The Car Connection Porsche Macan Overview
The Porsche Macan is a compact crossover SUV and the best-selling vehicle from the automaker.
Like the Cayenne before it, the Porsche Macan was an instant hit with shoppers when it made its debut in 2015. With the Macan, Porsche has a rival for vehicles such as the Audi Q5, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, BMW X3 and X4, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. All of those options offer high-performance variants to challenge the Macan. But the Macan still sets the standard for drivability, it's so good that you forget it's a crossover from behind the wheel.
For 2022, the Macan gets a mid-cycle refresh that changes up the trim levels and adds more standard features. The Macan Turbo is kaput, with the GTS now representing the top of the Macan lineup. Each of the three trim levels gets an engine upgrade and more power as well.
MORE: Read our 2022 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. Simple styling continues across the rear end, with LED taillights framing a wraparound tailgate. The taillights are part of a full-width light bar that has spread across the Porsche lineup. The profile features side blades that can be body color, black, or, this year, silver. Inside, Porsche has swapped the button heavy center console for one full of haptic touch controls. It makes the massive center console look sleeker, but attracts fingerprints and isn't quite as user friendly.
The base Macan features a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that gets a bump to 261 hp this year. More excitingly, the Macan S has adopted the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 found in the previous GTS, making 375 hp and scooting from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds (with launch control). The GTS takes the top spot from the Turbo and uses the same engine as the Macan S, but it's been up-tuned to punch out 434 hp and that shaves the 0-60 mph time down to 4.1 seconds. All Macan engines are mated to a quick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive is standard. It sends more power to the rear wheels during normal or performance driving and has the ability to shift 100 percent of the 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. A Sport mode remaps throttle and all-wheel-drive response, while an off-road mode can operate at speeds of under 50 mph for more precise traction needs. Hill descent control is also available from 2 to 18 mph.
The Macan has 7.9 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, which comes with adjustable dampers; base versions have a five-link independent suspension front and rear with steel springs and standard dampers, though the adjustable dampers are optional. Other performance options include a sport exhaust system, surface coated brakes, 20- and 21-inch wheels with summer tires, and the Sport Chrono Package that adds a stopwatch on the dash, launch control, and a mode switch on the steering wheel with a Sport+ mode and a Sport Response button.
Inside, the Macan has comfortable front seats but adults may find the second row to be a bit confining. Powered and heated front seats are standard, with optional cooling. The rear seat's a three-person bench, split-folding into three sections to open the cargo space from 17.2 cubic feet to 53.0 cubic feet in all.
There's no crash-test data for the Macan and there might never be, but standard features include front and rear parking sensors, lane-departure warnings, and a rearview camera. On the options list are blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and a surround-view camera system. Oddly, automatic forward emergency braking is not on the list. That's a mistake.
The Macan doesn't forget the luxury side of things, with a standard power tailgate and 10.9-inch center touchscreen. Navigation with real-time traffic information, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and wireless Apple CarPlay come standard, though Android Auto is nowhere to be found. The standard 10-speaker sound system can be replaced by a 545-watt, 14-speaker setup from Bose, and if that's not enough there's a 1,000-watt, 16-speaker Burmester system at the top of the range.
All Macans have engine stop/start as well as electric power steering, both of which help to make it more efficient, but fuel economy numbers are not a priority. Performance is.