Review: Porsche Macan (2014)
Sublime handling even on rough British roads. Impressive performance from all engines. Excellent build quality. Practical family car.
Currently restricted to a 2.0-litre 245PS engine.
Porsche Macan (2014): At A Glance
- New prices start from £46,485
- Contract hire deals from £532.79 per month
- Insurance Group 50
- On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure
You might think the Porsche Macan is just a cash-in but there is a lot more to it than marketing. For starters, it is a proper Porsche, with sports car handling provided by a physics defying body control, which gives huge amounts of grip and poise that contradicts the Macan's tall and upright styling. As a car for covering distance on British country roads it is sublime.
It’s practical too – as you would hope an SUV to be. It might not be the best in class, lagging behind rivals like the BMW X3, but there is enough space in the rear for adults to sit in comfort. The boot is a good size at 500 litres, plus it is a sensible shape and has no load lip so, despite being fairly high off the floor, it’s not too hard to get things in and out.
From the driver’s seat the Macan feels like a 911, with a very similar dashboard layout. It is beautifully finished too, with top-quality materials including plush, soft-touch leather and satin chrome details. But, like with other Porsche models, there is a confusing mess of buttons around the gear selector and on the centre stack, which can take a bit of getting used to.
The engine range includes a special-order only 2.0-litre petrol, although the performance doesn't really kick off until you reach the 3.0-litre, 258PS V6 in the S Diesel. This gets the Macan from 0-62mph in a hot-hatch worrying 6.3 seconds, thanks to a meaty 580Nm of torque, yet it offers reasonable claimed fuel economy of 44.8mpg.
The diesel is joined by a 3.0-litre V6 petrol that is quicker to 62mph, but noticeably less efficient. There is also a range-topping 3.6-litre V6 in the Turbo which offers seriously impressive pace, but at a high price and with distinctly unimpressive fuel economy. Still – 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds is not to be sniffed at.
All models come with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (which Porsche calls PDK) and all-wheel drive as standard, but despite off-road technologies like hill descent control the Macan is far more at home on the road. In fact, it is the best-handling SUV money can buy. It might be pricier than rivals, but if you like driving and your budget stretches far enough it is very easy to recommend.
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Porsche Macan (2014): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 500–1500 litres
If it wasn’t for the high ride height you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a 911 from behind the wheel of the Macan. The dashboard layout is essential Porsche, with the traditional font used on a big, clear central rev counter, flanked by an analogue speedo and an information display.
The centre console and stack are familiar Porsche too, with a raised gear selector and large infotainment screen for controlling navigation, connectivity and audio. Build quality is top-notch, with sturdy but plush plastics and brushed metal accents. It all feels every bit as good as a pricier Porsche model.
It’s not all good news though; there are too many buttons surrounding the gear selector and in the centre stack, which take some getting used to. They do become familiar in time - and they do follow the design of other Porsche models – but the layout could be much neater and simpler than it is.
On the plus side the seats are really very comfortable, even on long journeys, plus there is enough space to make this a viable choice of family car. The back row isn’t quite as spacious as in the BMW X3, but for children, teenagers and even most adults it offers enough knee and headroom.
The boot is a decent size too at 500 litres, expandable to 1500 if you fold the rear seats forward. Again, this isn’t class-leading but it is still more than enough for most uses, plus it is a sensible, practical shape. It also benefits from a flat load lip, making it easy to load and unload heavy, bulky items despite the fairly high ride height.
The Macan comes with some nice luxuries as standard, including an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, 18-inch alloy wheels and an electric tailgate. It is, of course, easy to bump the price up with options like carbon ceramic brakes, air suspension and a higher-quality Bose audio system.
Macan S and S Diesel models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, quad tailpipes, electric tailgate, electrically folding door mirrors, tinted glass, PDK transmission, multi-function steering wheel with gear change paddles, SPORT button, CDR Plus audio system, automatic wipers, two-zone climate control, comfort seats with Alcantara centre upholstery, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, piano black interior package.
Macan Turbo gain Turbo specific styling, 19-inch alloy wheels, Turbo specific exhaust pipe design, Xenon headlights, LED fog lights, Porsche Active Suspension Management, BOSE audio system, Porsche Communication Management, leather package, brushed aluminium interior package.
Child seats that fit a Porsche Macan (2014)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Porsche Macan (2014) like to drive?
- Engines range from Macan 2.0 PDK to Macan Turbo Performance Pack
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 18–42 mpg
The Macan might be an SUV but it’s still genuinely Porsche-like to drive. For example, take it to a sweeping, twisting road and it'll leave you speechless as its suspension blends good ride quality with excellent body control. Indeed, there is barely any roll at all through corners, plus there is confidence inspiring grip thanks to standard all-wheel drive and large tyres.
Yet, despite the considerable technology packed into the running gear, there is plenty of real world feedback through the chassis. This means the steering is pin-precise, giving the Macan a sense of poise that is rare in any car, let alone a big SUV.
Yet, away from a twisting B road, the Macan becomes quiet, civilised and very easy to drive. Refinement is top notch too and there is a relaxed seven-speed PDK automatic transmission as standard. The PDK is easy going most of the time, yet is responsive when you get a hustle on.
All variants of the Macan can be specified with the optional Sport Chrono Pack, familiar from other Porsche models. This adds a stopwatch for timing laps, if that’s your kind of fun, and also includes a Sport Plus button that sharpens the throttle response and raises the rev limiter. It also adds a launch control system for faster acceleration from a standstill.
Also optional are carbon ceramic brakes, which give better stopping power and less brake fade under heavy use. Porsche Torque Vectoring is optionally available too and gives more accurate steering. It also increases body stability at high speeds, but is not just a gadget for wannabe racers as it makes a real difference in snowy or icy conditions.
Despite being an all-wheel drive car – and despite off-road gizmos like hill descent control – the Macan is more at home on road than in the dirt. Having said that it will cope with fields and tracks fairly well, especially if fitted with optional air suspension, which can be used to increase the ride height at the touch of a button.
There is a single diesel option in the form of a 3.0-litre V6, which produces 258PS and 580Nm of torque. It’s probably the best buy in the range since it offers impressive performance yet is reasonably frugal, managing 44.8mpg. On special order only there is a cheaper, 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
The petrol range originally featured a 340PS 3.0-litre S model and a range-topping 400PS 3.6-litre petrol in the Turbo. The latter offers serious pace, with 0-62mph taken care of in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 165mph. Unfortunately it has an unhealthy appetite for fuel, managing 30.7mpg on paper and noticeably less in the real world.
For most buyers the less powerful S model will do the trick. It is still swift, with 0-62mph dispatched in 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 158mph, but official economy is marginally better at 31.4mpg and it is noticeably less expensive to buy. We’d go for the diesel though – it’s quick enough and cheaper at the pumps.
|Macan 2.0 PDK||39 mpg||6.7 s||172–185 g/km|
|Macan GTS||32 mpg||5.2 s||212 g/km|
|Macan S||32 mpg||5.4 s||207 g/km|
|Macan S Diesel||46 mpg||6.3 s||161 g/km|
|Macan S PDK||-||-||204 g/km|
|Macan Turbo||32 mpg||4.8 s||208 g/km|
|Macan Turbo Performance Pack||29 mpg||4.4 s||224 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Porsche Macan (2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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