THE goal for Porsche was to bring the pace and handling of its sports cars to its SUV twins, the Cayenne and the smaller Macan. Job done.

The Macan followed the Cayenne in bringing those attributes in conjunction with great design and a comfortable ride.

Such were its qualities that it not only earned universal praise but became the best-selling Porsche in the UK.

Here was a performance-oriented SUV with Porsche badge and engineering that came with a price tag under the £50,000 mark.

There is a petrol-only line-up for the moment, with an all-electric version in the pipeline, and the choice of performance comes in three layers. The standard Macan will shoot from 0 to 62mph in 6.7 seconds. Upgrade to the Macan S and you will hit that speed in 5.3 seconds. Choose the Turbo version and the stopwatch registers 4.5 seconds.

As the sport role model in its segment, figures like these are of great importance. But the Macan should also be seen as a rewarding car to drive in virtually any environment.

It’s not too big to make town driving and parking an obstacle course, while on an open road it will transform from a purring pussycat into a tiger-like athlete at the touch of the sport and sport chassis buttons.

Mated exclusively to the seven-speed dual clutch PDK automatic transmission, it has impeccable manners thanks to its precise steering and wonderful chassis balance and comes with all-wheel drive attributes that make it an ideal companion for trickier surfaces. There’s even a hill descent feature.

Inside, there’s a new 10.9-inch touchscreen (up from a rather weedy 7.2 inches) to access digital functions such as intelligent voice control, navigation and the excellent audio system. This sits above the vast central array of buttons that operate drive and climate settings.

The standard Macan, tested here, comes to the starting line with an enhanced 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 245 hp and should provide enough oomph for most tastes.

The chassis has been tweaked to provide a more neutral response while at the same time offering unchanged stability and improved comfort.

Spontaneous power development is one of the main characteristics of the Macan. The transmission was adapted so that the potential of the new engines can be fully exploited

The leaner design provides the new Macan with a distinctive and confident appearance. Sports car characteristics are underlined by greater emphasis of the horizontal lines at the front and rear. The front end has been changed but the wraparound bonnet remains a characteristic feature.

That front end appears wider thanks in part to the omission of the fog lights. The fog light function is now performed by the LED light technology of the headlights. Parking sensors in the lower front area are now discretely integrated into the airblades.

The Macan offers high-quality equipment as standard. Seat surfaces are covered with Alcantara and the seat bolsters with high-quality leatherette. The steering wheel, selector lever and armrests are finished in leather. Additional full-leather interiors in various colours are also optionally available.

With a good-sized boot at 500 litres with the rear seats up and decent legroom in the back, this is not only a performance-orientated car but also one that will suffice for family duties.

On a further practical note, there’s a three-stage system of parking assistance functions featuring visual and acoustic warnings, plus an optional reversing camera and surround view that projects a birds-eye view from four individual cameras on to the touchscreen.

My only gripe with the Macan concerns the optional extras that come at a price. Surely a car with this price tag should come with heated front seats (£294), dimming mirrors (£252), LED main headlights (£767). That’s not to mention the 20-inch satin platinum alloys at £2,576.

Otherwise, it’s brilliant in virtually every detail. Super to drive, comfortable to be carried in and exquisite in its design.


Porsche Macan

Price: from £46,344

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol producing 245hp

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic with active all-wheel drive

Performance: 0 to 62mph in 6.7 seconds; top speed 141mph

Economy: 34.9mpg combined

CO2 emissions: 185g/km


Performance: *****

Economy: ***

Ride/Handling: *****

Space/Practicality: ****

Equipment: ****

Security/Safety: ****

Value For Money: ****