The Car Connection Porsche Macan Overview
The Porsche Macan is the automaker's smallest crossover with surprising performance.
Like other luxury automakers, the Porsche Macan was an instant hit with shoppers. With the Macan, Porsche has a rival for vehicles such as the Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace, BMW X3 and X4, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. All of those options offer high-performance variants to challenge the Macan.
The Macan hasn't changed much since it was new in 2015. In 2016, Porsche added a base Macan powered by a turbo-4. In 2017, Porsche added a value-loaded GTS package that slot between the Macan S and the Macan Turbo. For 2018, Porsche hardly changed the successful, entry-level SUV.
MORE: Read our 2018 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. Inside, Porsche has 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.
The Macan launched with two models: the S, powered by a 340-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, and the Turbo, with a 400-hp turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6.
A turbocharged 4-cylinder base Macan was added in 2016. Its 2.0-liter engine puts out 252 hp.
Porsche says the base model can reach 60 mph in 6.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 142 mph. The Macan S is 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, can reach 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, or 4.4 seconds with Sport Chrono. Its speed is 164 mph. Turbo models also come with slightly more standard equipment.
All Macan engines are mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The Macan expanded its lineup for the 2017 model year with the GTS (read Motor Authority's first drive here). The new GTS draws power from an engine that splits the power difference between the existing V-6 models, settling in at 360 hp, with a round of suspension refinements.
The GTS cuts the Macan's 0-60 mph time to 4.8 seconds and increases the top speed to 159 mph. The GTS comes with an air suspension, adjustable dampers, and a 10-mm lower ride height.
All Macans have an all-wheel-drive system that always sends power to the rear wheels, but 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 7.8 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 well.
Inside, the Macan acts like the family wagon. It can carry five passengers, but if they are adults, four will be more comfortable. Power front seats are standard, with optional heating and ventilation. The rear seat's a three-person bench, split-folding 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 for the Macan, but standard features include all-wheel drive, lane-departure warnings, and a rearview camera. On the options list are blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control.
The Macan doesn't forget the luxury side of things, with a standard power tailgate and a 7.0-inch center touchscreen. The standard 11-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.
A navigation system with a music hard drive is an option on all but the Turbo, where it is standard. It's integrated with an infotainment system that accesses web feeds and internet radio stations. Finally, the Macan mates up with Porsche Car Connect, a mobile app that enables remote unlocking, vehicle location tracking, and other data.
All Macans have engine stop/start as well as electric power steering, both of which help to make it more efficient. The S and Turbo share the same fuel economy ratings: 17 mpg city, 23 highway, 19 combined, according to the EPA. The GTS should have the same ratings, and the base model is rated at 20/25/22 mpg.