2019 Porsche Macan S review: price, specs and release date

Revamped Porsche Macan S shows that it means business in powerful six-cylinder form - but is it the best sports SUV you can buy?...

Porsche Macan S

Priced from £48,750 | On sale Now

Not every band's best-selling album is their strongest. But while it might be a stretch too far to call the Porsche Macan – the manufacturer's biggest seller - the finest car in its line-up, it’s certainly still a car that has been proving doubters wrong since its launch in 2014. It was among the first SUVs that could truly entertain its driver.

Among the changes to this facelifted car, you’ll first notice a full-width LED light bar at the rear. The suspension has been revised, too, and – in the absence of a diesel option – the two petrol engines have been tweaked slightly. Inside, there’s an updated infotainment system and a new instrument cluster.

We’ve already driven the entry-level 2.0-litre four-cylinder version and it beat the equivalent Jaguar F-Pace. Now, though, we’ve got our hands on the 3.0-litre V6 Porsche Macan S to try it on British roads for the first time.

Porsche Macan

2019 Porsche Macan S on the road

The first thing to work out is whether the S is worth the extra cost over the 2.0-litre model, and the short answer is yes. It gives you 349bhp and 354lb ft of torque – up a hefty 108bhp and 81lb ft on the entry-level version. That takes the 0-62mph time down from a brisk 6.5sec to a rapid 5.1sec, the best of this performance arriving at high revs and further rewarding you with a cultured V6 howl.

All Macan engines are paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that’s smooth and lightning-quick to shift on the move. However, it can be quite jerky at low speeds or when parking. Switching between reverse and drive in particular, there’s a frustrating delay before the gear engages and power is delivered.

Porsche Macan S

On optional adaptive air suspension (£1860), the ride is firm but not uncomfortable, with body movements being kept incredibly well controlled, especially in the sportier suspension modes. There’s precious little lean through corners, and the car isn’t easily unsettled at any speed.

The steering is a real highlight of the car. Its accuracy and pleasing weight make the Macan a joy to thread through a string of corners; you can’t say that of many other SUVs.

The S’s extra power also highlights just how nicely balanced the Macan is, with a keen front end and huge grip.

Porsche Macan S interior

2019 Porsche Macan S interior

Inside, the look is a bit Throwback Thursday in comparison with newer Porsches; there’s 30-odd buttons surrounding the gear selector and on the dashboard. The new 10.9in touchscreen infotainment system is far more in keeping with the current day, though; with sharper graphics and quicker responses, it’s a big step up from the previous 7.0in set-up.

As to the question of whether the Macan makes sense as an everyday family car, it should cope with the practical side of life – albeit not quite as proficiently as the F-Pace and Audi SQ5. Space up front is fine, but tall rear seat passengers could find their knees brushing the seats in front. The boot, meanwhile, is only average for an SUV this size.

Should you require more detail, take a look at our main Macan review.