2015 Porsche Macan Review

Consumer Reviews
10 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
May 4, 2015

The 2015 Porsche Macan swings for the crossover fences, with Cayenne performance in a more tidy, somewhat more cost-effective package.

Porsche's no longer just a sports-car maker. The Cayenne's a huge part of the Porsche footprint--and now, the compact crossover SUV by the name of Macan looks to be Porsche's most successful model ever.

The Macan is loosely based on the Audi Q5. It's a compact crossover that seats five, and comes with standard all-wheel drive. With a choice of turbocharged six-cylinder engines, the Macan uses some of the same performance hardware that upconverts the Cayenne from a family wagon to a serious sport machine, with some off-road diversions tossed in for good measure.

The promise: Porsche levels of power output, cornering forces, and handling excellence, all in a compact wagon body that instantly telegraphs its Porsche identity from the outside, too.

Review continues below

2015 Porsche Macan styling

If you're familiar with the Cayenne, the Macan's styling offers few surprises. It's a tall-roof, short-wheelbase evolution of the bigger ute's themes, with the usual massive set of front-end intakes and strakes and compound headlamps. At its side, the Macan shows a quicker slope to its rear roof pillar--all the better to avoid Q5 comparisons and to call up 911 ones instead. The rear end's simple and spare, with LED taillamps barely intruding on the wraparound tailgate.

Spotters can pick out body-color brackets on the front air intakes on the Macan Turbo, and gray-metallic ones on the Macan S, unless they've been replaced with optional carbon-fiber inserts. It's easier at the rear, where the Macan S has four round exhaust outlets, and the Turbo four squared-off tips.

In the cabin, the Macan sports a rather lovely and plainly organized dash smothered Porsche-style in a heavy coat of buttons and switches. The center console intersects the dash just below a big, bright LCD screen and associated controls; the console itself flanks the shift lever with at least a dozen buttons on either side. Inside the gauge display, a trio of dials hosts the tach, the speedo, and on the right, a high-resolution display for navigation, audio, phone, and secondary systems. Finishes like piano-black or carbon-fiber or dark walnut trim, and Alcantara inserts for the seats, are on the relentless list of pay-up touches that can make a Macan order like an expensive trip through the Sears Christmas catalog (is that still a thing?).

2015 Porsche Macan performance

Porsche outfits its first Macan SUVs with twin-turbo six-cylinders, but those will be badged Macan S and Macan Turbo. Left unsaid for now: a base Macan that's expected to come later in the life span, and to come outfitted with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The Macan S is the base spec for now, and it's powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 with 340 horsepower. Power's channeled to all four wheels--with the rear wheels always delivering some of it--through Porsche's dual-clutch PDK transmission. (Need a little German to get by? PDK is "Porschedoppelkupplungssgetriebe.") Porsche pegs this version at a swift 5.2 seconds in 0-60 mph runs, with a top speed of 156 mph.

A Sport function lifts redline and shift points, but to truly advance the argument, the Macan can be fitted with an optional Sport Chrono package. With quicker shifts and more advanced throttle programming, it drops the acceleration time to 5.0 seconds and adds its own stopwatch gauge as well as a launch-control mode.

Both Macans have stop/start as well as electric power steering, for more efficient operation. Porsche hasn't released any fuel-economy estimates.

As it's done with the Cayenne, Porsche has set up the Macan's all-wheel-drive system to keep performance a priority. Porsche Traction Management (PTM) sends torque to the rear wheels at all times, and varies its torque split back to front, with the capability to send all of it to the fronts. With the optional torque-vectoring system, the rear wheels get varying levels of torque depending on detected wheelspin, via an electronically controlled locking differential across the rear axle.

There's also an off-road mode, which changes the shift behavior and torque distribution for higher-obstacle driving at speeds of up to 50 mph. Hill descent control is available between 2 and 18 mph. The Macan has 7.8 inches of ground clearance, which rises to just over 9 inches with the optional air suspension.

That air suspension leads the most technologically intensive Macans in their quest for roadholding. The standard Macan has a five-link independent suspension front and rear, while a mid-level setup (standard on the Turbo) adds electronically-controlled adaptive dampers with three-mode operation--the usual Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ modes. On top versions with the optional air suspension, ride height is lowered by 0.59 inches when in low mode, also triggered by a switch to Sport+, and raised 1.58 inches in its highest off-road mode. There's even a luggage-loading mode that drops the rear end almost two inches.

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.

We've driven the Macan S extensively on and off road, and have found that it acquits itself just fine on all those surfaces. But it's the Turbo that truly feels worthy of the Porsche name. The Macan Turbo pumps up displacement to 3.6 liters; its V-6 can launch to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, or 4.4 seconds with Sport Chrono. Top speed is 164 mph.

If any SUV could be called unflappable, the Porsche Macan Turbo can. It flows like mercury; it blows by sluggish autobahn traffic in vast, Amtrak-sized chunks with a part-throttle foot on it. It's almost impossible to get the Macan Turbo flustered. It even has an off-road driving mode. It's a supreme all-arounder.

2015 Porsche Macan seating and utility

Riding on a wheelbase of 110.5 inches and about 185 inches long overall, the Macan hosts five passengers in Porsche-class accommodations. In front, that means eight-way power front seats, standard leather upholstery, and an option for 18-way front seats in the Macan S (they're standard on the Turbo). The front seats are also heated, and can be ventilated.

Porsche says the driving environment puts all the critical controls into key groups on that busy center console, and in practice we've found it works better than the touchscreen interfaces embedding themselves in other luxury wagons--so long as you know where the correct switch lives. Newbie nota bene: The key goes to the left of the steering wheel.

The Macan's rear bench splits so that a slim middle section folds independently to create an armrest. All three sections fold down to expand the cargo space and to render the Macan a two-seater, in true Porsche style. With the rear seat up, there's 17.7 cubic feet of space; seats folded, it's 53 cubic feet.

2015 Porsche Macan safety and features

Since it's brand-new, the Macan has no crash-test data, but it does have the expected safety features and options. Alongside airbags, stability control, and standard all-wheel drive, it also gets Bluetooth and a rearview camera. On the options list are lane-keeping alerts, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control--and a panoramic glass roof.

Along with power features, a power tailgate, and 19-inch wheels, the Macan comes standard with an 11-speaker audio system with a USB port and a 7-inch touchscreen display. Option one is a 14-speaker, 545-watt Bose audio system--while the spendy versions get a Burmester setup with 1000 watts and 16 speakers.

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.

Base prices start from $50,295, but by our gauge, you'll want to spend at least $62,000 to get the equipment you really want. A Macan Turbo starts from just over $73,000; with competitive features, it's $81,000. It's not that difficult to blow past $100,000 when ordering a Macan Turbo, either. A little restraint may be the only thing left off the options list.

8

2015 Porsche Macan

Styling

If you're familiar with the Cayenne, the Macan's styling offers few surprises.

The only shocks you'll get with a Macan are the ones under the sheetmetal. It's styled with all the favorable features of the bigger Cayenne, with a faster rear glass, and with attractive new blades down its sills to lighten its visual load.

Compressed into a shorter span than on the Cayenne, the same cues work themselves out well. Porsche's usual massive front-end intakes and strakes and compound headlamps stack neatly. The hood has no cutlines, save for big headlight cut-outs: it's wrapped over the front corners to incorporate what would be the front fenders, which means the actual fenders are small triangular panels aft of the wheels.

From the side, the Macan factors in a deeper shoulder line than the Audi Q5, and a more steeply sloped rear glass, which Porsche believes will connect the Macan with its 911 more than that Q5. The rear end's simple and spare, with LED taillamps banded slimly on the wraparound tailgate.

Spotters can pick out body-color brackets on the front air intakes on the Macan Turbo, and gray-metallic ones on the Macan S, unless they've been replaced with optional carbon-fiber inserts. It's easier at the rear, where the Macan S has four round exhaust outlets, and the Turbo four squared-off tips.

The Macan's cabin is smothered in buttons and switches, not incomprehensible TFT screens, and it feels as appropriate as the left-mounted ignition. At least a dozen buttons flank either side of the shift lever. There is a central screen, but it hosts secondary controls--the primary functions represent in the gauge binnacle, with a high-resolution screen in the right pod serving as a redundant display.A simple black-and-grey scheme gives way on more polished Macan SUVs, which wear aluminum or carbon-fiber or dark walnut trim. You can have Alcantara seat inserts, full leather trim, a leather key pouch. The Macan has a relentless list of pay-up touches that make your order as singular as a trip through the Sears Christmas catalog. (If you're not yet 30 years old...see...there used to be a place called Sears....)

Review continues below
9

2015 Porsche Macan

Performance

To get the classic Porsche experience--scalding acceleration, effortless grip, impeccable balance--you need to tick a few Macan option boxes.

The Porsche Macan is more reasonably priced than a Cayenne, but it should come with a warning label: "The more you spend, the better time you're going to have."

To get the classic Porsche experience--scalding acceleration, effortless grip, impeccable balance--you'll have to suspend a few financial rules. It's the kind of car that makes drivers grin, but makes Suze Orman just sick at heart.

A "base" Macan S will suit most drivers just fine; we put it in quotes because it's expected that a true entry-level Macan with a lower-output engine is in the works. Until then, we've driven the Macan S extensively on and off road, and have found that it acquits itself just fine on all those surfaces.

The spec-sheet information puts the Macan S in super-SUV territory. It's motivated by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 340 horsepower; Porsche's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard, and so is all-wheel drive, set for a power bias to the rear wheels. Set up as such, the Macan S doesn't slouch its way through any driving task or mode. Porsche pegs 0-60 mph runs at 5.2 seconds, and has set a top speed of 156 mph, Add the Sport Chrono package for swifter transmission shifts and throttle tip-in, and the Macan S accelerates to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds--keen for a vehicle weighing in at more than 4,100 pounds, and right in the field of view of the Audi SQ5 and turbo-six BMW X3.

As a suburban shuttle of the now, the Macan S will not disappoint. It builds speed swiftly, with just a little whistle from the turbo and from wind noise at the top of the front doors. The seven-speed dual-clutch doesn't dither about shifts, and the steering doesn't have the dead spots you'll often find in crossover utes. In normal driving modes, the Macan is truly relaxed. It handles beautifully, utterly predictable so long as the stability control stays on, steering with precision, landing shifts exactly when they're called for, settling briskly into corners, powering out with a flicker of torque to the outside wheel.

The base price is only a come-on. If you want features like an infotainment package ($2,990) and a bundle with more premium features like a panoramic roof ($5,990), the Macan S is already up to $61,235. We'd also choose the $1,360 three-mode adaptive shocks, a torque-vectoring system to help tighten cornering lines ($1,490), and the Sport Chrono package ($1,290). All combine with Porsche Traction Management (PTM), which sends torque to the rear wheels at all times, and varies its torque split back to front, with the capability to send all of it to the fronts.

2015 Porsche Macan Turbo

The Macan S drives very well, but it also invites comparisons in a way the turbo doesn't.

The Macan Turbo's 60 extra horsepower make a big difference. Porsche pumps up displacement to 3.6 liters; its V-6 can launch to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, or 4.4 seconds with Sport Chrono. Top speed is 165 mph. The split between the S and the Turbo doesn't even span out a full second, but the perception plays out a little differently.

If any SUV could be called unflappable, the Porsche Macan Turbo can. It flows like mercury; it blows by sluggish autobahn traffic in vast, Amtrak-sized chunks with a part-throttle foot on it. With plenty of wastegate noise and a deep-throated exhaust, the Macan Turbo drives as if it could light up the neatest, cleanest driving line from beneath the pavement. Yank it into a steep right-hander, and it falls into line, complying with a bare second of tire noise. Paddle down, and crank out of a corner, hopping curbs to save a hundredth of a second, and it resets itself, shuffling torque to the outside wheel, passing briefly through a mild stage of understeer. It's really, really hard to overcook it inside its Sport+ modes--and even if you do, it takes just a brief pause to let it blur over your, er, oversights, and blaze on. Massive brakes are the picture of confidence--upsized a half-inch in front on Turbos to 14.2-inch rotors, and 1.2 inches to 14.0 inches in back, all with six-piston front calipers.

It's almost impossible to get the Macan Turbo flustered, even if one of the great writers and drivers is pressing badge on your rear glass, while Porsche's North American CEO is riding shotgun. Even if said Macan is riding on no-season treads chosen because February is a fickle thing. All Macans ride on standard 19-inch, 55-series tires--Michelin Latitude Tour HP all-season treads on our late-winter drive in eastern Germany, staggered 235/55 front, 255/50 rear. Wheels can be sized up to 21 inches, or downsized to an 18-inch lightweight design at no cost.

The ne plus ultra setup, and the one the most expensive and most rugged Macans will sport, swaps out the steel coils for air springs coupled to the adaptive shocks. All Macans have an off-road mode that diddles with shifting patterns and torque distribution, up to 50 mph. And with 7.8 inches of ground clearance and hill-descent control, the Macan S will trundle through mud pits with the aplomb of an Evoque, with the bonus of its air springs lifting it an additional 1.58 inches for more than 9 inches of ground clearance when needed. The air suspension will also drop the Macan 0.59 inches for aerodynamic smoothness at high speeds, or nearly two inches in a luggage-loading mode. If there's a line you must draw in the options sand, it's probably here. How many Starbucks are surrounded by mucky riverbeds anyway?

Review continues below
8

2015 Porsche Macan

Comfort & Quality

Bigger than an Audi Q5, lower than a Porsche Cayenne, the Macan is nearly ideally sized for urban driving.

Some parts and body structure are shared with the Audi Q5, but the Porsche Macan isn't a carbon copy of that lower-priced ute. The Macan is longer and wider, and it sits lower, too--it's lower than Porsche's Cayenne, too, by almost three inches.

By the numbers, the Macan is larger than the Q5, at 75.7 inches wide (+1.0 inches versus Q5), and 185 inches long (+3.4 inches). The wheelbase is the same, at 110.5 inches, and height is down to 63.9 inches (-1.3 inches). Compared with the Cayenne, the Macan is about six inches shorter, with 3.5 inches less wheelbase.

The space and how it's arranged results in a very comfortable tall wagon, well suited to carrying four adults, or five passengers in all. The front seats are eight-way power-adjustable, with leather covering, and an option to upgrade to 18-way front seats (that's in the Macan S; the 18-way seats are standard on the Turbo). Those 18-way seats are fantastic, with high side bolsters, thick lumbar bladders, and heating with available ventilation. A console stacked with controls walls off the driver from the front passenger, its two-dozen-plus buttons flagrantly bucking the trend to touchscreen all the things.

Rear-seat head and knee room are where the Macan fades in the Cayenne comparisons. The bottom cushion is low and short, still ample for adults to use--but adult knees will make contact with the front seatbacks holding six-footers, and the sunroof puts the headliner to the heads of big back-seaters.

The utility part of the equation is executed well. Doors have deep bottle pockets, and the center console's more generous than in many German SUVs. The Macan's rear bench splits so that a slim middle section folds independently to create an armrest. All three sections fold down to expand the cargo space and to render the Macan a two-seater, in true Porsche style. With the rear seat up, there's 17.7 cubic feet of space; seats folded flat, it's 53 cubic feet. There's storage below the cargo floor, the tailgate's power-operated, and with the air suspension, the Macan has a low mode for easier cargo loading.

Review continues below
8

2015 Porsche Macan

Safety

The Macan has no crash-test data--but it has extensive standard and optional safety technology.

Since it's brand-new, the Macan hasn't been put through the punishing crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 

The Macan S and Macan Turbo do have the expected safety features and options. Along with the requisite airbags, stability control, and standard all-wheel drive, the Macan also gets standard Bluetooth and a rearview camera. On the options list are lane-keeping alerts, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control.

Review continues below
9

2015 Porsche Macan

Features

The base $51,000 Macan is well equipped, but our sweet-spot spec brings it up to nearly $81,000.

Porsche outfits the Macan crossover ute with all the features you'd expect of a $50,000 luxury machine. All-wheel drive is standard on the Macan S; so are leather upholstery, power heated front seats, a power tailgate, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera.

From that home base, it's easy to run the Macan's price around a very expensive block. The Macan Turbo starts at $73,295, and that's before you make your way through the choices in adaptive and air suspensions, carbon-fiber trim, distinctive leather and suede trims, off-road packages, summer tires, upsized wheels, navigation, mobile connectivity, and a fantastic 16-speaker Burmester sound system.

There's a separate subset of safety options, including blind-spot monitors, lane-keeping alerts, and adaptive cruise control. Go all-in, and a Macan Turbo can easily pass the $100,000 mark.

We'd settle for a middle position, if we were trying to stick to a budget. A Macan S with navigation, a panoramic roof, three-mode shocks, torque vectoring, the Sport Chrono package, aluminum trim, and Bose audio, can be had for $64,825.

Review continues below
5

2015 Porsche Macan

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy figures haven't been released for the Macan.

The EPA has now weighed in on the fuel economy for the Porsche Macan.

In either Macan S or Macan Turbo trim, it's rated at 17 miles per gallon city, 23 miles per gallon highway, and 19 mpg combined. Since the major difference in models comes down to a slight bump in displacement, with the same all-wheel-drive system and transmission, it's not a big surprise that fuel economy is the same for both--even though the Macan Turbo has 60 more horsepower.

The Macan compares well with the Audi SQ5, which offers roughly the same power-to-weight ratio as the Macan S. The Audi is pegged at 16 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined.

We expect a base Macan diesel to show up for the 2016 model year.

Review continues below
Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

10 Reviews
5 star
90%
4 star
10%
3 star
2 star
1 star
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
May 16, 2017
2015 Porsche Macan AWD 4-Door S

Great, but could be even greater

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I bought my 2015 Macan S as soon as it came out and was given a relatively reasonable lease rate, although with a very high initial down payment. I absolutely love the exterior of the Macan, it just IS the... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
May 22, 2016
2015 Porsche Macan AWD 4-Door Turbo

there's a lot to like!

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
the first automobile that I have ever purchased site unseen. did a lot of homework, but there is nothing like the real thing. upon delivery, the car looked even better than I had expected, both in the styling... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 27, 2016
2015 Porsche Macan AWD 4-Door S

Most awesome

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
This vehicle delivers more than expected on every aspect of a sporty SUV
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
January 24, 2016
2015 Porsche Macan AWD 4-Door S

A compact powerful SUV fit for on road and off road use

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
The ride is firm but not hush. The style closely follows the legendary 911 sports car and is readily recognizable as Porsche. Adding a few options however, can easily cost you over $10,000.
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
September 2, 2015
2015 Porsche Macan AWD 4-Door S

Best crossover ever

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I've owned good cars in the past with similar performance, fit, and finish. However, nothing can compare to the whole package delivered by the Macan. It's as close as you'll get to a sports car in a crossover... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
July 18, 2015
2015 Porsche Macan AWD 4-Door Turbo

The sports car among cross overs!

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
It is not cheap but puts a big smile on your face. Fast, comfortable, handles, and looks great!
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
July 10, 2015
2015 Porsche Macan AWD 4-Door Turbo

Awesome vehicle - replaced my Cayenne GTS and I am impressed

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Awesome vehicle , stable , capable , very fast , surefooted , great features-text and email display on large screen with safety feature built in - only read - therefore if reply is urgent you must pull over... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
June 24, 2015
For 2015 Porsche Macan

The Porsche Macan impresses even with the base 2.0L model.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
The Macan accelerates quickly but it is hardly noticeable. Visually, you see cars being left behind. But there is not much engine noise nor outside noise to make you feel that sudden surge. Road bumps and... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
May 10, 2015
2015 Porsche Macan AWD 4-Door S

2015 Porsche Macan S

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
The car is only 45 days old, but it is clearly the best SUV/CUV that I have ever driven or ridden in. The interior is also the best that I have ever encountered. The 18-way seats (heated and cooled) are... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 14, 2015
For 2015 Porsche Macan

Porsche Macan S - Fitting for Valhalla

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
The Porsche Macan S is akin to driving a 911 with a backpack. It is an exceptionally well engineered and sporty crossover vehicle. It drives and handles like a sports car on the road and looks like something... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
USED PRICE RANGE
$38,064 - $68,898
Browse Used Listings
in your area
8.4
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 9
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety 8
Features 9
Fuel Economy 5
Compare the 2015 Porsche Macan against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Porsche Macan?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used