New Porsche Macan T 2022 review

The new Porsche Macan T is the touring version of the popular performance SUV

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Verdict

If you need the practicality and space of an SUV but don’t want to sacrifice driving fun, then the Macan T is the sweetest-handling option on the market. The car is responsive and entertaining, and matches this with quality and kit. However, the V6-powered S is only slightly pricier, and benefits from a more tuneful engine that feels more befitting of a Porsche. To us, that’s a worthwhile trade-off. 

In Porsche’s vernacular, ‘T’ stands for ‘Touring’. It’s a title that’s been applied in the past to the brand’s sports cars that might not have the most power or the lowest 0-62mph time, but aim to give the keen driver a pure, engaging experience.

For the badge to now appear on an 1,865kg SUV might seem like an oxymoron. But this is the Macan T, and Porsche reckons that for similar money to premium SUV rivals from BMW and Jaguar, there’s genuine Porsche DNA for keen drivers to enjoy.

The T is priced from £53,970, £5,000 more than the entry-level Macan, but just £660 less than the S. However, to help save weight the T uses the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine shared with other VW Group models, such as the Golf GTI, only here it’s mounted longitudinally. The smaller engine weighs 59kg less than the V6 models, and all that mass removed from the nose, Porsche says, helps to improve cornering agility. The 2.0-litre unit makes 261bhp and 400Nm of torque, with the latter available from 1,800rpm through to 4,000rpm, the same as the base Macan. However, thanks to the standard Sport Chrono Pack, the 0-62mph time drops by 0.2 seconds to 6.2. 

The key changes are to the suspension, which gets a specific tune. On standard steel springs, it sits 15mm lower than the regular Macan and gets the brand’s PASM adaptive damping system as standard.

While the Macan has always been an astoundingly sharp, composed car by SUV standards, these changes make the front even keener to turn in and keep a flat stance through turns. The damping is so well set up. 

Even while attacking the Col de Turini’s harsh, undulating roads in Italy, the T clings onto its line doggedly in the face of harsh mid-corner bumps. Where some rivals would get upset, the latest Macan shrugs off the worst surfaces. In the dry, there’s more grip than power, but in the wet, it adopts a rear-driven feel, highlighting the new model’s retuned traction control system.

In a first for a four-cylinder Macan, it’s also possible to add air suspension. The £1,044 extra also adds an uprated rear anti-roll bar, and drops the suspension a further 10mm (or 20mm in Sport Plus mode).

The air set-up keeps the platform stable and level even under hard cornering. In Sport and Sport Plus modes the ride gets incrementally busier, but it’s never harsh. In Comfort, it’s just as relaxing as rival cars, but unless you’ll be doing a lot of motorway cruising, where the air suspension set-up is slightly more refined, we’d save the cash.

The seven-speed PDK gearbox is flawless. It’s super-smooth and the changes are as sharp and as swift as you’d ever need in an SUV. The steering is wonderfully weighted and gives positive feedback, while the brakes are powerful and reassuring, even after heavy and repeated use. From the point of view of enjoyment and capability, we reckon that many four-wheel-drive hot hatches are more credible rivals to the Macan T than SUV alternatives, which is credit to the Porsche. 

As effective as the four-cylinder engine is, it might not suit everyone. It sounds okay, but isn’t exactly bursting with character, and while that flat torque curve makes the motor fairly flexible, it means it isn’t particularly rewarding to rev out. The heftier V6 options might sacrifice the last word in agility, but the trade-off for a richer sound and more muscular mid-to-high range might be worth it for some, especially as the extra outlay for the S really isn’t that much beyond the T.

The Macan T stands apart from the rest of the range with subtle cosmetic details. The grille, door mirrors, side blades, rear spoiler and badging are all finished in Porsche’s Agate Grey metallic paint, and the 20-inch alloy wheels come in a complimentary dark titanium shade. There are 13 exterior colour options to choose from, too.

Inside, the Macan T gets a unique part-leather, part-‘Sport-Tex’ Alcantara-like trim, with silver contrast stitching and embossed Porsche logos on the headrests. Following updates to the Macan range in the second half of 2021, there’s a new centre console that replaces the old physical buttons with a touch-sensitive panel. It’s slightly less confusing than the vast array of buttons that were there previously, and it also looks a little smarter. Above it sits a 10.9-inch touchscreen. It’s slick and responsive, but there’s no Android Auto compatibility, although Apple CarPlay is fitted.

Model:Porsche Macan T
Price:£53,970
Engine:2.0-litre 4cyl turbo petrol
Power/torque:261bhp/400Nm
Transmission:Seven-speed dual-clutch auto, four-wheel drive 
0-62mph:6.2 seconds
Top speed:144mph
Economy:26.4mpg
CO2:242g/km
On sale:Now

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