Porsche Macan: The Great All – Rounder

There are certain universally accepted motoring truths: Toyota’s are reliable. Rolls Royce is the last word in luxury. Porsche makes great sports cars.

Whilst the latter statement is an easy one to digest, it didn’t help me when I confronted the recently launched Porsche Macan for the first time simply because it’s yet another departure from what we’re used to with Porsche. Or is it?

Worldwide compact SUV sales have more than doubled in the past 5 years so it’s a fair business decision to make the Macan. Add to that, the peerless performance and success of the Panamera and Cayenne models and the Macan makes complete sense.

On the design front, the Macan looks fantastic with some special design cues that pay homage to OR are ‘borrowed’ from the extraordinary Porsche 918 Spyder. My personal favourite on the exterior of the car are the side ‘blades’ that run across both doors. These can be finished in the cars body colour, black trim or carbon fibre…of course. 918 Spyder inspirations continue into the cabin with my all-time favourite steering wheel lifted straight out of the Spyder. It’s the guidance tool from which you’ll truly understand how serious this car is. But let’s get the numbers out of the way.

Performance for each of the Macan variants is astounding:

Choice’s 0-100km/h Power Price
Macan S 0-100km/h in 5,4 seconds 250kw R 873,000.00
Macan S Diesel 0-100km/h in 6,3 seconds 180kw R 862,000.00
Macan Turbo 0-100km/h in 4,8 seconds 294kw R 1,239,000.00

The beauty about compact SUV’s is that you have the opportunity to create something that is both practical AND dynamically capable. Whilst the Porsche Macan is based on the Audi Q5 platform, it’s a much stronger architecture with more cross beams and reinforcements. The large air intakes, the quad sport tailpipes and the flowing profile all speak of a keen penchant for speed and agility. Even the rear tyres are larger than the front ones and let me tell you….it all works out to reveal a beautiful sports car experience.

The standard suspension is rock solid and even under the hardest driving conditions the car just seemed able to deliver that bit more than it was asked to. Whilst this is the case, you can also order the Macan with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and air suspension which will reward you with an even more flattering driving experience.

In Macan S guise, the little SUV is a high-revving hoot to drive and with 250kW under foot, at no point did I feel the need for even more power. I didn’t get to drive the Turbo but if the numbers are anything to go by, I would definitely assert that the petrol-powered S version is more than ample without the need to spend a further R366,000. But the true hero in the line-up is the Diesel. Again.

I absolutely loved the Cayenne Diesel S that we drove a few months ago and I am surprised to say that this Macan Diesel S is even better. It is the most refined, free-revving engine I’ve driven and once again, the performance difference between the petrol mill and this one is minimal. (We even had 2 colleagues who didn’t even realise they were driving a diesel.) The brilliance though, is in the efficiency of it. I spent my time in both variants driving pretty hard. There was no point in our excursion that we were coasting or admiring the incredible wine route scenery. But we still managed to achieve an average of 8.6 l/100kms in the Diesel. I have no doubts that Porsche’s claims of 6,1 l/100km are spot on.

So what the Porsche Macan is: A fantastic performance car. A relatively practical SUV with 500l of boot space and 1500l with the seats folded down. It has all-wheel drive capability. It has a higher driving position than any sedans out there. It’s handsome. It’s fuel-efficient. It’s a Porsche.

What more do you want? Really – I’d like to know.

As with all Porsche products, you can order your Macan with any number of options to suit your driving and luxury tastes. This is of course, where the Macan can become all-consuming. I have seen some on the showroom floor for just under R2 Million and whilst Torque Vectoring; Privacy Glazing and Burmester Sound systems are nice, I’d caution you on the amount of ticks you make.

Other than that, I think the Macan could well be the next SA Car of the Year.

AM

8.2

The Breakdown


HEAD-TURNING APPEAL
8
GOOD SENSE
9
POCKET PLEASURE
6
INSPIRED PERFORMANCE
9
ROAD MANNERS
9




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