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Porsche Macan

£40,276£59,648
8/10
Overall verdict

For: 

Speed, handling, go-anywhere ability, the Porsche badge

Against: 

Turbo isn't cheap, more heavyweight brawler than lightweight track-thing
Sorry, Porsche purists: the Macan is another irritatingly good SUV.

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Our choice

Porsche

S Diesel 5dr PDK

£43,648
N/A
46mpg
6.30s
258bhp
161g/km

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.

Driving

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…

Owning

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. 

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
Turbo 5dr PDK
4.8s 208g/km 31.7 400 £59,648
The cheapest
5dr PDK
6.9s 168g/km 39.0 237 £40,276
The greenest
S Diesel 5dr PDK
6.3s 161g/km 46.3 258 £43,648

Wildcard

How about something completely different?

Wildcard

7/10

Mercedes-Benz GLA

£26,210£46,045
Four-wheel drive? Turbocharged? Premium? How about a similarly priced Mercedes-AMG GLA45?