Porsche Macan vs Range Rover Evoque

22 Feb, 2014 9:00am Luke Madden

We drive all-new Porsche Macan compact SUV and put it head-to-head with rival Range Rover Evoque

Verdict

5
The Porsche Macan is now the driver’s choice in this class, yet it doesn’t come at the expense of comfort, luxury or refinement. If style is your priority, the Range Rover Evoque still leads the way, but the Porsche has a truly broad range of talents. It’s easy to see why the brand expects this car to be a future best seller. As with the Cayenne and the Panamera, Porsche has taken a car that shouldn’t work as a sports car and turned it into something genuinely fun and hugely capable.

The Porsche Macan knows what it has to beat. The Range Rover Evoque has the right badge, striking concept car looks and is genuinely sporty to drive, so it’s no surprise that Land Rover has been building them flat-out since the launch in 2011. But the Evoque’s position was always going to come under threat – and the moment of truth has arrived.

Yes, the Macan is based on an Audi Q5, but Porsche’s engineers have sprinkled their magic on the chassis and say it’s the first compact SUV that’s also a sports car. It’s a bold claim, and one the Diesel S we’re testing (expected to be the big seller in the UK) should be least equipped to showcase. So how does it compare to the class-leading Evoque?

The Macan’s driving position has all the hallmarks of a sports car. There’s a slight step up into the cabin, before you take your seat cocooned within the interior. You get a great view of the road ahead, but it’s clear Porsche has worked hard on recreating the low-slung feel of a 911.

There’s plenty of adjustment in the seats and the 918-inspired steering wheel, so you can get your driving position spot-on before taking off. We’d still say the Evoque’s interior looks more appealing, but the Macan’s chunky switchgear has a more solid feel.

The Porsche has the measure of the Evoque in terms of firepower, although it’s important to note that the 187bhp 2.2-litre engine in our Evoque SD4 Dynamic Coupe (currently the most powerful diesel in the range) is two cylinders down on the Macan’s 254bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel. Then again, the Range Rover does cost £1,795 less.

Fire up the Porsche and you’ll find it quickly settles down to an audible, but refined idle. Squeeze the throttle and it doesn’t have the immediacy of either of the petrol engines in the range, yet it manages to sound sporty, has a creamy and linear power delivery and there’s masses of punch in the middle of the rev range. By comparison, the Evoque’s four-cylinder sounds slightly strained and can’t deliver anywhere near the same thrust. In other words, the Range Rover moves along well enough, but the Macan is on a different level.

The PDK box shuffles its seven gears seamlessly, while pressing the Sport Plus button means each full-throttle upshift slams home with an aggressive thump. The Evoque’s new nine-speed auto is a bit smoother at low speeds, although it doesn’t have the same urgency when you want to push on.

Porsche Macan 2014

SUVs should be all at sea on a track, but thanks to its four-wheel drive, the Macan has plenty of traction for launching out of bends. There’s a rear bias to the system, too, so the tail will slide if you’re too heavy on the accelerator. For the ultimate in handling, though, you’ll want to specify the PTV torque vectoring system and PASM active suspension – these come as standard on the flagship Turbo.

Despite having more body roll, the Evoque’s steering is marginally sharper when you first turn into a corner, but from then on the feel evaporates and it’s harder to place it precisely on the road. Although you’ll need a bit more lock, the Porsche stays far flatter and offers more feedback through the wheel.

It’s a similar story when it comes to ride quality. There’s no getting away from the fact that the Macan feels firm, but the damping is so good it tackles bumpy roads with less fuss than the Evoque. And that’s a recurring theme, on the road at least – the Porsche feels like a more sophisticated piece of engineering, while the Brit tries harder to be sporty but with less success.

Still, the Evoque retains the edge off-road. We tackled 80 per cent inclines, muddy bogs and steep, slippery descents easily in the Porsche, so it’s more than capable, but a way off Range Rover territory.

If mud-plugging is high on your agenda, Porsche offers air-suspension which lets you raise the suspension by 40mm, improving the approach angle from 17 to 19 degrees in the process.

As well as track car and off-roader, the Macan works as a long-distance family car. Its 500-litre boot – accessed by an electronic tailgate as standard – provides plenty of room for large suitcases, while the rear seats are good enough for tall adults, despite the sweeping roofline. The Evoque has 50 litres more room to play with, and a flatter loading lip, but our Coupé sacrifices rear access for extra style.

While the Range Rover looks better inside and out, to our eyes at least, the Macan feels like a higher-quality piece of kit. Porsche has managed to transfer its sports car DNA to the compact SUV class without compromising its everyday ability. This basic Diesel S model will be a popular choice in the UK just because it makes so much sense as a daily driver – but it can handle itself on the track and with light off-roading, too.

Porsche Macan vs Range Rover Evoque rear

Porsche Macan S

Porsche Macan vs Range Rover Evoque badge (Macan S)

Porsche’s S models are often the best all-rounders, with just enough performance at just the right price. Thanks to a 355bhp 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6, the Macan S is only six-tenths slower than the Turbo from 0-62mph, which is a good start.

It does without the PASM active suspension as standard, but add it as an option and the car stays flat and level in sharp bends. We were surprised just how comfortable the Macan is – Porsches are generally on the firm side, but the Macan soaks up bumpy roads well. Air-suspension – an option on all cars – adds a final layer of smoothness. It’s incredibly refined, too, with wind noise only really noticeable above 70mph.

The best thing about the Macan S, though, has to be its price. Yes, it’s expensive compared to many cars this size, but nothing else offers such fine pace and handling for £43,300. We’d buy this S instead of the Turbo and spend the £16k we’d saved on extras.

If you can stomach the running costs, the S is the petrol Macan to go for. It doesn’t have the sensible appeal of the Diesel S, but it offers pretty much all the pace of the Turbo for a much lower price. We’d say save the cash and invest in the air-suspension for a really capable and luxurious compact SUV.

Porsche Macan Turbo

Porsche Macan Turbo 2014 brown pan

The Porsche Macan Turbo is by far the maddest compact SUV on the road, with its 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 putting out 394bhp to match a 911 from 0-62mph.

We drove the Turbo on a track and on the road, and it felt at home on both. Out on track, with or without the optional air-suspension, there’s next to no body roll as you turn into a fast corner with the steering telling you just what the chassis is doing. In the wet, it’ll slide into a bend on the brakes and kick the back out if you’re too hard on the throttle on the way out.

On the road, there’s great traction and smooth acceleration up to the red line. But it doesn’t feel frantically fast, and lighter steering and more supple suspension make the Macan more relaxed than Porsche’s sports cars.

The ride is firm, on air or steel springs, yet you won’t dread long journeys as the cabin is well built and luxurious. It’s also clearly laid out and really quiet, even at motorway speeds.

If you have to have the ultimate, the Turbo is the car for you. But do you really need it? A Macan S with the Sport Chrono pack and PASM active suspension will feel almost identical from behind the wheel. You sacrifice a bit of pace but you save a lot, and still get the best-handling compact SUV around.

Disqus - noscript

This comparison reveals the vulnerability of the Evoque in terms of pricing. The Macan is yards better, a 6 cylinder over the 4 for 1,700 pound difference. To be honest the real comparo will take place when the new Hot Fire engines will be available for the Evoque and the Macan will get its own 4 cylinder diesel...... that will be more of like versus lke. Until then the Macan rules at this level.

I would only consider this type of vehicle if I had an off-road purpose and the article states:

"We tackled 80 per cent inclines, muddy bogs and steep, slippery descents easily in the Porsche, so it’s more than capable, but a way off Range Rover territory."

These are 4WD vehicles after all, and according to this the Macan is way off the RR.

So if I were buying this type of vehicle, then this would be my crucial decider.

If I didn't want good off-road capability then I would buy a proper car.

They are seriously claiming 80% inclines? Really? That's not far off vertical - having read that then the whole article loses all its credibility.

80% is around 40 degrees. Always best to check these things before questioning other people's credibility or you end up looking very foolish indeed…

'Still, the Evoque retains the edge off-road.'

- care to back that up with something tangible, A/E, rather than clutching for a straw to stop the Evoque from looking the total overpriced, ancient POS it is?

thought not.

A 'Range Rover' Evoque is a Freelander, is a 2006 Ford Mondeo FWD platform with an ordinary Haldex system to make it AWD.

Since when is a previous generation, 8 yr old Ford Mondeo with an all-wheel drive system you'll find on a sub £20k Skoda Yeti, better than a new Porsche with a rear-wheel drive biased AWD system, the kind fitted to £100k 911s with all-wheel drive, plus the option of air suspension to raise ground clearance?

The Macan with off-road tyres fitted would annihilate the Ford Mondeo/Freelander in a party frock, as of course would the new Jeep Cherokee, with a V6 and class-unique low-range transfer box, allowing it to tackle the 'Rubicon trail', on which the Evoque would probably shake itself to pieces, given its notorious build quality, let alone make it through.

Stop trying to transparently give the dreadful, cynical Evoque a fig leaf to save its total embarrassment. The Macan has exposed the £40k plus Evoque for what it is:

£20-25k worth at best, poorly built, FWD-based, outdated Ford platform-based, Ford-engined, flogged to women in the main who want to pathetically ape Victoria Beckham's lifestyle, and haven't a clue, thanks to the constant UK media brainwashing, just how poor a car it is at base and how grossly it is overpriced.

The worst part for the Evoque now is not the new Macan, which shows what a properly engineered high-end premium soft-roader should be, but the also just launching Mercedes GLA, priced from typically £25-30k, so around £10k less than an Evoque, yet offering more performance, more economy and better build quality. Combine the Macan and the GLA with the launching in the summer BMW X4 and Jeep Cherokee in Europe and the Evoque suddenly looks a dodo, instead of JLR's hitherto sole cash-cow and saviour of the whole JLR company.

One last note. Please also stop peddling the lie from JLR over the Evoque's boot size. It is not 50 litres bigger than the Macan's 500 litre one. Anyone who has seen the Evoque's boot knows it is tiny, barely as large as a Golf's or a Focus, and actually is about 300-350 litres maximum. JLR
lie. I know it may be a shock to some, but they routinely lie over things like boot size, as in the Evoque and F-Type, and notoriously even more so with their claimed kerbweights and fuel economy of their vehicles.

In summary the Evoque's time is up. The mainstream media managed to spin this vehicle out for over two years to gulled punters. That is now over, as is JLR's fairytale, which was actually all based on PR, propaganda and straightforward lies.

Love both of the cars, but Macan its awesome!

The Porsche PR dept seems to be on overdrive!

Funny how this tirade forgot to mention that the Macan is just a badge engineered Audi. Or that the base Evoque is still about £15K less.

There's plenty of room for both cars. One wonders why the Porsche lovers are so defensive!

Why would Range Rover drop the price when it can sell more than it can make.. Range Rover and Porshe brands don't really compare...horses for courses... However when Jag brings out it's crossover that will be direct competition in the market place and one I look forward to

LOL ... get a life or go and see a doctor maybe they can give you some medication to help your inferiority complex

Not a fan of the Evoque, it's claustrophobic! Macan looks the part but is just a rebodied and lowered Q5 with a 25% mark up... I'd take the new XC60 D4 before I'd have either of these...

The Porsche may be the better vehicle, but from the side it looks like a 5 door MG ZR or worse still an MG Rover Streetwise..

It's not really an unreasonable assumption, it's a perverse system where a 100% incline is 50% off the vertical. If they gave the slope angle in degrees then it wouldn't be necessary to be a boring geek to know what is being said.

Too long, didn't read. But just more troll lies from the same person with a different name. Boring.

The Evoque's time will be up when it stops selling and there is no sign of that on the horizon, so take that out of your butt and sniff it.

Gaydon's rebuttal team must get up late on a Sunday.

Is that the best you can do?

Your attempts at trying to shout down the setting out of the true facts behind the dreadful Evoque and JLR generally are about as sophisticated as JLR's appalling vehicles, and the cretinous muppets who buy them.

It's to be expected that someone trying to defend the execrable JLR would resort to scatology, as their awful products are indeed crap.

Haha the cat owned the bat! Better to look foolish than a boring nurdy-geek.

Don't think it looks as bad as THAT!

porsche looks silly,like a turtle. overpriced,over hyped as usual german cars here on auto express.

Erm, no.

The Macan starts at £43,300. The Evoque starts at £29,200. That is a bit more than a £1,700 difference. I could get a Discovery for less than that Porsche, and frankly I'd be buying a better car, and I'd also look less of an idiot.

Quotes from above:

"The Macan has exposed the £40k plus Evoque for what it is"

"priced from typically £25-30k, so around £10k less than an Evoque"

.................

The Evoque starts at £29,200, Sherlock. Do some reading. Also, Land Rover's work off-road, which is something the glorified Audi's can't. That makes the LR range better than any Porsche 'SUV'. Stop being a fanboy, please.

'Land Rover's (sic) work off-road'

- as opposed to on-road, where they generally breakdown.

The Evoque is easily the better looking car! For crying out loud what's wrong with people on here! JLR nearly folded about 10 years ago.But thanks to the workers,unions and Tata funding they are a profitable British Company! OK they are not perfect but give them a chance after the BMW and Ford mess! I would buy a one of their cars tomorrow if I could afford one!

Bit like reading comments from a bunch of school girls. I don't own either makes of vehicle at the moment but have had a R/Rover in the past. I would say they both have their plus and minus points, nothing is ever perfect. It would be fair to note that at the moment the motoring press are comparing a 4 cylinder 2.2 engine with the 3lt twin turbo on the Porsche, so its obvious which will out perform which. On that alone I would go for the Porsche but it could be a different story when the 4 cylinder model Macan is released and then they compare it with the Evoque.

read the article.... he is not comparing base prices and I think he knows what he is talking about

It's not an unreasonable assumption, but it was unreasonable to call the article's credibility into question over such an assumption. Particularly a wrong one that would have taken just 2 minutes to check...
As for thinking that being wrong about something is better than being right about it, I can only hope you have an unimportant job where such an idiotic viewpoint won't end up killing anyone!

Well, I dunno about that. I have no problems with my 2002 RR (mind you, that'll be a BMW).

Look after it, and it'll look after you.

People do you realise these aren't direct competitors? The Evoque is a Q3 rival and this is based on the Q5. So yes it will loose out to a bigger car with bigger engines when it comes to performance. It's like comparing a Mini Countryman to the Evoque or a Fiat 500 Abarth vs a Golf GTI.

The correct comparison will be the Jag CX-17 when that comes out in a couple of years.

A performance based RWD road SUV with a longitudinal mounted engine (same as the Macan) So the V6 SC engine can be fitted and maybe even the V8 SC to compete.

Landrovers principles always give them a disadvantage as they all need to be able to off road and are never fitted with road biased tyres let alone performance road tyres. They use all terrain tyres so the excuse of the Macan will off road better with off road tyres well maybe the Evoque would do better on the road with performance road tyres.

Its a double edged sword as if they made the Land rover/ RR range better on road they would get hammered in the press (and by all the haters) for being worse at off roading even though it wouldn't affect 99.99% of buyers.

I don't know why the anti-JLR brigade get so angry and argumentative. You all seem like the type of people who argue that the moon landings didnt take place. Conspiracy theory nuts.

I take a car for what it is ignoring the badge. I have driven the Evoque Si4 and its cracking to drive. Yes it isnt great on fuel, the rear leg room is pathetic but the boot is a decent size and it drives like a big, super comfy hot hatch. The interior is a lovely place to sit and I think it just abouts justify's its sticker price, maybe a tad too expensive.

The Macan is a super saloon in drag so very much different cars. I have yet to drive this or look inside so can't comment and wont comment.

How many haters have driven the car or even spent anytime with it before commenting? Not just on the Evoque but any car they decide to comment on.

Shaun, I immediately thought Rover 214!

Great minds think alike

I'm from Augsburg Germany! Thank you British autocar and auto express magazines for helping our car industry! We are amused you prefer our SUVS to yours! This would not happen the other way! But hey monkey islanders we not complain because you buy our cars our economy get better!Danke!

Good to see you monkey islanders realise that German engineering is best! Good man Gaydonsnemises!

Monkey Islanders?! I wondered what the heck does that meant in English. But then I saw you came from the Land of The Nazi's ... and then your comment started to make sense as to your character and values ... nein danke.

Think the colour helps to see that though

I hope your tie goes with the brown shirt. I'm sure everybody in Augsburg is so happy you identified your town in your post to embarrass every German alive. I'm a German-American, and I guess you're what's left at the bottom of the Nordic gene pool. Take your best shot, meine Freund. Sie sind ein Stern.

The post was in English?

I have bought the TD4 with 150cv. Do you really think that for a daily use we need more power? or to do lonk trips? I think what I needed was less fuel consumption ad a normal performace. I´m still waiting for my RR, They will gime me mine in May ... I guess

AEX 1337
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