Competes with: Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Audi Q5
Looks like: A pint-sized Cayenne
Drivetrain: 340-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6; 400-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Spring 2014
Porsche’s 2015 Macan is the sports car maker’s first foray into the luxury compact SUV segment filled with small utes like the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, soon-to-be-released Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Audi Q5. Any thoughts of Porsche selling out by offering a more mainstream compact SUV can be quickly put to rest with the twin-turbocharged engines making 340 horsepower and 400 hp in the base Macan S and Macan Turbo, respectively. Porsche wants the Macan to be the first compact SUV that’s also a sports car.
But it’s also an SUV, so the Macan comes with standard all-wheel drive, power liftgate, off-road mode and available air suspension with adjustable ride height. After all, Porsche has a decade of SUV experience with its popular, and larger, Cayenne.
The Macan’s look is undeniably Porsche, taking inspiration from the Cayenne in addition to Porsche’s sports cars. Porsche says the sloping roof and rear fenders are 911-inspired, and the headlights are based on the upcoming 918 Spyder.
Differentiating the Macan S and Turbo can be done a few ways. One, by looking at the dual exhaust where the Macan S wears round exhaust tips, and the Turbo features square exhaust finishers. The side blades on the Macan’s profile are painted black on the entry-level Macan S and body colored on the higher-optioned Macan Turbo, though Turbo models can also equip carbon fiber blades on the sides.
Large wheels up to 21 inches are available, while 19-inch rollers are standard with a staggered tire size; narrower up front and wider out back. The staggered tire size enables sporty yet precise steering maneuvers, Porsche says.
The five-seat Macan takes inspiration from the 918 Spyder on the inside as well with a steering wheel said to be all new and taken from the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car. Like the outside, Porsche stayed true to its classic design on the inside with three prominent gauge clusters filled with analog and digital gauges. A 4.8-inch color display shows audio, navigation (when equipped) and vehicle information. Various interior trim options, seating, stereo and other personalization features are available, just like other Porsches.
The main screen for controlling multimedia and navigation functions is a 7-inch touch-screen. Optional stereos include Burmester and Bose units.
When it comes to using the Macan as an SUV, there’s 17.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 53 cubic feet when the backseats are folded. Room behind the rear seats is on the smaller side compared to its competition, though maximum room is on par with the GLK-Class, Evoque and Q5.
Under the Hood
The Macan has the attributes of a sports car and off-roader packing 340 hp in base S models and 400 hp in Turbo models; both use a twin-turbocharged V-6. The engine feeds a standard all-wheel-drive system through a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Porsche expects the Macan S to hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and 5.0 seconds with the available Sport Chrono Package that includes launch control. The Macan Turbo hits the 60 mph mark in 4.6 seconds and 4.4 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package.
Then there are the off-road bits. Along with the standard Sport mode activated via a button, all Macans also feature an off-road button that can be activated below 50 mph. Off-road mode tunes the shift points for off-road use and provides the front wheels with torque faster, and with the optional air suspension raises the vehicle for additional ground clearance — up to 9.06 inches. A Porsche Hill Control system keeps downhill descents in check by limiting speed automatically between 2 and 18 mph.
Porsche’s Active Suspension Management is standard on Macan Turbos with driving modes for Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus settings.
Stopping power comes from six-piston front calipers and rotors sized 13.78 inches on the S and 14.17 inches on the Turbo. The Macan features an automatic braking system designed to reduce a secondary collision after a primary collision first by applying maximum braking effort once the airbags have deployed.
Optional safety equipment includes lane keeping assist, blind spot warning and adaptive cruise control.