2016 Porsche Macan review: The enthusiast’s SUV

Porsche’s Macan might be loosely based on the Audi Q5, but it feels every bit a Porsche from the driver’s seat. The range covers pretty much all bases, though the 3.0-litre V6 diesel is the natural entry point in the line-up, even if there’s also a 2.0-litre turbo petrol option on the price list. Buy that Diesel S or, if you’re not a diesel fan, the 3.0-litre V6 turbo in the Macan S, while the GTS is a spec and performance adjusted bridge to the lunatic Turbo model. If that’s not still enough you can have the Macan Turbo with a ‘Performance Pack’ producing 440hp. Yes, it’s a family-friendly SUV…

Did you know? Much of the way the Macan handles is largely down to input from Porsche’s own Walter R”ohrl.

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The Macan is Porsche’s second foray into the SUV marketplace, and while smaller than the Cayenne above it, the opportunity for the firm is even greater. The Macan might have some Audi Q5 DNA in its makings, but it’s an entirely convincing Porsche on absolutely every level. Indeed, that makes it the most sporting compact SUV by some margin, and the Turbo model is quick and capable enough to keep Porsche’s proper sports car offerings honest on the track – and arguably even more capable on the road. It even looks good, but while the interior is beautifully finished it’s not quite as spacious as some of the Macan’s rivals. There’s always the Cayenne above it if you need more of that, and in fairness it’s plenty practical enough for most. If you want arguably the most complete, sporting compact SUV money can buy then get onto your Porsche dealer, now.
Technology & Connectivity
Performance & Handling
Spec & Trim Levels
Fuel Economy
We Like
Build quality and looks
Performance and poise are class leading
Turbo is ridiculously capable
We Don’t Like
Head- and legroom in the back are only average
Boot slightly hampered by sloping rear window
It’s not cheap, and options add up…

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Mixing Porsche design cues into a SUV shape isn’t easy (see the Cayenne Mk1 for proof), but here is has been achieved very credibly, the Macan presenting a cohesive, genuinely sporting look that’s nicely proportioned and finely detailed. All models look broadly similar, though the higher performance models like the Turbo and GTS get unique bumpers; these also get more body-coloured trim, whereas the side blades along the flanks are contrasting in finish in the regular versions. The rear lights are worth a mention, as the sculpted 3D effect they exhibit has been adopted across the Porsche line-up, while up front LED driving lights also give out a Porsche visual identifier. It’s a handsome car, which looks even better on larger alloy wheels. Porsche offers a number of options packages as ‘inspiration’ on its model configurator including Sport, Innovation and Touring, depending on your taste, though visually, wheel-size aside, these differ little. Being a premium model, it’s possible to have your Macan personalised via Porsche’s extensive options list and Tequipment accessories, so if you want those ‘side blades’ in carbon fibre, painted badges, sports body kits, or anything else, the dealer will happily take your money for it.

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The cabin will immediately feel familiar to anyone who’s ever sat in a Porsche, and impress anyone who hasn’t. The instruments are traditional Porsche fare, that’s to say three dials, the central, dominant one a big rev counter. You view them through the sports steering wheel, its design borrowed from Porsche’s 918, giving the Macan some hypercar credibility that no rivals can match. There’s a high centre console upon which sits an automatic transmission selector. The central screen contains all the entertainment functions, though there are a lot of supplementary buttons littered around for the various driving modes on offer. Refinement is high in all models and the noises you do hear are good ones – from the engine, particularly if you’ve optioned the sports exhaust, which is standard on the GTS and above.
Consider the Macan as a five-door sports car and it’s as practical as they come, but the reality is it competes in the expansive and popular compact SUV marketplace and against most of its rivals it’s not quite as practical. The boot is deep, but the tailgate does eat into space, while the rear seats are okay for two adults in the back, just, and a third would be a real squeeze, not least as head- and legroom aren’t hugely generous. It’s fine for children, though, which will suit most buyers.

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Technology & Connectivity
A seven-inch high resolution display contains all the info and entertainment you’d expect at this level, with a lot of the information from it replicated in a smaller 4.8-inch display within the instruments. There’s DAB radio, USB, and Bluetooth, as well as an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat and four 12-volt sockets for charging up all those essential everyday devices. Rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights, and a Sports button in the centre console all feature as standard, too, as does an automatic tailgate. The options list is huge, including a Connect module for Apple CarPlay, and Connect Plus, which incorporates wireless internet access, real-time traffic information, Google Earth, and Google Streetview. It’s also possible to option Bose Surround Sound, or, from the GTS up, Burmester high-end Surround Sound audio.

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Performance & Handling
Of the four engines on offer the entry-level four-cylinder turbo petrol is best ignored. It has not got quite enough go to justify that Porsche badge on the Macan’s tailgate. Thankfully that’s addressed by all the other engines in the line-up, the S and GTS models of which are three litres in capacity and turbocharged. The Turbo’s V6 has a 3.6-litre capacity and, as the name suggests, is turbocharged…
The real entry models are the S Diesel and Macan S, the 255bhp of that diesel underpinned by 427lb ft of torque, which betters even the mighty flagship Turbo’s twisting power. The petrol S has some 337bhp, allowing it a 5.4-second 0-62mph time, while the S Diesel trails that by just 0.9 seconds. The GTS sits between the S models and the Turbo, and the badge indicates that it’s the driver’s choice in the Porsche line-up. It raises the power of the petrol V6 turbo to 356bhp, creating a Macan that’ll reach 62mph in just 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 159mph. You’ll pay a lot more to go a little faster in the Turbo, its 396bhp allowing a 4.8-second 0-62mph time and 165mph top speed, while ultimate bragging rights go to the Turbo with the Performance Pack fitted for a 436bhp output, 169mph time and 62mph in just 4.4 seconds via launch control. Opt for Sport Chrono on any model and you’ll shave a couple of tenths off the 0-62mph time, as well as gain a cool stop watch on top of the dashboard.
All are rapid then, though impressive as the speed is in any, the Macan’s real trick is in how it can genuinely exploit the performance on tap. The four-wheel-drive system pushes much of the drive to the rear axle whenever possible, so much so it feels predominantly rear-driven. Fine body and wheel control add to that, whether the car has the standard suspension or optional set-ups; GTS and above come with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). The ride is tidily controlled, even with larger wheel options, while the steering is very nicely weighted and quick to react to input. All this makes for swift progress, though the GTS and Turbos are indecently quick.
Recommended engine: GTS
0-62 MPH
5.2 seconds
Fuel economy
32.1 mpg

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Achieving a five-star performance in the Euro NCAP crash tests, the Macan scores 88 percent for adult occupant protection, 87 percent for children, 60 percent for pedestrians, and a 66 percent safety assist score. That latter number would have been higher if Porsche included its forward collision warning system as standard rather than leaving it on the options list. Standard safety equipment includes a full complement of front, side, and curtain airbags, ABS with Automatic Brakeforce Distribution, traction and stability control, two ISOFIX child seat mounts, tyre-pressure monitoring, Lane Departure warning, and a trailer stability control system, while all come with the opportunity to experience it on a track and test out all the safety and driving systems at Porsche’s Experience Centre in Silverstone.

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Spec & Trim Levels
Two standard no-cost colours of black and white are offered, along with seven metallic and one special colour, red, though Porsche Individual can paint the Macan any colour you choose – at a price. There are all sorts of options for personalisation, be it body-coloured badges, sports body kits in paint or carbon fibre, body-coloured side blades, painted wheel-crests or wheels, it’s possible to make your Macan very individual to you. .
Trim Levels
There are four engine choices, though the entry-level four-cylinder turbocharged model is badged simply Macan is best ignored, as mentioned – it’s actually more expensive to lease than its V6 relations thanks to its poorer anticipated residual values. The trims follow the engines, which are then S, GTS and Turbo. Standard equipment on all is impressive, including leather seats with electric adjustment up front, satellite navigation, three-zone climate control, cruise control, 40/20/40 split fold rear seats, alloy wheels, and DAB radio. S, GTS and Turbo add more driver- and luxury-focused equipment, the GTS and above getting PASM suspension and Sports Exhaust as standard. Sport Chrono is an option on all, helping reduce the 0-62mph time and adding a Sport+ mode to the Sport button.
Size and Dimensions
The GTS is the lowest and has the biggest wheels as standard …
Max towing weight without brake
2,400kg braked

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Fuel Economy
The Macan is a compact SUV, but one wearing a Porsche badge, so don’t expect running costs to be the same as other SUVs in the mainstream marketplace. The S Diesel makes the most sense if you do have an eye on day-to-day running costs, as it should get near its 46.3mpg combined fuel economy figure if you’re sensible. Its 159-164g/km (depending on wheel size) emissions rating is as low as you’ll get in the Macan. Residual values are high, so running one can prove cheaper than many of its rivals in the long term.
Reliability and servicing
The Macan is still too new to have registered any reliability woes. Servicing is at a fixed price and every two years or 20,000 miles.
Petrol models
20,000 miles, two years
Diesel models
20,000 miles, two years.

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The entry-level Macan is priced so closely to both the V6 S models there’s really no reason for it to be on the price lists – it’s a special order vehicle in the UK and rare as a result. Both the S Diesel and S are within a few hundred pounds of each other, at just under lb46,000, while the GTS adds lb10,000 to that. It’s arguably the sweet spot in the range, including a lot of equipment as standard that would cost more to option up an S from. The Turbo starts at lb62,540, and you’ll add over lb6k again if you want it with the Performance Pack.

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Trend Setter
The Turbo with the Performance Pack is the newest Macan out there, so if you like being first then get one quickly.
Car Enthusiast
Tempting as the Turbo is, the GTS Is such a sweet all-rounder, and plenty fast.
Cost Conscious
S Diesel will be the cheapest to run and own, if running a Porsche SUV can ever be described so.
Audi SQ5
There’s a bit of Audi DNA in the Macan’s make-up, though the Porsche is far superior to drive.
Jaguar F-Pace
Jaguar’s F-Pace is up there for agility against the Macan, but not quite as polished all-round.
Range Rover Evoque
Sharp handling Range Rover Evoque impresses, but it’s way off the pace in build, technology and desirability.
Bigger engined X3s are fast and capable, but the Macan feels far more sporting on the road.
Mercedes-Benz GLC
The Macan’s newest rival is sharp to look at but lacks the Porsche’s outright driver appeal, even in AMG guise.


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