- Max Speed
That’s quite a bold spec…
It’s a Porsche Macan with a 2.0-litre 4cyl engine up front, so clearly it’s navigated the twists and turns of the configurator with some iconic 2.0-litre 4cyl cars front of mind. If blue on gold doesn’t conjure images of a Renault Clio Williams or early Subaru Impreza Turbo immediately in your mind’s eye, then… you’re probably significantly younger than us. Well done.
Just four cylinders?
Yep, we’re down at the bottom of the Macan range here. The engine is familiar from a braying mob of Volkswagen Group produce – it’s easiest to think of it as a Golf GTI engine, here producing 265bhp and 295lb ft for 0-62mph in 6.4secs and a 144mph top speed.
Which makes it notably slower than the V6-powered Macans further up the ladder, which both hit 62mph in the mid fours and top 160mph. For whatever either of those figures is worth, of course. This is an SUV, not a sports car.
Is it the cheapest Porsche?
No, which is arguably a bit of surprise. Prices start at £47,780, making it six grand cheaper than a 375bhp Macan S (which is expected to be the bestseller), but around £2,500 more than an entry 718 Cayman with a 296bhp flat-four engine. Getting too bogged down in base prices is a mild waste of time, though, for Porsches infamously shoot upwards in cost with a mild tickle of the options list.
Not least if you’re creating a high-riding Willy or Scooby tribute with Gentian Blue Metallic (£674) and 20-inch Neodyme wheels (£2,436). You could buy a slightly scruffy version of either Nineties hero for the combined cost of those options.
Will I not be leasing it anyway?
Quite possibly, where the savings look decent: at around £650 per month on a typical three-year deal as these words are typed, the stock Macan is £100 cheaper than a Macan S and £250 down on the top-spec, 434bhp Macan GTS. Which is nice.
With two fewer cylinders it inevitably claims better fuel efficiency too, though not by a huge margin. Quotes of 28mpg and 228g/km of CO2 emissions make it around ten per cent cleaner than either of its V6 range-mates. We’d say the former is eminently achievable, too – you’ll get 30mpg in tame, everyday use, then low 20s when you head off-piste hunting for the Macan’s sporting credentials. So high 20s on average feels about bang on.
Sporting credentials? Tell me more…
The Macan has been with us the best part of a decade now. It was head-and-shoulders above all its rivals at launch, categorically the lithest SUV to drive, broadly by virtue of looking and feeling more like a hatchback with holiday weight than a fully blown crossover.
Several rivals have since turned up on its patch with a similar sense of humour, chiefly the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Jaguar F-Pace. Thus the Macan no longer quite stands out as the sporting SUV. And paired with its smallest, least powerful engine, the chassis never gets the chance to truly stagger you.
Though it’ll probably impress you. All-wheel drive and a PDK automatic are standard on all Macans, and both work seamlessly and smoothly with the powertrain, which never feels short on firepower. There are paddles on the wheel, but the gearbox doesn’t stay rooted in manual mode for long, and locking it there is done via an obscure button on the steering wheel rather than intuitively shoving the stick across to M. This feels like a tacit admission by Porsche that this ain’t a car laser-focused at ‘drivers’.
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So while it handles neatly, a reduction of weight at its front axle clearly tangible as it scythes undramatically through corners, you’re not going to be giggling with glee at the sheer implausibility of it all like you do in burlier, more inappropriately powered SUVs. It’s like nailing a sourdough recipe, all the ingredients blending perfectly with one another to make a package that just works. Just one that stops short of outright entertainment.
It’s a sensible Porsche, then.
Probably the most sensible Porsche on sale. The engine gets a bit vocal with revs but works away quietly in the background when you just settle down, which is what you'll eventually do. The ride’s comfy and there's enough height for that crossover visibility people crave, but not so much the car domineers hatchbacks at the supermarket.
It’s a ‘just right’ kind of car, this Macan, one that stands ever so slightly proud of the other multitudinous SUV options thanks to that oh-so-tangible engineering and build quality permeating from all of this brand's products. But will you ever brag that you bought the most sensible Porsche?