Porsche Macan: the Top Gear verdict
As Porsche announces new 4cyl Macan engine, read TG's definitive verdict on the SUV/sportscar
Posted: 25 Apr 2014
Even so, after a day of banging around the beautiful, empty Harz mountains, is it wrong we're left feeling just the tiniest bit underwhelmed by the Macan? Not because it's anything but a stunning technical achievement, but because Porsche sold it on such a vast promise. The Macan is pitched as a Porsche sports car so, unlikely as it might have been to materialise, we wanted... well, a 911 Turbo with extra suspension travel. We wanted meaty, fizzy steering. We wanted an ar*e-on-the-floor driving position. We wanted a chuntering, mechanical soundtrack. By SUV standards, the Macan is far from deficient in any of these departments: the steering is weighty and even, if a trifle dead; the seating position is low enough; there's a decent whoosh of induction noise and a healthy array of grunts from the exhaust.
If you, too, were expecting the full-fat Porsche sports-car experience in a slightly taller package, the Macan won't quite float your boat. It's just a little too rounded, a little too civilised to provoke the full sports-car fizz. A slick-suited pro, not a stick-it-to-the-man tearaway. Maybe this rounded professionalism is evidence of the insidious, greying influence of the VW mothership on once-quirky, left-field Porsche, but more likely it's simple realism on Stuttgart's behalf. A shouty, chest-wigged sports-sports utility vehicle, much as we'd have admired it, would have been downright tiring 90 per cent of the time, and alienated many of those new buyers Porsche is targeting with its (almost) affordable five-seater. As it is, the Macan is the first compact SUV that's almost a sports car. Not quite the ultimate one-car garage, but very, very close. And, hey, at least that leaves room for a Macan GT3 RS...