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The Top Gear car review:Porsche Macan
For:Speed, handling, go-anywhere ability, the Porsche badge
Against:Turbo isn't cheap, more heavyweight brawler than lightweight track-thing
S Diesel 5dr PDK
What’s this, then?
It’s a £55,000 SUV with an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel. An optional Alcantara-trimmed...
The character of the diesel combined with the thirst of the Turbo. Oops.
What we say:
Macan is the quickest, best-driving SUV on the planet
What is it?
Little brother to the Cayenne, and Porsche’s first foray into small SUV world. More than that, Porsche claims the Macan is ‘the first compact SUV that’s also a sports car’. Loosely based on the underpinnings of Audi’s Q5, the core Macan models get a choice of three meaty engines – a 254bhp V6 diesel and two V6 petrols, the 335bhp S and full-fat 394bhp Turbo – along with proper four-wheel drive and all of Porsche’s go-faster toys.
Despite Porsche’s claims, the Macan doesn’t quite serve up the full sports-car experience. But it’s mighty close. The range-topping Turbo is eye-wideningly quick – 0-62mph takes well under five seconds – while the Macan’s ability to take corners at speed is equally impressive, especially considering this is a near-two-tonne SUV. Such grippiness is aided by the fabulous four-wheel drive system, which throws most of the torque to the Macan’s rear axle in normal driving, but can shift all the power to the front if conditions require. We’d recommend speccing the optional £1,700 adaptive air suspension, which not only helps keep the Macan improbably flat in even the knottiest bends, but also imbues it with a far more supple ride than most fast German offerings.
On the inside
Based on the Audi Q5 it may be, but the Macan’s interior is pure Porsche. There are many, many buttons, that trademark triple-barrel instrument cluster, and a steering wheel borrowed from the 918 Spyder hypercar, no less. It’s all finished to Porsche’s immaculate standards, and the infotainment stuff is all beyond reproach. On the move, wind noise and road noise are near non-existent (but there’s a nice V6 growl when you want it).
If you’re looking for a proper gearstick, no such luck: the Macan is only available with a seven-speed double-clutch transmission. Good thing it’s pretty much the best in the business, changing gear instantly and with satisfying mechanical crispness. The paddles behind the steering wheel engage with a pleasingly hefty weight too.
Rear leg- and head-room is pretty average for this class, and while the boot is surprisingly deep, total loadspace is hampered by the Macan’s sportily sloping tailgate. Still, it’s a whole lot more practical than a 911…
Build quality feels predictably Porsche-tastic, and that badge should help keep residual values high, especially with demand hugely outstripping supply. Against the £45,495 Macan S and S Diesel, the £62,540 Turbo model looks expensive, but does come with more kit as standard. Oh, and there is a 2.0T entry level Macan, but it’s special-order only and best avoided.