In-depth reviews

Porsche Macan review – the SUV that wants to be a sports car

Rivals have caught up, but the Macan remains an engaging and appealing sports SUV

Evo rating
Price
from £46,913
  • Still looks good and drives well despite its advancing years
  • Quite heavy, absence of a diesel model harms running costs

The Porsche Macan is an unusual thing. Half huge hot hatch and half baby Cayenne, but this seemingly awkward mash-up actually works and has created a car that delivers a more exciting driving experience than you might expect.

Built on VW group’s MLB platform, the Macan shares around a third of its underbody components with the Audi Q5. The driving experience, however, feels distinctly Porsche, with an emphasis on interaction and enjoyment, rather than the load-lugging approach of the Q5.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> Porsche Cayenne Turbo 2018 review – behaves like no SUV should

Porsche has worked hard to mask the Macan's mass and height, with the car exhibiting decent roll control and a steering set-up that brings proper interaction. Opt for the driver-focused Macan GTS and things get better still, while the Turbo is impressively quick both in a straight line and around corners.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Although Porsche's attempts have been successful, and the Macan is certainly impressive, don't for a second think it comes close to a non-SUV Porsche for driver involvement. Ultimately, it’s a well-rounded package with a price point that will likely see potential buyers of specced-up X3s and Q5s jumping ship for the Porsche badge. It isn’t a proper sports car, but it’s about as close as we’ve seen an SUV come to being one.

Porsche Macan: in detail 

  • Engine, gearbox and technical specs – No diesel these days, but the four- and six-cylinder petrols are strong, the seven-speed PDK smooth, and the chassis well-equipped for deft handling.
  • Performance and 0-60 time – GTS and Turbo are well capable of outsprinting hot hatchbacks, but no Macan could be called slow.
  • Ride and handling – Weight counts against ultimate agility, but the Macan’s chassis is one of the best of any SUV.
  • MPG and running costs – The lack of a diesel harms ultimate economy. The petrols do get close to their official figures, though.
  • Interior and tech – Cabin design now looks dated next to those of more recent Porsches, but comfort and quality are still high and the tech is useable.
  • Design – One of the more attractive SUVs on sale, and it’s ageing well. Plenty of personalisation potential.

Prices, specs and rivals

Pricing for the new Macan starts at £46,913, for the entry-level 245bhp four-cylinder simply badged ‘Macan’. Move up the model pyramid to £49,300 and you’ll find the Macan S, sporting two more cylinders, and favouring performance rather than frugality compared to the four-pot.

The next jump (much bigger) lands you the Macan GTS sitting at £58,816. The Porsche 911-baiting Macan Turbo sits atop the range at £68,530. Like the GTS and the S, the Turbo uses a six-cylinder power plant; there’s no V8 here like there is in the Cayenne.

  Core German rivals come in the shape of the BMW X4, Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC Coupe, although none can match the Macan in terms of driving dynamics or sense of occasion. The X4 undercuts the Macan by only a few grand at base level, while the range-topping 355bhp M40i derivative elevates the sticker price into Macan GTS territory, at £56,790. The Q5 meanwhile begins at £41,420, and rises to £55,035 for the SQ5. The GLC range, meanwhile, ranges from £44,925, through £52,990 for the V6-engined GLC43 and £77,169 for the barmy 4-litre twin-turbo V8-powered GLC63.

> Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio review – as good as a Porsche Macan?

Advertisement - Article continues below

Outside of the usual German brands the closest equivalents are the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar. All feature high-performance variants, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio using a 3.9-litre turbocharged V6 and the other two a 5-litre supercharged V8, but of them all (and including the German cars) it’s the Alfa that gets closest to the Macan, and possibly even eclipses it.

The Macan naturally feels the more sophisticated and is the better built of the pair, but the Stelvio’s startling performance, impressive ability and gloriously silly soundtrack will give it the edge for some. At £70,900 the Quadrifoglio isn’t cheap (though nor is it excessive for a car with 503bhp), but it’s a lot of fun.

Advertisement
Advertisement

More on Macan

Visit/porsche/macan/22041/new-porsche-macan-s-review-alfa-stelvio-and-mercedes-glc-rival-updated
Porsche Macan SUV

New Porsche Macan S review - Alfa Stelvio and Mercedes GLC rival updated

Still the best SUV for those that like driving
11 Dec 2018
Visit/porsche/macan/21507/prices-for-new-look-porsche-macan-revealed-at-paris-motor-show
Porsche Macan SUV

Prices for new-look Porsche Macan revealed at Paris motor show

Porsche’s Macan compact SUV receives an updated powertrain and a subtle new look
1 Oct 2018
Visit/porsche/macan/18617/porsche-macan-turbo-performance-package-review-rapid-suv-gets-even-quicker
Porsche Macan SUV

Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Package review - Rapid SUV gets even quicker

Extra pace from Porsche's compact SUV, making it one of the quickest on sale
20 Dec 2016
Visit/porsche/macan/16916/porsche-macan-gets-refresh-with-new-tech-and-gts-inspired-trim
Porsche Macan SUV

Porsche Macan gets refresh with new tech and GTS-inspired trim

2016 model offers more functionality and comfort with latest upgrades
6 Nov 2015
Advertisement
Visit/porsche/macan/16893/porsche-macan-recalled-for-petrol-fuel-line-issue
Porsche Macan SUV

Porsche Macan recalled for petrol fuel line issue

Owners of affected vehicles will be contacted by their local dealership for a free fix
30 Oct 2015
Visit/porsche/macan/16875/porsche-macan-gts-slots-between-s-and-turbo
Porsche Macan SUV

Porsche Macan GTS slots between S and Turbo

Porsche completes its range of driver-focused GTS models with a new Macan variant
29 Oct 2015
Visit/porsche/macan/16822/hamann-gives-porsche-macan-s-diesel-wide-body-v8-sound
Porsche Macan SUV

Hamann gives Porsche Macan S Diesel wide body, V8 sound

German tuner works on sound, styling and straight-line urge with its take on the Macan S Diesel
16 Oct 2015
Visit/porsche/macan/14619/porsche-macan-turbo-and-s-diesel-get-techart-treatment
Porsche Macan SUV

Porsche Macan Turbo and S Diesel get TechArt treatment

Porsche's Macan S Diesel joins the Turbo as the latest hot SUV to be offered a power hike by German tuner TechArt
25 Nov 2014
Visit/porsche/macan/13942/porsche-macan-sport-design-package
Porsche Macan SUV

Porsche Macan Sport Design Package

Porsche has revealed a new Sport Design Package for the popular Macan model. Details here
7 Aug 2014