Porsche Macan Turbo review

12 Aug, 2015 12:30pm

The Porsche Macan Turbo is the ultimate version of the sporty SUV. Is it worth the extra cash?

Verdict

5
If having the ultimate is what matters, then the Porsche Macan Turbo is the model for you. It combining the image, comfort and practicality of a high-riding SUV with driving dynamics most sports cars would kill for, plus there's a high-quality finish, plenty of pace and on-road prowess. But, it's worth considering whether you really need it. The standard Macan S with the Sport Chrono pack and the PASM active suspension fitted will feel almost identical from behind the wheel, but you're also saving a lot of cash in the process, and you'll still end up with the best-handling compact SUV on the road.

The Porsche Macan Turbo is by far the maddest compact SUV on the road, with nearly 400bhp and a 0-62mph time to match a 911. But with the rest of the line-up already so capable, should you bother shelling out an extra £16,000 for this range-topping Macan?

• Best SUVs to buy

The first thing that strikes you about the Macan’s styling is its low nose. For an SUV this is unusual, and although the edge of the bonnet still stands quite tall, the sleek shape and clever visual tricks – such as the dark insert at the bottom of the bumper – mean Porsche’s mid-size SUV cuts a sharp figure.

Porsche Macan Turbo - rear tracking

Take one look at the Macan Turbo’s near-two-tonne weight and you’d be forgiven for thinking it would drive like a regular off-roader. It doesn’t – not by a long way. Porsche’s engineers have worked wonders to deliver the best-driving SUV on the market.

• Porsche Macan Diesel review

The Macan’s 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 engine puts out 394bhp and is hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The Turbo used its launch control and four-wheel-drive system to good effect in our performance tests, sprinting from 0-60mph in just 4.3 seconds

Porsche Macan Turbo - panning

The Porsche's 550Nm of torque is available from as low as 1,350rpm, so in-gear performance is excellent. The low-down urgency and smooth, fast gearbox also means it's was quick to accelerate up through the gears.

The only slight letdown is how the Turbo sounds as it does its thing. The Macan’s force-fed V6 emits a muted, turbine-like noise – the optional sports exhaust could be a worthwhile investment if you fancy freeing up a few more decibels.

However, hit a twisting back road and you’ll soon forget about this minor niggle. Lots of grip and delicious steering mean you throw the car into corners with confidence that it’ll hang on. 

Porsche Macan Turbo - interior

You can also specify £1,004 of optional air suspension and adjustable dampers, too. These serve up brilliant body control, even in the default setting, and although there’s a firmer edge to the ride, it’s a long way from uncomfortable.

Step things up and select Sport or Sport Plus modes and the Macan’s chassis tenses up. The car feels more alert and changes direction quicker, and this extra response doesn’t hurt ride quality too much. Porsche’s Torque Vectoring system gives crisp turn-in to corners, and when you push the accelerator hard on the way out of a bend you can feel the four-wheel-drive system shuffling power to the back wheels to deliver that rear-biased sports car feel.

Porsche Macan Turbo - rear static

Still, you won't dread long journeys in the Macan; the cabin is well built and luxurious, filled with high quality metals and leather. It's also clearly laid out and incredibly quiet, even while you're travelling at motorway speeds.

But almost everything that the Turbo is capable of, the Macan S can do, too, and that'll set you back £16,000 less. It's nice to have the extra performance and the extra equipment but we'd save the money and stick with the standard S.

Disqus - noscript

Why?....... because you can, and you want the best

No!!! British Engineering is Best! As they say in Mumbai JLR oder nichts!

As they say on AutoExpress forums: you are socially inadequate.

By the time you add the spec that is standard in the turbo such as Sat Nav, the difference is not as steep as they suggest - clever marketing!

The Macan is 4.7m long and you call it "compact"! The Freelander is 4.4m, the Yeti's 4.2m, the Q3's 4.4m -- they're reasonably "compact" for SUVs. But the Macan's only a bit shorter than the Jaguar XF or BMW 5-series. If a car that size is now considered to be compact, no wonder parking bays are inadequate for an increasing number of models.

Tosh.

First, Macan is 4.68m, Freelander 4.5m, Jaaaaag XF 4.96m - almost a foot longer than a Macan, not 'only a bit shorter'.

Second, and more importantly, for UK parking bays it is the width that matters:

Freelander 2.005m (mirrors folded)
R/R Joque 2.090-2.115m (mirrors out)
Macan 1.923m (overall width)

Jaguar Land Rover products are obscenely wide, as the Freelander/Joque are based on 2006 Ford Mondeo/Volvo S80 platform, the one that required the transverse straight six petrol engine for the US market, causing the obese width.

The 'small', 'sporty', 'new', 4.4m long, 2 ton Jaguar FAT-Type is simply a chopped version of the 2006 XK, itself a chop of the 2002 XJ, and hence why it is just a few millimetres short of 2 metres wide - wider than the Corvette Stingray - lambasted by UK, butt-kissing car journos for being too wide for the UK!

The Macan is not 'compact' in the accepted sense, being almost as long as a Rover SD1 from the '70s, but it is not ridiculously wide like the products from the Mumbai-owned outfit, still relying on compromised, extremely aged, too wide for UK roads, dating from mid-2000s, Ford era, dreadfully cynical products.

So true. The difference was halved to $11K when comparably fitted. I just ordered the Turbo after seeking the S.

Key specs

  • Price: £61,689
  • Engine: 3.6-litre V6 twin-turbo
  • Power/torque: 394bhp/550Nm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed PDK, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 4.6 seconds (with Sport Chrono pack)
  • Top speed: 165mph
  • Economy/CO2: 31.7mpg/208g/km
  • On sale: Now