The base model uses the 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine from the Volkswagen Golf GTI. However, the more powerful V6 models sell best, particularly the Diesel S; this is our pick of the range because it feels satisfyingly rapid in real-world use and pulls strongly from below 1500rpm.
The 335bhp petrol Macan S is faster, but it does its best work at higher revs, as does the slightly more potent GTS. The Turbo has a 394bhp 3.6-litre engine, and the ferocity of its power delivery makes it feel more sports car than SUV. If that isn’t enough, there’s a Turbo Performance Package that adds even more power.
Whichever Macan you choose, a quick-shifting and responsive seven-speed automatic gearbox is standard.
Porsche Macan ride comfort
The Porsche Macan is distinctly sports-oriented, so it’s a bit firm over sharp-edged ruts, and you feel a little jiggled about around scruffy town roads. Having said that, it soaks up the worst of the road’s surface and is more comfortable than many of its key rivals, because it settles at speed and doesn’t ever become really jarring.
Porsche Active Suspension Management (optional on all but the Turbo), is Porsche’s adaptive damper set-up and means that you can stiffen the springs. It’s worth adding if you can, because it reduces body movement.
There is also optional air suspension, but it's not really necessary. It does soften the Macan’s low-speed ride without compromising its handling and body control, but it’s a subtle improvement that’s not worth the extra cost over the already very effective standard suspension.
Porsche Macan handling
All Macans have a 'Sport' button that sharpens the steering, gearchange, throttle response and – if you’ve specified PASM adaptive dampers – the suspension. With Sport on, it’s clear that Porsche has made the Macan the best-handling SUV you can buy.
If you plan on taking the Macan off the Tarmac, then you’ll be pleased to know that it has a standard Off-Road button, regardless of model, which adjusts the traction control settings and gearbox (and sets air suspension to its highest ride height if you’ve added it), for optimal off-road handling. Hill-descent control is also standard, so the car will maintain a steady speed down steep, muddy hills.
Porsche Macan refinement
For all its sportiness, the Macan is a relaxing cruiser when you need it to be; every engine is hushed on the motorway, and wind noise is well suppressed. There is noticeable tyre roar at higher speeds, but nothing that would irritate even on long journeys.
The dual-clutch PDK gearbox is one of the best autos around, delivering near imperceptible changes at precisely the right moment, while well-judged pedal weights also help to make it easy to drive smoothly and contribute to the precise, upmarket feel.
We haven’t driven this model yet. The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine is shared with the VW Golf GTi, though in the Macan, it’s driven by a different gearbox – Porsche’s own seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which is standard on all Macan models.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged, V6 petrol engine is punchy and refined, and revs progressively through to its peaky redline, though you do have to rev it quite hard to get the best performance from it.
Macan S Diesel
The 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel pulls strongly, from very low revs, so it feels satisfyingly relaxed and rapid at all relevant road speeds. It’s also very refined, and works perfectly with the standard seven-speed auto, and it’s our pick of the range.
Blisteringly rapid – think hardcore sports car pace rather than SUV – and yet still easy to mooch about in around town, smooth revving and refined. A great car, but hard to justify the price despite outrageous performance.
Essentially, the GTS has a slightly more potent version of the 3.0-litre V6 from the Macan S. It’s a little quicker, but can’t match the rabidly fast Turbo.
Macan Turbo Performance Package
Uses the same 3.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the standard Macan Turbo, but it’s even quicker thanks to another 39bhp and 37lb ft of torque. Fuel economy and emissions are only marginally worse than the regular Turbo model.