Porsche Macan review

Category: Sports SUV

The Macan is fantastic to drive with a classy interior but there are more practical options

Porsche Macan front cornering
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  • Porsche Macan interior dashboard
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  • Porsche Macan interior driver display
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  • Porsche Macan front cornering
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  • Porsche Macan headlights detail
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  • Porsche Macan interior front seats
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  • Porsche Macan interior steering wheel
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  • Porsche Macan interior detail
  • Porsche Macan front cornering
  • Porsche Macan rear cornering
  • Porsche Macan interior dashboard
  • Porsche Macan boot open
  • Porsche Macan interior driver display
  • Porsche Macan right driving
  • Porsche Macan front cornering
  • Porsche Macan rear cornering
  • Porsche Macan left static boot open
  • Porsche Macan rear static boot open
  • Porsche Macan headlights detail
  • Porsche Macan front detail
  • Porsche Macan alloy wheel detail
  • Porsche Macan interior front seats
  • Porsche Macan interior back seats
  • Porsche Macan interior steering wheel
  • Porsche Macan interior chrono detail
  • Porsche Macan interior light
  • Porsche Macan interior detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

Unlike most SUVs, the Porsche Macan is designed to appeal to keen drivers. In fact, it's aimed at buyers who've outgrown a Cayman but don’t want to give up the Porsche badge or the driving enjoyment that goes with it. Think of it as the best of both worlds – a car that's fun but also practical.

Since its introduction almost a decade ago, the Porsche Macan has become a huge seller for its maker. It's a smaller and more affordable option than the Stuttgart brand's other SUV, the Porsche Cayenne.

There's no electric version yet and no plug-in hybrid either, but the Macan is available with a choice of four or six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines. There's also an all-electric version – see our Porsche Macan Electric review.

While the Macan is getting rather long in the tooth, Porsche likes to fettle and hone its products over the course of their lives, and this model is no exception, with two major facelifts. The latest introduced tweaked exterior styling and a reworked interior with the aim of keeping the Macan competitive against rivals, namely the Audi SQ5 and hot versions of the Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC.

So, is the Porsche Macan the best sports SUV on sale today? Read on to find out...

Overview

Above all, sports SUVs have to be fun – and the Porsche Macan absolutely delivers. It can turn from comfortable cruiser to backroad bruiser at the flick of a switch, especially when equipped with air suspension. Interior quality impresses too, although there are more spacious alternatives and safety provisions are rather disappointing. The GTS is the one we’d dream of buying, but the Macan T is a great all-rounder.

  • Performance ranges from punchy to rapid
  • More rewarding to drive than most other SUVs
  • High-quality interior
  • Some rivals are more spacious
  • Important safety kit optional
  • Thirsty petrol-only engines
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The entry-level Porsche Macan and the Macan T are powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 261bhp. The T can officially do 0-62mph slightly quicker (6.2sec vs 6.4sec), but that's purely because it has a launch control function (part of the Sports Chrono Pack) fitted as standard. On the move, both build speed at the same rate and are quick enough for most buyers, with plenty of low-down grunt. 

If you're a real power junkie, you'll want the Macan S or GTS. Both are powered by a 2.9-litre V6 – the S has 375bhp and the GTS 434bhp. They can hit 62mph from a standstill in well under five seconds, with the GTS managing it in an astonishing 4.3sec when using launch control. The V6 engines are far more muscular than the 2.0-litre and give the Macan proper sports SUV pace.

Whichever engine you choose, you get a brilliant seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (called PDK) as standard, although you can take manual control using the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

Suspension and ride comfort

The suspension set-up varies depending on which version you go for, but the Macan is a relatively sporty choice in all its guises. In short, don't expect ride comfort that will rival a Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Porsche Macan image
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The Macan is far from a bone-shaker, though, especially if you avoid the largest (21in) wheels. Most models come with conventional steel springs, but we'd recommend getting the optional air suspension for best comfort, which is more expensive on some versions than others. 

Air suspension comes as standard on the range-topping GTS, but it's a lowered version. If you want to, you can opt for the more comfort-oriented air suspension that's available on other versions of the Macan.

Porsche Macan rear cornering

Handling

The Macan really shines here, even compared with other sharp-handling sports SUVs. That's thanks to its confidence-inspiring steering – which is beautifully weighted and precise – and minimal body lean for something so tall.

True, the Audi SQ5 has more front-end grip, but you’re much more aware of the rear axle receiving power when exiting corners in the Macan, and that makes it feel more fun. Although the margins aren't huge, the Macan T feels the most agile in the line-up, partly because it's slightly lighter than the larger-engined S and GTS, and also because its suspension setup is 15mm lower than the entry-level model and the S. The GTS has its own sport air suspension setup lowered by 10mm over the standard models.

For those who plan to take their Macan off the beaten track, there's an Off Road button. When you press it, the car adjusts its traction control settings and gearbox (and sets the air suspension, if fitted, to its highest ride height) for optimal off-road handling. Hill-descent control is also standard, so the Macan can maintain a steady speed down steep, muddy hills. The Land Rover Discovery Sport is still a far more capable off-roader though.

Noise and vibration

For all its sportiness, the Macan is a pretty relaxing cruiser. The engines are hushed on the motorway and wind noise is well suppressed. That said, there is noticeable tyre roar at higher speeds – especially with 21in alloys – and on certain road surfaces you’ll also hear some suspension noise.

On the open road, the automatic gearbox is very slick, delivering near-imperceptible changes at precisely the right moment, although it can be a bit jerky at parking speeds. The well-judged brake pedal helps make the Macan easy to drive smoothly and contributes to its upmarket feel.

At higher revs, the V6 engines of the S and GTS sound much more appealing than the entry-level model’s four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine, especially if you specify the optional sports exhaust, which the GTS gets as standard.

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

The Porsche Macan has a height and reach adjustable steering wheel and an eight-way electrically adjustable driver's seat, so it's easy to tailor your driving position. The seat will drop quite a bit to give you a pseudo sports car feel, and the whole driving position feels more natural than in the Audi Q5. Of course, you can jack up the seat if you want a more commanding view.

It’s not all good news, though. You have to shell out if you want the 14-way seat option that brings adjustable lumbar support, or even more for the 18-way version. However, the T and GTS have more supportive seats than the entry-level model and the S, and with these none of our testers has complained about long-distance comfort.

The main air-con controls are easy enough to find and use, but some of the minor ones are operated using touch-sensitive buttons on the central console. The arrangement looks suitably modern but, because you can’t find them by feel in the way you might proper physical buttons, you have to take your eyes off the road for longer.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

The Macan offers reasonable forward visibility by sports SUV standards. Its windscreen pillars are no wider than most rivals' and, despite being comparatively raked back, they don't obscure your view too much at junctions and roundabouts. The fairly large door mirrors give you a good view behind when making lane changes on the motorway.

Front and rear parking sensors are standard on all models, as is a rear-view camera. They're a great help, because the high rear screen limits your view of what’s directly behind and it can be tricky to judge where the sloping bonnet ends.

A surround-view camera and a self-parking system can be optioned individually, which enables the Macan to steer itself into parking spaces. Standard LED headlights provide powerful illumination at night.

Porsche Macan interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

All versions of the Macan have a 10.9in infotainment touchscreen and a 10-speaker, 150-watt sound system. A DAB radio, Bluetooth and sat-nav are also included.

Various online services are including, as well as Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring (so you can use your iPhone's apps on the screen), but disappointingly Android Auto isn't available. A 14-speaker Bose stereo is available as an option. 

The screen is crisp and responds quickly when you touch it. However, the operating system takes some getting used to because there are so many menus, and some of the smaller icons are tricky to hit accurately when you're driving. We think rotary dial-controlled systems – such as the iDrive set-up in the BMW X3 – are safer and more user-friendly.

Quality

Porsche makes some of the finest interiors around, and it hasn’t cut corners with the Macan. The materials generally feel very high-quality and are well-assembled throughout, although the Audi Q5 is right up there too.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on optional leather upgrades to make the Macan feel worthy of its prestige badge (although there are plenty of opportunities to splash your cash on personalisation options throughout the interior).

The standard leatherette and fabric upholstery should satisfy, although you can add Race-Tex (faux suede) on the roof lining, steering wheel and gear knob if you want a sportier ambience.

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

Despite the Porsche Macan’s sleek silhouette, there’s plenty of room in the front, and even very tall drivers won’t feel at all hemmed in. 

There are two fixed cupholders just in front of the armrest, and under the armrest you'll find a cubby that houses two USB-C sockets. It’s the perfect place for stowing your phone, and you can specify a smartphone holder with wireless charging.

The door bins are a reasonable size, although you’ll still struggle to find anywhere to put a large bottle of water.

Rear space

There’s less rear leg room in the Macan than in most rivals, including the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Lanky passengers could well find their knees brushing the seat in front, while a third passenger sitting in the middle will need to straddle a chunky transmission tunnel in the floor.

Still, six-footers will fit comfortably enough in the outer seats thanks to decent head room, and there’s plenty of storage room, plus a couple of cupholders in the centre armrest.

Porsche Macan boot open

Seat folding and flexibility

The rear seats are split in a 40/20/40 arrangement, so you can fold down the narrower central section and slide through longer items, while still leaving room for two rear passengers.

What the Macan doesn’t provide is the facility to recline the rear backrests, or to slide the rear seats back and forth so you can prioritise either passenger leg room or boot space. You'll find these handy facilities in many rivals, including the Q5.

Boot space

The Macan has a 500-litre boot and the boot floor sits flush with its load lip, making loading a doddle. Some rivals, including the Q5 and X3, can swallow slightly more luggage, but the Macan's load bay is a useful square shape and we managed to slot eight carry-on suitcases below the parcel shelf.

Useful touches include a hook to hang a shopping bag on and a recessed cubby with some netting, which is perfect for stopping bottles flying around. There’s a fair-sized storage area under the boot floor if you don’t specify the optional space-saver spare tyre. If you do, the wheel uses up virtually all that handy space.

You can open the powered tailgate either by pressing a button on the key fob or one hidden at the base of the rear windscreen wiper.

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

All versions of the Porsche Macan are fairly expensive to buy compared with key rivals, including the Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC, plus, Porsche doesn’t normally do discounts.

However, resale values are among the best in its class, helping to keep PCP finance deals surprisingly competitive. The entry-level Macan and the Macan T are likely to hold on to their value particularly well. To check the latest prices, see our New Car Deals pages.

Servicing and insurance costs are slightly higher than those of many other sports SUVs and, with no diesel engine in the range, you won't get great fuel economy from any of the engines. Even the entry-level 2.0-litre only promises around 28mpg and that will drop to the low 20s when worked hard. In our experience, the V6-powered S and GTS are not much thirstier on a motorway run, but expect closer to 25mpg with a bit of town driving thrown in.

The Macan’s CO2 emissions are high, with all engines polluting enough to sit in the highest BIK tax band, so it's an expensive choice as a company car.

Equipment, options and extras

You get a reasonable amount kit on the entry-level Macan, including 19in alloy wheels, a powered tailgate, cruise control, part-leather seats (heated in the front), three-zone climate control, power-folding door mirrors and automatic lights and wipers.

If you go higher up the range, you get 20in alloys or, on the range-topping GTS, 21s. You also get a smaller steering wheel, which is heated on the Macan T. 

Depending on the Macan you choose, there are various suspension set-ups available, either as standard or as an option.

Porsche Macan interior driver display

Reliability

Porsche as a brand didn't do that well in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing in 20th place out of 32 manufacturers in the overall league table. The Macan itself came 12th out of 24 models in the large SUVs section of the survey, so there are more reliable models out there. 

The car comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

Safety and security

Euro NCAP appraised the Macan for safety when it was first launched back in 2014, but this was so long ago the rating it received is no longer considered valid. If it was retested today, it would achieve a poor overall grade because automatic emergency braking (AEB) isn't fitted as standard. Most new cars come with this important safety aid.

Every Macan does have six airbags, including head and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, and curtain airbags that offer protection to both front and rear occupants. Lane-departure warning is also standard, while lane-keeping assistance and blind-spot monitoring are on the options list.

An alarm and immobiliser are fitted, and the security experts at Thatcham Research awarded the Macan high ratings for its ability to protect against being stolen or broken into.


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FAQs

  • Yes, alongside this petrol version, which is expected to stay on sale until the end of 2025, there is now a new Porsche Macan Electric. You'll have to look elsewhere if you want a hybrid car.

  • The Macan sounds and feels much more special if you go for one of the models with a six-cylinder engine, rather than the entry-level, four-cylinder car. We’re particularly keen on the GTS, but if you can’t stretch to that, the cheaper S is a very good alternative. Or, if you want an electric car take a look at the new Porsche Macan Electric.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £55,795
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £59,995
RRP price range £55,795 - £74,095
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)3
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 25 - 28
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £3,952 / £5,306
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £7,903 / £10,612
Available colours