. of loadspace with the seats folded flat, it has more cargo room than the Range Rover Evoque. Of Note: Contrary to printed materials, the Evoque in our garage says there is more storage in the Macan with the seats upright.
EASY LIVING As with any Porsche the list of options are almost endless; the normal features are what make a Porsche feel like home. Count on Porsche for intelligent design, things which just make sense.
- Great Visability – Both the back window and side mirrors are large enough to allow the driver excellent visibility. A nice feature is the ability to program the mirrors to fold in when the car shut off and parked.
- The Driver Rules – Starting with 2014 car models, manufacturers, as convoluted cost saving measure, are installing engine shut-off mechanisms which has the engine shut off when one is at idle. Ultimately silly and potentially more costly for the consumer in the long run. Thank you, Porsche engineering for putting the owner and driver back in control, the diver can turn it off and it stays off. Unlike in their competitor, the Range Rover Evoque, where one has to manually shut off this feature each time you restart the car from an extended stop… more than a pain in the ass.
- Easy Steering Wheel Control Center – The thumb-wheel (like a track-ball mouse) on the right side of the steering wheel makes programming, navigation, technical car information, phone and audio easy to access while driving.
There are options for Change Lane Assist, Keep Lane Assist and Porsche Active Safe designed to aid the driver in arriving safely to their destination, all less expensive than hiring a driver if one is this out of touch while driving, but relevant safety features. However, why drive a Porsche if one needs assistance? Crutches are not for the purist.
The Macan Turbo comes with navigation, optional on the Macan S. The Turbo comes with 19″ Turbo wheels and the S starts with 18″ Macan wheels. The optional RS Spyder wheels add even more style.
SOUND For those who appreciate the way an engine talks, the Macan Turbo is an engaging orator. This baby has noise, a deep throaty growl, which would make anyone notice.
A sport exhaust package is in the works to enable the owner to close the flange and has a bit different tuning. But why? This is not something one needs to enhance or turn off. However, with the doors and windows closed, all exterior noise disappears.
As for the sound system, a Bose® Surround Sound System is standard on the Turbo, not the S. For the extreme audiophile the optional Burmester Hi-End Surround Sound is an option for both.
Starting at $49,900 for the Macan S (340 hp), the Turbo (400 hp) begins at $72,300. The Macan is a Porsche for those who like to drive, appreciate a finely tuned, well-appointed sportscar… with room for four adults and luggage.
The luxury crossover market is big. With the Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes GLK, BMW X3, and Audi A5 being in direct competition with the Macan. For my money you get what you pay for.
The Porsche Macan has the performance characteristics of a sportscar and the livability of a daily driver. The Macan is at the top end of the class, but it is a Porsche and driving makes all the difference.
The Macan is the ideal entry level Porsche. Well done.
We’d like to give a special thanks to Andrew at Porsche Beachwood for indulging our test drive and endless questions.