In-depth reviews

Porsche Macan review - engine and transmission

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

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 entry-level Porsche Macan uses a 2-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine derived from the EA888 unit you'll find throughout much of the Volkswagen empire – and in cars such as the Volkswagen Golf R. In this application it actually develops less power than in VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda's hot hatchbacks, with 242bhp at 5000rpm, but there's a meaty 273lb ft of torque available from 1600rpm so performance is still on a par with many vehicles in the hot hatchback class.

It's not the most inspiring of engines though, particularly for a car wearing the Porsche crest. Step up to the petrol Macan S and things get more interesting. Its 3-litre twin-turbo V6 produces 349bhp and 354lb ft of torque, the latter from 1360rpm. The engine here is a marked step above the four-cylinder in the entry-level car in performance, character and response, and feels much more suited to pushing the heavy Macan body along. And, more importantly, more fitting for a Porsche.

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!

Within the Macan range the GTS is not, perhaps surprisingly, at the top of the tree. Instead it sits between the S and the Turbo, both in terms of price and power output, with its turbocharged 3-litre V6 dispensing 375bhp at 5200-6700rpm, and 384lb ft from 1750 to 5000rpm.

> 2019 Volkswagen Golf R review - the art of having your cake and eating it too

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Really, though, it’s the Macan Turbo that delivers the most exhilarating performance. The most recent model update ditched the old 3.6-litre engine and brought in a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 similar to that of Audi’s RS4 and RS5 models. Power has risen by 39bhp to 434bhp at 5700-6600rpm, and it also gets 406lb ft from 1800 to 5600rpm.

It uses a seven-speed PDK twin-clutch auto – the transmission standard across the entire Macan range. It seems that the overlong gearing that blights the Boxster and Cayman is also present and (in)correct with the Macan. The PDK works well enough, with fast and smooth shifting, but if you hang on to gears in manual mode you’re looking at high (and illegal) speeds in second and third. Shifts are very smooth, very fast and particularly responsive to the paddles, though – PDK remains one of the best dual-clutch transmissions on the market.

While none of the turbocharged engines has quite the character of one of Porsche’s (increasingly rare) naturally aspirated flat-sixes, it’s hard to argue with the figures they produce, particularly given the size and weight of the Macan. A basic 2-litre Macan is 1795kg, rising to 1945kg for the Macan Turbo.

It’s got a proper sports car chassis though, with double wishbones at both ends and on the GTS and Turbo, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is standard fit (it’s £816 on the others), with an air-sprung PASM set-up optional at £1860 on the Macan and S, or £1044 on the GTS and Turbo. Ceramic brakes are an option too, at nearly £5700.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-throws-off-more-disguise-ahead-of-reveal
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020
Visit/bugatti/21646/new-bugatti-divo-deliveries-begin-ps44m-hypercar-hits-the-road
Bugatti

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020
Visit/ferrari/202965/ferrari-f40-vs-288-gto-turbocharged-icons-go-head-to-head
Ferrari

Ferrari F40 vs 288 GTO - turbocharged icons go head-to-head

Today's turbocharged Ferraris deliver a smooth hit; the 288 GTO and F40 thrilled with a much wilder ride 
5 Aug 2020