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Porsche Macan Review Hands-on

All the practicality of a compact SUV with the fun and performance of a sports car

The Macan is Porsche’s response to the rapidly growing demand for compact SUVs, vehicles which provide the on-road presence and ostentation of an SUV with the lesser footprint of a regular family car, making them much easier to park and weave through town. If you want the large hatch and on-road practicality of an SUV and have no intention of traversing anything more arduous than a National Trust car park, then a compact SUV, or crossover as such cars are also known, is the car for you.

As you’d expect, the Porsche Macan is no ordinary crossover, its intention being to combine the practicality of a crossover with the soul and performance of a sports car.

Porsche Macan S Front 3/4s

The Macan certainly looks the part, having a muscular front end, chunky wheels and an eager, energetic demeanour. It also has a massive boot, enough room for five passengers and comes with a choice of three powerful engines. If Porsche really has set out to build a practical family sports car, then your first impression within minutes of driving the Macan is that it has succeeded.


We were lucky enough to drive all three versions of Porsche Macan, the Turbo, the Macan S and the Macan S Diesel, and were impressed with all three. Ordinarily, we’d have a clear favourite yet all three engines are impressive and well suited to their demographic. It’s also worth noting that although the line-up includes a “Turbo”, all Macans are turbo-powered.

Based on specification alone, the 400hp Macan Turbo is the most exciting of the line-up, with a 0-62mph time of just 4.8 seconds (4.6 seconds with Sport Chrono package), and it is epically fast for a car of the Macan’s size and 2-tonne weight. You hit 60mph in the blink of an eye and are on your way to even higher speeds before you’ve taken your foot off the accelerator. Oddly, though, there’s little sensation of the immense force propelling you forward, none of the thrill or exhilaration you’d expect to feel.

Porsche Macan Turbo Cockpit 1
The Porsche Macan Turbo is astonishingly fast

We also expected the Macan Turbo to come with a sports exhaust as standard. The Macan Turbo is very quiet around town, which is welcome, but it’s still quiet when you open the throttle on the open road or when you hammer it around a track.

The Macan Turbo is wonderfully civilised and stupendously fast, which is exactly what Porsche wanted to achieve. If you want the fastest, most powerful Macan available at launch then you should buy the Turbo, but we’d prefer it to be a bit more uncouth and raucous when pushed.

Porsche Macan Turbo Engine

The Macan Diesel, meanwhile, should be the weakest of the three models, as its 3-litre engine produces just 258hp, peaking between 4,000 and 4,250rpm. However, the diesel engine also produces a massive 580nm of torque between 1,750-2,500rpm, which helps it move around town and country with prodigious speed. Set off from the lights too aggressively and you’re pushed forward with tremendous force. It may not have the immense power of the Turbo, but the Diesel is an immensely enjoyable car to drive. Even better, there’s no tell-tale rattle or clatter to betray the fact it’s a diesel.

The Macan S is perhaps the most balanced of the three Macan models, producing 340hp at 6,500rpm and moving from zero to 62mph in 5.4 seconds (5.2 seconds with Sport Chrono package). It’s wonderfully smooth in sound, feel and power delivery. Although not as fast as the Turbo, the Macan S is no slouch, and you’ll have absolutely no problem overtaking slower traffic or having fun on country roads.

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