Porsche Macan Review 2021 | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Car Review

Porsche Macan

£ N/A
810
Published: 31 Aug 2021
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Sorry, purists. Porsche’s best-selling car in the UK is the most complete sporty SUV money can buy

Good stuff

Handling, laudable build quality, improved infotainment

Bad stuff

Parts of the cabin feeling a bit left behind, no hybrid, pricey options

Overview

What is it?

The Macan is the most popular Porsche in the UK. It’s an SUV with a desirable badge, how could it not be a success? Thing is, the Macan has always overdelivered in just about every department. It’ll go further off-road than most owners will ever ask, it’ll hammer down a twisting road with more skill than most drivers would have the nerve to test, and it’ll seat five in front of a class-leadingly big boot. Porsche got the Macan right first time.

No need for a big overhaul then?

The Macan already had one facelift a few years ago when the full-width light bar and new infotainment arrived. For 2021, it’s had another tweak, as Porsche plans to extend its life and overlap it with the next Macan, which will be an EV. Because of the current car’s elderly platform, you can’t spec the existing car as a hybrid – it’s petrol alone and petrol only. 

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Last time Porsche overhauled its entry-level SUV, it updated the infotainment but left the rest alone. This time we’ve yet again got the latest, greatest Porsche touchscreen, but the flight-deck-style banks of buttons on the centre console are gone, replaced by a glassy touch-sensitive control stack that looks much cleaner, until you leave fingerprints all over it. There are new trim choices, but chiefly the rest stays as it was. 

Has the engine line-up changed?

Porsche dropped the big-selling Macan Diesel entirely from its range in the last update, as it moved back to petrol-only power. The entry-level Macan remains a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol version, priced a whisker under £48,000, badged simply ‘Macan’ and running a Porsche-honed version of the VW Golf GTI’s engine. All Macans arrive fitted to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard (badged by Porsche as PDK), though note this isn’t as modern as the eight-speed PDK used in Porsche’s bigger four-doors.

There are currently two Macans beyond that, using Audi-sourced V6 petrol engines. There’s the Macan S (£53k, 357bhp), and the Macan GTS (£64k, 435bhp). That’s the same as the old Macan Turbo, which is no longer atop the line-up.

That means there’s no super-Macan capable of rivalling the 500bhp+ AMG GLC and Alfa Stelvio QV in a straight line. But this is a car that doesn’t need to lean on raw pace to do its talking. It’s a superb all-rounder, even though it’s been on sale – based on old Audi Q5 foundations – since 2014. Some feat.

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Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

Still a hugely capable, desirable package that’s just starting to show its age in places

It’s some feat indeed from Porsche to have taken an Audi Q5 box of bits all those years ago, worked its magic and created a car that, from 2014 into 2021 and beyond, remains a real class act.

Rivals have their own small victories: the Alfa Stelvio is lighter on its feet, and the AMG GLC 63 sounds cooler while being caned. But as an all-rounder, a car for all tasks and occasions, Porsche’s effort is unsurpassed.

Unless of course, you want an EV. Porsche doesn’t even offer a hybrid, and you may well be tempted by a Tesla Model Y or Ford Mustang Mach-E GT for similar money. The times are changing. But as Porsche’s next Macan will be an EV sold alongside this version, you wouldn’t bet against Stuttgart having all bases covered for some time to come.

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