New & Used Porsche Macan: In Depth
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The Macan, the Porsche's smaller crossover, is also the smallest and least expensive of the brand's cars. Fact is, Porsche's sport utilities are more popular than the brand's sports cars. This has been the case with the Cayenne, anyway, as that SUV practically saved Porsche and has been at or near the top of the company's charts since introduced.
The Macan is the smaller sibling to the Cayenne, also a five-seater, but the Macan's size is more in line with competitors such as the Audi Q5 (on which it's loosely based); the BMW X3 and X4; and the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. The mid-size crossover Macan SUV is poised to become Porsche's best-selling model.
MORE: Read our 2016 Porsche Macan review
The Macan's shape doesn't stray too far from the Porsche usual. Its silhouette is more than just reminiscent of the Cayenne's, with a gently curved roofline, but a quicker slope at the tail that reads almost hatchback-like. Massive air intakes and four-element headlights up front recall the Panamera as well as the Cayenne, and the model is otherwise mostly unadorned. Simple styling continues across the rear end, with LED taillamps framing a wraparound tailgate. A key detail differentiates the two models: the Macan S has round quad exhausts, the Macan Turbo, squared-off ports. Inside, Porsche's smothered the cabin in buttons, but it reads cleanly, with a massive center console intersecting the dash at the new car-cabin hub, the LCD touchscreen.
Porsche offers two Macan models. The less-expensive option is the Macan S, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 340-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6, backed by a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive. All Macans include a Sport mode, which remaps throttle and all-wheel-drive response. The entry-level is claimed to be capable of a 5.2-second 0-to-60-mph run and a top speed of 156 mph. With the Sport Chrono package and its included launch control activated, the 0-to-60 time drops to 5.0 seconds.
The Macan Turbo, meanwhile, uses a larger-displacement twin-turbo six; its 3.6 liters produce 400 hp. The Turbo can reach 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, or 4.4 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono pack and launch control. Top speed is 164 mph. Turbo models also come with slightly more standard equipment.
All Macans have engine stop/start as well as electric power steering, both of which help to make it more efficient. The two models share the same fuel economy ratings: 17 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway in EPA cycles. This is beyond rare for two different powertrains in the same vehicle, with the larger, more powerful engine coming out as efficient as the less-expensive option.
The Macan manages its big power numbers through an all-wheel-drive system that always sends power to the rear wheels, but has the ability to shift 100 percent of torque (theoretically, before driveline loss) to the front wheels. An optional torque-vectoring system splits that torque again between the rear wheels via an electronically controlled locking differential across the rear axle. An off-road mode can operate at speeds of under 50 mph for more precise traction needs; hill descent control is available from 2 to 18 mph.
The Macan has 7.8 inches of ground clearance, which, with the optional adjustable air suspension, can be set to just over 9 inches or down to as little as 7 inches. That's the most advanced air-spring setup; base versions have a five-link independent suspension front and rear, with a set of adaptive dampers available as a mid-line package.
All Macans ride on standard 19-inch, 55-series tires, and sport six-piston front brake calipers. Wheels can be sized up to 21 inches, or downsized to an 18-inch lightweight design for those more interested in ride comfort than looks.
On interior space and utility, the Macan's 110.5-inch wheelbase and 185-inch overall length are rated to carry five passengers. Power front seats are standard, with heating control, and optional ventilation. The rear seat's a three-person bench, split-foldable into three sections to open the cargo space from 17.7 cubic feet to 53 cubic feet in all.
There's no crash-test data yet with the Macan, but standard features include all-wheel drive and Bluetooth. On the options list are lane-keeping alerts, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control.
The Macan doesn't forget the luxury side of things, with a standard power tailgate and a seven-inch center touchscreen display. The standard 11-speaker sound system can be replaced by a 545-watt, 14-speaker setup from Bose, and if that' snot enough there's a 1000-watt, 16-speaker Burmester system at the top of the range.
A navigation system with a music hard drive is an option on the Macan S, and standard on the Macan Turbo. It's integrated with an infotainment system that accesses web feeds and Internet streams through the Aha Radio app. Finally, the Macan mates up with Porsche Car Connect, a mobile app that enables remote unlocking, vehicle location tracking, and other data.
Like most Porsche models, the Macan will see its lineup expand for the 2017 model year with the GTS. It splits the power difference between the existing models, settling in at 360 hp, with a round of suspension refinements.