In-depth reviews

Porsche Macan review

The Porsche Macan has many premium SUV rivals, but none can match it for driver appeal

Porsche claims that the Macan is “the sports car of the SUV segment”; it’s not exactly an out-and-out sports car, but the Macan certainly is the best-driving SUV on sale today.

Four-wheel drive means there’s lots of grip on offer, so it’s a strong performer regardless of road conditions, while the standard-fit seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox means the Macan is a beautifully relaxed car to drive.

The Macan isn’t quite as large and practical as some rivals, but on the road it’s fast and a lot more fun to drive. Opt for adaptive dampers and the Porsche will offer plenty of comfort, while it has a high-quality feel and offers an exclusive, upmarket image.

About the Porsche Macan

After the runaway success of the larger Cayenne, which many pundits reckon is the car that saved Porsche from financial ruin, it was pretty clear the German sportscar firm couldn’t afford not to extend its presence in the SUV sector.

More than a million Cayennes have left the Porsche factory gates since its launch in 1996, but its baby brother the Macan could reach that milestone even faster. The Macan entered production in 2014, and 350,000 had been sold by 2018 when the car was facelifted for the first time. It’s due for another mild refresh in 2021, and although there’s a brand new electric Macan in the works next year, Porsche has confirmed this existing model will be sold alongside the new Macan EV for as long as enough people want to buy it. 

And want to buy it they do, for the simple reason that the Macan is still the best handling and most fun to drive SUV available, which is a pretty remarkable feat after seven years in production. It also benefits from the halo effect of one of the most highly-regarded performance car badges of all time on its nose, notwithstanding the fact that many of Porsche’s more puritanical sports car fans still roll their eyes at the mere idea of a Porsche SUV. Most of the rest of the world has got over that philosophical hurdle, as the sales figures attest.

The Macan swims in a very talented pool, and rivals the Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Evoque, BMW X3, Audi Q5Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Mercedes GLC. Nowadays there’s even a rival from the Spanish arm of the VW Group, in the shape of the Cupra (nee SEAT) Formentor, which as our Auto Express triple test against the Macan and Alfa Stelvio proved, is able to run the Macan pretty close in many respects.

Where the Macan excels is with its driving dynamics. It focuses on sporty handling, but it can still perform as a comfortable family car when necessary. It doesn't quite have as much space as its rivals, but that's a price many owners are willing to pay so that they are at the wheel of the best-handling SUV on sale.

The 2018 update initially saw the range pared back to standard and S models, but a Turbo version arrived soon after, and now there’s a more driver-focused GTS variant also included in the line-up.

One significant change is the removal of the Macan S Diesel. Porsche no longer builds diesel versions of its cars; instead there is likely to be a hybrid version of the Macan launched in the future.

Updates for the revised Macan include a new tailgate that features a light strip joining the tail-lights – similar to the 911 and latest Panamera - and that's about it for exterior styling updates. The big changes have taken place under the skin, where Porsche engineers have adjusted and updated the running gear to deliver a more focused and efficient driving experience.

The standard Macan is now powered by a 242bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers similar power to the old Macan, but is also more efficient. The Macan S still gets a V6 engine which is 3.0-litres in size and packs 349bhp. Both cars have a seven-speed PDK auto gearbox and four-wheel drive as standard.

The GTS version doesn’t have as much power or torque as the Turbo, but it rides 15mm lower than any other Macan, Turbo included, while visually it’s by far the most extrovert model in the range. The twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 produces 375bhp and 520Nm, which is enough to send the GTS to 62mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 162mph.

The quickest model in the range is the Macan Turbo, powered by the same V6 as the S albeit with 434bhp and 550Nm of torque – 0-62mph takes as little as 4.3 seconds with the optional Sports Chrono pack.

Whichever Macan you choose, you're ensured an enjoyable driving experience – yet the Macan is a pretty efficient SUV, too.

If you're looking to buy a Porsche Macan, why not visit our sister site buyacar.co.uk for the latest deals...

More on Macan

Show me:
New Porsche Macan 2.0 2021 review
Porsche Macan 2.0 - front
Porsche Macan SUV
1 Sep 2021

New Porsche Macan 2.0 2021 review

The entry-level Porsche Macan 2.0 has got healthy power boost, suspension tweaks and a cabin overhaul for 2021
New Porsche Macan GTS 2021 review
Porsche Macan GTS - front
Porsche Macan SUV
31 Aug 2021

New Porsche Macan GTS 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the most hardcore Porsche Macan yet
New 2021 Porsche Macan facelift gets new look and more power
Porsche Macan S - front
Porsche Macan
19 Jul 2021

New 2021 Porsche Macan facelift gets new look and more power

The Porsche Macan gets a small exterior update, plus a new centre console and revised power outputs across the line-up
New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review
Porsche Macan prototype - front
Porsche Macan
13 Jun 2021

New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a prototype version of the facelifted Porsche Macan SUV
New 2023 Porsche Macan EV teased in development programme images
Porsche Macan EV
Porsche Macan
10 May 2021

New 2023 Porsche Macan EV teased in development programme images

Porsche goes on the record with its upcoming all-electric Macan, which will launch in 2023
Cupra Formentor vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs Porsche Macan
Cupra Formentor vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs Porsche Macan
Porsche Macan SUV
17 Apr 2021

Cupra Formentor vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs Porsche Macan

Can the new Cupra Formentor stack up to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Porsche Macan in this sporty SUV battle?
New 375bhp Porsche Macan GTS revealed for 2020
Porsche Macan GTS - front static
Porsche Macan
17 Dec 2019

New 375bhp Porsche Macan GTS revealed for 2020

Porsche Macan GTS receives facelift for 2020 and will sit between Macan S and Turbo, prices to start from £58,816
New Porsche Macan Turbo 2019 review
Porsche Macan Turbo - front tracking
Porsche Macan SUV
15 Oct 2019

New Porsche Macan Turbo 2019 review

Can the new powertrain in the Porsche Macan Turbo transform it into a class leading performance SUV?
New 435bhp Porsche Macan Turbo breaks cover at Frankfurt
Porsche Macan Turbo - front 3/4 static Frankfurt
Porsche Macan SUV
10 Sep 2019

New 435bhp Porsche Macan Turbo breaks cover at Frankfurt

Porsche has revealed the facelifted version of its Macan Turbo SUV for the first time with a new twin-turbo V6 engine
Porsche Macan vs Jaguar F-Pace
Porsche Macan vs Jaguar F-Pace - header
Porsche Macan
26 Feb 2019

Porsche Macan vs Jaguar F-Pace

The new Porsche Macan promises to be the best-driving premium SUV, but how does it fare against the Jaguar F-Pace?
New Porsche Macan 2019 review
Porsche Macan - front
Porsche Macan SUV
25 Jan 2019

New Porsche Macan 2019 review

Diesel’s out and petrol’s in for the new entry-level Porsche Macan SUV, but is it an improvement? We find out..
New Porsche Macan S priced from £48,750
Porsche Macan S - front
Porsche Macan
10 Dec 2018

New Porsche Macan S priced from £48,750

New Porsche Macan S SUV arrives with a more powerful engine and tuned chassis
New 2018 Porsche Macan SUV revealed
Porsche Macan 2019 front blue
Porsche Macan
3 Oct 2018

New 2018 Porsche Macan SUV revealed

The revamped Porsche Macan SUV appears in Paris and is set to start from £46,344
New Porsche Macan 2018 prototype review
New Porsche Macan 2018 prototype review front quarter
Porsche Macan SUV
6 Jun 2018

New Porsche Macan 2018 prototype review

With the Porsche Macan no longer harbouring diesel power, we test a pre-production model in 3.0-litre V6 petrol form
New limited Porsche Macan Turbo with 436bhp launched
Porsche Macan Turbo Exclusive Performance Edition in silver front
Porsche Macan
20 Oct 2017

New limited Porsche Macan Turbo with 436bhp launched

The Porsche Macan Turbo Exclusive Performance Edition boasts 36bhp more than the standard Turbo, and will cost £86,267
Porsche Macan GTS vs Audi SQ5
Porsche Macan GTS vs Audi SQ5 - head to head teaser
Porsche Macan
11 Oct 2017

Porsche Macan GTS vs Audi SQ5

High-performance SUVs do battle as the 355bhp Porsche Macan GTS meets new 349bhp Audi SQ5
Range Rover Velar vs Porsche Macan vs BMW X5
Range Rover Velar vs Porsche Macan vs BMW X5 - header
Land Rover Range Rover Velar
2 Sep 2017

Range Rover Velar vs Porsche Macan vs BMW X5

The new Range Rover Velar continues the boom in high-performance SUVs, but can it sink the Porsche Macan and BMW X5?
Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Package 2017 review
Porsche Macan Performance Package - front cornering
Porsche Macan SUV
20 Dec 2016

Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Package 2017 review

Performance add-ons for the Porsche Macan Turbo make this SUV a Turbo S in all but the name...
Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 vs Porsche Macan S
Mercedes GLC 43 vs Porsche Macan S - header 3
Mercedes GLC
24 Nov 2016

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 vs Porsche Macan S

Stylish new Mercedes-AMG SUV meets established Porsche in muscular 4WD shoot-out
Porsche reveals 433bhp Macan Turbo Performance Package
Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Pack - front quarter
Porsche Macan SUV
1 Sep 2016

Porsche reveals 433bhp Macan Turbo Performance Package

Faster Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Package takes fast SUVs to a new level
Porsche Macan GTS review
Porsche Macan GTS UK - tracking
Porsche Macan SUV
22 Aug 2016

Porsche Macan GTS review

The Porsche Macan gets the driver-focused GTS treatment. We drive it in the UK
Jaguar F-Pace vs Porsche Macan
Jaguar F-Pace vs Porsche Macan - header
Jaguar F-Pace
16 Jul 2016

Jaguar F-Pace vs Porsche Macan

The Jaguar F-Pace has already won our Car of the Year title, but does the hot S model have the edge over the Porsche Macan S Diesel?
Long-term test review: Porsche Macan
Long-term test review: Porsche Macan - third report header
Porsche Macan SUV
27 Jun 2016

Long-term test review: Porsche Macan

Third report: Sporty Porsche Macan SUV proves it’s capable off the road, too