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The Top Gear car review:Porsche Macan
For:On-road handling, off-road ability, comfort, practicality, build quality…
Against:You might miss the old Diesel’s range. And some kit that should be standard is a high-cost extra
What is it?
The Porsche Macan is the Cayenne’s little sister, and 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.
For 2019, it’s been subtly but usefully updated. On the outside there are new headlights peering through a reprofiled bonnet, tweaked door mirrors and some lairier paint hues. The only exterior change you’ll actually notice, however, is the full-width rear light bar, which apes the look of the new 911. (And Panamera. And Cayenne. And Taycan… yep, the Germans know a motoring fashion trend when they see one.)
Inside, there’s a much more significant makeover. The air vents have been relegated lower down the order, to make way for a 10-inch touchscreen featuring a much more feature-packed interface inherited from pricier Porsches. However, Porsche’s pulled up short of pinching the entire Cayenne’s interior, so banks of physical buttons remain instead of touch-sensitive glass panes. As we’ll explore later, that might not be the downgrade in reality it could appear on paper…
Engines have also been thoroughly overhauled for the new Macan. First off, there’s no longer a Macan Diesel. Porsche has distanced itself sufficiently from diesel that there’s no longer any oil-burners across its range, which is bad news for the top-selling Macan, because the Audi-shared V6 derv was the most popular version in the UK. Assuming its position as the entry-level Macan is a new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol version, badged simply ‘Macan’ and running a Porsche-honed version of the Golf GTI’s motor. 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.
Right now the other Macan available is the Macan S, which uses a 3.0-litre Audi V6, though finalised performance and emissions data isn’t ready yet. In the fullness of time there’ll be a flagship Macan Turbo aiming to dethrone the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Mercedes-AMG GLC63 in the small super-SUV stakes. We’d also expect to see a middling Macan GTS with some choice racetrack-inspired options.
Porsche hasn’t yet ruled out the possibility of offering a hybrid at some stage either. It seems unlikely, as the Macan is loosely based on the last-gen Audi Q5 so packaging a meaningfully useful battery would be tough without eating into the (very generous) boot space, but Porsche may have its arm twisted by ever more stringent emissions tests. Even the 911 is apparently going hybrid, after all…
Prices start at under £47,000. For that, a 2.0-litre petrol engine and the big touchscreen comes as standard. As usual for a Porsche, watch out for the options list. Heated seats are one of several mean omissions from the standard kit list, and you can also spend plenty of chassis tech upgrades to tweak the handling. You certainly don’t need to, we’d argue…