From the moment the Macan was announced, virtual ink began running all over the interwebs. Porsche was once again on the verge of further diluting its legendary brand. However, the good and brilliant people in Stuttgart knew exactly what they were doing.
In brief, they’ve created one of the most well rounded vehicles to ever grace tarmac, gravel, sand, and mud of this earth.
There is a certain beauty to the Macan, but it’s not flamboyance, something that would normally be associated with a luxury car make. As I put it on my InstaGram feed, the Macan is sleek and unassuming. Don’t be fooled though, as it is all Porsche in the end -- and a damn good one at that.
If a “useable” Porsche was once out of reach, last year’s introduction of the Macan proved that having that cake and stuffing your face with it is more than possible. Foibles and compromises are next to nil. Here then are five real reasons to own and operate the Porsche. Included are comparisons to explain and illustrate how good the Macan is.
0-100 score: 86%
A base 2015 Porsche Macan S starts at $54,300. Granted (and we can settle this now), such a thing as a base Macan S likely does not exist. Without doing any research, save for using my keen powers of observation, I suspect the average transaction price for an S to be in the mid-$60k range, like my tester.
Let’s take a Volvo XC60, a worthy and splendid luxo CUV, as Miranda has recently reminded us. In T6 R-Design Platinum guise, for roughly the same coin, you get less power, are short a gear, but you do get far more kit. But no crest.
How about a 2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i? With the M Sport Line and Premium Enhanced packages, it goes for over $62k. Dynamically speaking, we’re getting very close, but we’re not quite there. The X3 is an excellent all-around-er and the closest alternative to the Macan, but somehow it is difficult to justify this price for the X3 -- unlike, say, for an X5.
This is the grabber, the one detail that chokes you to the point of not being able to truly accept that most other vehicles in this category are substitutes or even compromises.
The standard twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 belches out 340 hearty and healthy horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque. The latter is on deck as of 1,450 rpm and holds on tight until 5,000 rpm. Mated to the V6 -- and before the sophisticated, highly cooperative Porsche Traction Management (PTM) active all-wheel drive system with electronic and map-controlled multi-plate clutch (breath) -- is one of the brand’s best technologies: the PDK 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.
The unstrained unison formed by these elements is simply glorious and calibrated to perfection. The same goes for the suspension and chassis setup. The level of comfort is impressive and with nothing more than a prod on the throttle, the action livens up, and then a button may be pressed and the party really gets underway.
There are very few compact or midsize SUVs/CUVs under $80k that move the way the 2015 Porsche Macan S does. Some may be quicker, but will consume far more fuel in the process.
A 445-horsepower not-so-compact BMW X5 xDrive50i will reach 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and consume roughly 14L/100km on average. The Macan S will hit the ton in 5.4 seconds and sip only about 11L/100km.
The BMW is incredibly quick, period; however, it’s also a larger vehicle thus the seat-of-the-pant feeling is that it’s faster. The nimble overall size and girth of the Macan toys with our senses as it progresses forward with such efficiency, thanks in large part to the PDK, that we don’t get the impression we are going that fast. Then, there’s the Turbo, but it’s far more expensive, and not worth it IMO.
All Porsches feature the same general ergonomics and control layout. The centre landing strip of buttons is as pleasing to the eye as it is to use. And because all are the same, moving up to a Cayenne or a 911 will feel like coming home.
The quality of the Macan’s passenger quarters is stirring, to say the least. The excellent and supportive seats are the main elements in the vehicle’s superb driving position, while the steering wheel (pulled from and inspired by the one found in the 918) is simply sublime.
Front occupants get plenty of room to get comfortable in and 2 rear passengers will find themselves very at ease.
The Porsche brand is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most desirable in the world today. Never more true than now thanks to the Macan, its range of products reaches from the $50k mark all the way to well over $200k.
Despite the huge disparity in price, there is continuity throughout the brand’s lineup and purchasing a $54,300 Macan is getting into the brand, regardless.
Now, I love Volvo, BMW, and just about every make, but allow me to ask you this: Why is it that we’re so willing to spend over $5 on a coffee when we could literally get one for free elsewhere? I am, of course, comparing Starbucks to McDonald’s coffee. Because Bowker, Baldwin, Siegl, and Shultz have demonstrated that their product is superior. And we believe and buy. I believe and buy.
With well over 30,000 trophies/awards/titles in numerous motorsport disciplines, Porsche has demonstrated that their product is tops.
Not all is perfect
There are, of course, some shortcomings such as its trunk. Having recently purchased a house with the girlfriend, we found that more stuff fit in her Honda Fit than the Macan. Length-wise, the Porsche wins out, but barely even with the seats down. Moving some items required leaving the Macan behind and using the Honda.
This is the price to pay for the vehicle’s design. I suspect that a small family will have a hard time carrying all the baby stuff, and a toddler.
And on the topic of storage, there are far too few cubbyholes and spots where phones, wallets, and other whatnots can be left without worrying that they will fall out or be a minor nuisance.
The 2015 Porsche Macan serves its owner best as a personal vehicle with or without a companion. Family duties are possible, but the compromises may prove to be an issue in the short run