In the Indonesian language, “Macan” means tiger. No model designation could be more appropriate for Porsche’s initial foray into compact crossover SUV territory. Based upon the Audi Q5 and introduced for 2015, Macan has brought Porsche’s recipe for high-level motoring to a segment that’s often been viewed as bland.
Competing against such premium crossovers as the BMW X3, the Macan promises exceptional agility and impeccably precise steering, along with dazzling acceleration. After all, it’s a Porsche—billed as “the sports car of the SUV segment.”
What's New for 2017
A new “entry-level” Macan has joined the lineup. Its turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine develops 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. During the 2016 model year, a Macan GTS became available, joining the original two versions.
Choosing Your Porsche Macan
To develop the Macan, designers adapted a number of design elements from Porsche sports cars, highlighted by a wraparound hood and gently sloping roof. Bi-xenon headlights have dynamic leveling. Integrated foglamps and LED taillights are installed. Front occupants have knee airbags, and full-length side-curtain airbags incorporate rollover sensing. The sizable cargo area holds 17.7 cubic feet of luggage.
A four-cylinder turbocharged engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission go into the new base-model Macan.
The Macan S holds a twin-turbo 3-liter V6 engine developing 340 horsepower, also driving a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The Macan GTS holds a 360-horsepower version oft the 3-liter V6, producing 369 pound-feet of troque.
Topping the performance scale is the Macan Turbo, whose 3.6-liter V6 generates 400 horsepower.
Active all-wheel drive is standard, with an electronically controlled, multi-plate clutch, augmented by Porsche Traction Management. A Macan S can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds (5 even with the optional Sport Chrono package). Acceleration to 60 mph in the Macan GTS takes 4.8 seconds with the Sport Chrono package. With the Macan Turbo, acceleration figures dip to 4.6 and 4.4 seconds, respectively.
With any V6 engine, fuel economy is estimated by the EPA at 17 mpg in city driving and 23 mpg on the highway (19 mpg combined). The four-cylinder Macan earns an estimate of 20/25 mpg (city/highway).
Four trim levels now are offered: new Macan (base), Macan S, Macan GTS, and Macan Turbo:
Options include Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, which distributes levels of drive torque to the rear wheels.
Considering the eye-popping price of the 400-horsepower Turbo, most buyers are sure to settle for the Macan S, with its still-bountiful 340 horsepower, or the new four-cylinder base model. Whatever the powertrain, you’ll probably pay full MSRP, without discounts, since vehicles of this sort have had extensive waiting lists.
Since arriving in 2015, the Porsche Macan has become the legendary sports car manufacturer’s top-selling model. While its quick adoption is incredible, it should come as no surprise, as this is no ordinary crossover.
Pricing and Equipment
Performance like the Porsche Macan offers doesn’t come cheap, but for the brand, it’s relatively affordable with a starting price of $48,550. On the top end, however, things get a lot pricier at $77,050 for the Turbo model. Both of those prices can increase fast, thanks to Porsche's notoriously extensive options catalog. Because this crossover caters to the younger Porsche crowd, we're betting the base Macan and sportier Macan S will be the most popular among buyers. In its base trim, the Macan comes standard with:
Automatic bi-xenon headlights
Tri-zone climate control
Partial leather and simulated-suede upholstery
Ten-speaker sound system
There are also plenty of options to choose from, even in its lowest trim. A few popular choices include 14-way power front seats ($1,710) or 18-way adaptive sport seats ($2,080), LED headlights with adaptive lighting ($1,890), adjustable suspension ($2,745), and much more. Suffice it to say, if you want a piece of equipment added to the Macan, be it for comfort or performance, Porsche can probably accommodate you (for a price).
The Macan boasts a range of outstanding engines and pairs them to the perfect transmission to deliver this power to all four corners. It's truly a sports car in crossover clothing.
Even in its base trim, the Macan has a slick seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Plenty of engines to choose from: the base Macan uses a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, while Porsche offers a quartet of power levels for its twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6. The Macan S gets 340 hp, the Macan GTS offers 360 hp, while the Turbo pumps out 400 hp. An optional performance pack on the top-end trim kicks the output up to a staggering 440 hp.
From bottom to top, acceleration is simply incredible, ranging from 6.3 seconds in its base trim to a blistering 4.2 seconds in the Turbo trim with the Performance Package.
The Macan is about as curve-carving as a crossover can get, especially with its optional adjustable suspension.
The dual-clutch transmission doesn't have the best city manners, but it's the only available gearbox (and in terms of outright performance, it's arguably the best automatic on the planet).
The potent V6 engines are thirsty, leading to fuel-economy ratings of just 19 miles per gallon combined.
The Macan’s interior is plenty roomy for four adults.
Feels very Porsche-like with its slew of buttons surrounding the fear shifter and on the center stack.
Options, options, and more options to choose from, allowing for easy customization inside the cabin.
The Macan is considered a five-seat crossover, but its rear seats are tight for five adults.
Its 17.7 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats up is tight.
The high-cost options can turn customization into quite an expensive process.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Porsche buyers expect performance – that the Macan delivers on-road is not shock, but it's the off-road abilities that surprise, thanks to an available off-road transmission mode, 7.8 inches of ground clearance, and hill-descent control. What’s more, the available air suspension adds an extra 1.58 inches of ground clearance at the push of a button.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Not really a surprise, per se, but it's genuinely shocking how quickly the Macan’s price can increase. It's not an exaggeration to say that customers can literally double a base model's starting price just with optional extras.
The Bottom Line
It’s tough to find any crossover that can truly top the Macan’s performance, handling, and luxury trimmings, but its costly options could leave some potential buyers second guessing a purchase.