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2017 Porsche Macan First Drive

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Cambridge, Ontario ― Porsche Canada recently invited the media to the magnificent Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa for a first encounter with the new 4-cylinder 2017 Porsche Macan. 

A marvel of American colonial architecture dating back to the early 1900s, and one of just 14 members of the prestigious Relais & Chs & Ch in Canada, the main building houses the restaurant, while the rooms are located within the old stables, surrounded by luxuriant woods. It’s just a one-hour drive southeast of Toronto, and as the name suggests there is even a lavish spa visitors can relax in. 

The latest addition to the Macan family is a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Starting at $52,700, this new entry-level model retains all of Porsche’s core values including world-class build quality, an exhilarating powertrain, and sharp, sporty driving dynamics. Naturally, it is aimed at younger customers than today’s average Porsche owner, who is around 50, as well as an increasing number of women (currently accounting for just 15% of total Porsche sales). 

Performance, agility, and precision on the track
I’ll skip the first part of the day and go straight to the main event: a lapping session at the Cayuga race track, also near Toronto. This allowed us to exploit the new Porsche Macan’s potential to the max.

The first thing I want to tell you is that the 4-cylinder has nothing to be ashamed of, what with convincing acceleration and muscular corner exits. It’s actually one of the most powerful engines in the compact luxury SUV segment. Sprinting from 0-100 km/h takes just 6.3 seconds, and the speedometer needle on the exquisite instrument panel can go as high as 229 km/h. And man, what a sound!

The 2017 Porsche Macan is a whole lot of fun to drive. With excellent seats that provide good thigh and upper body support, taking to corners at high speeds is no big deal. Super-sharp steering, combined with a responsive transmission that delivers superb upshifts and downshifts, makes the experience behind the wheel even more pleasant.

Honestly, we could hardly upset the Macan’s balance on the track. Pushed to the limit, it started to lose a bit of grip, but the electronic nannies and all-wheel drive system restored full order easily and quickly. Braking and handling were just as impressive and smile-inducing.

Other highlights include a rigid body structure, more than appreciable overall comfort (by SUV standards), and a good amount of passenger room.

This new base model, which is projected to account for 30% of Macan sales, will definitely not eclipse the V6-powered S, GTS, and Turbo models. However, with a price range of $52,700-$65,000 , it affordably joins the lineup as an authentic Porsche complete with the sporty qualities and balance the German brand is renowned for.

The 4-cylinder, turbocharged 2017 Porsche Macan will prove to be a formidable alternative to the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Jaguar F-PACE if you’re shopping for a compact luxury SUV with a focus on driving excitement.

Come back to Auto123.com in a few weeks for a more comprehensive review of the new Macan.