We drove the Porsche Macan 2.0 L Turbo : excellence was expected…

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When one slides behind the wheel of a Porsche, you are looking forward to something special. Our heart was always throbbing when we saw the big round rev counter of the 911 in front of us and turned the ignition key with our left hand. In the Macan, things were hardly different. We were also faced with the big rev counter, with virtually the same lettering and the big, slim needle. The ignition key finds its slot also on the left side.

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Of course, one does not hear the hissing sound of the flat six, but nevertheless one is treated to the sporting yet civilized growl of a thoroughbred inline four. The same impression of absolute quality and workmanship remains, and one cannot but admire the beautiful steering wheel insert showing the iconic Porsche emblem. The rounded contours of the dashboard and the door panels also embody this timelessly purposeful Porsche styling language, and one is literally engulfed with the pride and fulfilling pleasure the careful ownership of a Porsche brings you. Indeed, also this Macan is a car to cherish and to own, so much is certain. It is also beautifully proportioned and it size is for us “just right”. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Driving is believing

This is even more so when one drives this superbly engineered automobile. Indeed, also this Macan lets you enjoy the unique Porsche experience. It is so hard to define, but very present. It consists of many indefinable elements, like the perfect balance, the effortless way high performance is achieved, also last but not least the way you feel totally “one” with the car.

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The drivetrain is smooth and well honed, the engine and 7 speed dual clutch automatic are perfectly matched to each other.

Be it slow city or fast country and motorway driving, all is taken by this Macan beautifully in its stride. It performs well, as can be expected, with 252 HP between 5000 and 6800 rpm driving all four wheels, and with 370 Nm of torque between 1600 and 4500 rpm warranting lively accelerations. The Macan never feels ponderous, is indeed very agile and doesn’t mind being driven with spirit.

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One can choose the sports mode and also revert to using the gearchange paddles, and not only are these paddles beautiful to look at, they are also a tactile delight to use. The gearchanges are very fast indeed in this manual mode, and it opens to you all the unique pleasures of Porsche driving. Needless to say that with 370 Nm of low end torque, the engine needs to rev a bit to develop substantial power, and therefore one is well advised to use the paddles if you want exhilarating performance.

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Having said this, leaving it in “D” and just putting your foot down will not make you ridiculous either. Of course, it is also an ideal long distance cruiser, with excellent driving aids and ACC helping you to make your long, fast journeys in utter safety. Last but not least, the four wheel drive lets you use the Porsche power with abandon in the wet.

Economy is actually quite good, driving with restraint and respecting the legal limits, it was not difficult to achieve an average consumption of 8,5 liters or thereabouts, the manufacturer quotes 7,2 liters and 167 g/km of CO2 emissions. Of course, when you are driving with more spirit, the consumption goes well above 10 liters/100 km, but you cannot escape the laws of physics.

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Creature comfort

This Macan offers also something one does not expect from a (early) 911, and that is comfort. Excellent seats will keep you fit for hours on end, the suspension strikes a perfect balance between firmness needed for precise, surefooted handling, and comfortable softness for driving on rougher road surfaces.

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The Porsche driver has of course even in standard form quite a few gimmicks at its fingertips, infotainment, a hard disk for your own music, and of course the necessary USB and SD slots. It has a 7 inch touchscreen, electronically adjustable drivers’ seat and of course an automatic tailgate lift.

We like the layout of the central console, with it specific command keys, which we like more than the glass covered touch symbols we see in the bigger Cayenne, for instance.

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The Macan, has also sufficient space in the cabin for four, or two adults in the front and three children in the back if need be. The headroom in the back is actually quite generous.

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Luggage space is not less than 500 liters in standard setup, with the rear backrests down it expands to not less than 1500 liters.

Conclusion

If you want a cherishable compact SUV with unique panache and superb sporting qualities and driving dynamics, then this Macan is the car for you. Its four cylinder engine, which is also found in the new Q5 amongst others, does not feel out of place, and displays excellent thoroughbred “Porscheness”. Add to this the superbly tuned suspension, its handling, agility, and last but not least its very pleasing styling, both inside and out, and this Porsche could be the car for you, last but not least offering quite good value for money…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

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