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Review: Porsche Macan Turbo

February 17, 2014

Porsche Macan Turbo Review

 

If you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the day Porsche would finally release a small SUV, then your wait is nearly over. Although it won’t be on sale for another year yet, Porsche have started taking orders on the Cayenne’s little brother – the Porsche Macan Turbo – and we’ve been to see what all the fuss is about.

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Intended as a rival to the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5, Porsche are, unsurprisingly, hoping to provide  something with a little more zazz that their rivals. They’re billing the Macan as “the first sports car in the compact SUV segment”, promising a beast that is both practical AND high performance. But can these two opposing philosophies ever be successful married into one satisfying catch-all vehicle? Porsche certainly think so.

Cynics might wonder whether the Macan isn’t really just a redressed Audi Q5, given that both cars are produced under the Volkswagen AG umbrella. But according to Porsche, two-thirds of the components in the Macan are unique, with just the aluminium base being shared with the rival Audi machine. Crucially the bodywork, engine, transmission and suspension are all Porsche, meaning the Macan will look and drive very differently to its Audi cousin.

 

Porsche Macan Turbo Review

Image source: Yahya S.

 

The standard petrol-powered Macan will come with a 3.0 litre V6 engine, delivering 335bhp to give a very respectable 5.2 seconds 0-62mph sprint and a top speed of 158mph. The diesel alternative offers a 3.0 litre V6 turbodiesel that will take an extra second on the sprint, but offer 45mpg compared to the petrol’s 32mpg. Both of these will set you back a cool £43,300.

For those looking to upgrade, an extra £16,000 will get you the Turbo S, which Porsche are calling “the most powerful vehicle in the compact SUV segment”. That extra chunk of change will get you a 3.6 litre bi-turbo petrol V6 that develops 394bhp and gives a 0-62mph spring of just 4.6 seconds – and a top speed of 165mph. Not bad for a mini SUV!

All that power, combined with Porsche’s usual precision engineering, results in a car that has some real oomph. Aided by state-of-the-art torque control – ensuring that you get power to exactly where it’s needed, when it’s needed – the Macan is a real performance machine, grabbing every last ounce of grip available across a variety of surfaces and in all conditions. On the downside, it is a heavy beast, weighing in at a not insubstantial 1900kg, and you really feel that weight if forced to brake suddenly.

One of the big selling points for the Macan is definitely the ride, which is much smoother than you might expect from a Porsche that performs this well. Add on the optional air suspension for an extra £1700 and the Macan will float across roads so smoothly you’ll think you’re sliding on a cushion across glass. Well, maybe not – but it’s certainly a lot more comfortable than a 911.

On the inside, this is a classic Porsche − tall console groaning with buttons, a steering wheel shared with the 918 Spyder, and a triple-binnacle instrument cluster all finished to the kind of exacting standard you’d expect. Some might find the sheer amount on offer confusing, not to say overwhelming, but then this is a Porsche after all. It’s not the roomiest of cabins and may feel a little claustrophobic to taller or wider drives, but as compact SUVs go, the Macan is about average on this count.

 

Porsche Macan Turbo Review

Image source: Danny Galvez

 

So, have Porsche succeeded in producing a hybrid compact SUV/sports car that gives us the best of both worlds? Not quite. Although it can handle some light off-roading, this is no true all-terrain vehicle (although the same can be said for the Audi Q5, among others). Likewise, its performance, while impressive for what it is, comes nowhere near that of a genuine, pureblood sports car.

But then, were we really expecting it to? Despite some of Porsche’s more ambitious claims, the Macan is what it is. A very, very good, high performance compact sports utility vehicle. It isn’t a sports car, but then, with the shape and size of a compact SUV, it was never going to be. It is, however, quite simply the fastest, most powerful compact SUV around. And surely that in itself is quite some achievement?

 

Released: Early 2015

Price: £43,300

Engine: 3.0 litre V6 producing 335bhp

Top speed: 158mph

Acceleration: 0-62mph 5.2sec.

Fuel economy: 32mpg

 

If you want to get your hands on “the most powerful vehicle in the compact SUV segment” but don’t happen to have £43,300 hanging around down the back of the sofa, don’t give up on the dream just yet! The Car Loan Warehouse can help you find the money you need at a rate you can afford. It’s car finance without the hassle.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.