The 2017 Porsche Macan in its white trim scores high on overall driving pleasure than on speed. Get behind the wheels of Macan, turn on the ignition and the first doubts about the off roading capability just vanish.
As an off-roading expert said, the Macan — voted the best luxury SUV — is a cheetah among the buffaloes, a veritable compact crossover.
Test driving this sporty quicky among the SUVs, we found it the vehicle for those who love the camping sites of Bahrain. As we decide to dig deep into its capabilities, we look into the heart of the machine and there is a two litre 252 horsepower turbofour, mated to a seven speed automatic all wheel drive. The Macan transmission was an impressive piece not just in our off road tests, but in the sedate cruise as well along some the boulevards. The automatic transmission showed very little low-speed fussiness. The gear shifts were very smooth even under very light throttle. That said, get ready for the complete change of behaviour in Sport mode. The agility of the brakes was in full display as we pushed the gas and decided to subject the Macan to some instant braking. The downshift was not just rapid, but aggressive as well, portraying the agility of a beast stopping dead in its attack. But take the corner and get ready for the move ahead, the upshifts are equally wonderful.
The Macan that we test drove, although a Sport Utility Vehicle ready for the non-paved road was very compact when compared with some of the other brands. It was low slung and had a compromised cargo and rear seat space as is the case with most all Porsche vehicles.
The Macan as an off-roader is for those who just chill out in the deserts and the camping areas and not for those who carry their kitchens and gardens to the sites. The body free of platic cladding is another proof of it being a gentleman’s vehicle.
It’s a hot rod with a tremendous appetite for high-performance driving — with its focus more on overall driving pleasure and not wild speeds.
Standard fares on the Macan include electronically adaptive dampers, a stiffer rear anti-roll bar and larger front brakes.
The Macan proved a good companion on backroads. No fuss about carrying out any command given to it. It was rather composed, stayed quiet on the ground and was unflappable.
No part of the vehicle we test drove said we were asking for too much or that we did not know how to use the full power. The steering wheel, throttle, and brake pedal each complied so very beautifully with all the commands given. The body roll was minimal on all terrain and around corners really tight for other vehicles. Set to cruise on a seren terrain, the sporty, hunky character was all gone. A machine that set into cruise said “At your service” and quickly switched to the cruise mode. It was very impressive. The tyre sidewalls deserve some credit for this change.
Turning to sheer speeds, the Macan proved to be an ace quickie in its section with zero-to-60-mph coming off in 4.4 seconds.
The interiors of the Porsche Macan satisfy the discerning. Despite its rather short list of features, the Macan GTS’s interior still satisfies. Microsuede trim abounds, contrasting nicely with black leather and attractive brushed-metal trim. The seating position is spot-on, the central touchscreen is responsive, and if the crowded arrangement of climate-control and drive-mode buttons on the center console seems overwhelming at first, it’s at least logically laid out and easy enough to learn.
The rear seat is less impressive: legroom and headroom are tight, and it induces claustrophobia with smallish windows and dark upholstery.
The Macan’s cargo area is a restricted 18 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats.
Its cockpit is available with microsuede-skinned sport buckets to secure you at the wheel when you indulge its 0.88 g cornering and superb braking—70 mph to zero in 157 feet!—attributes. The steering is delightfully quick and spiked with news from the pavement. The rear compartment’s floor is more than three feet deep and exceeds 40.0 inches wide. That’s ample space for helmets and Nomex or enough luggage to support a weeklong romantic getaway. More of the cargo volume we typically covet would ruin the Macan’s sleek fastback, and given how beautiful the result and how wonderful the Porsche drives, we’re more than willing to let it slide.
The Macan comes with a nice list of standard safety features including traction and stability control, front and rear seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, front knee airbags, lane departure warning system, and parking sensors on the front and on the rear of the vehicle. Other available features include a forward collision warning and mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot warning system, and a lane keeping assist system.
The Macan’s rear bench splits so that a slim middle section folds independently to create an armrest. All three sections fold down to expand the cargo space and to render the Macan a two-seater, in true Porsche style. With the rear seat up, there’s 17.7 cubic feet of space; seats folded, it’s 53 cubic feet.