Porsche Macan Driving Review

Porsche impresses with this convincingly sporty compact SUV

Everywhere you turn a new compact SUV appears. It makes sense though; they tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people. So of course Porsche was going to jump on the bandwagon. But, there aren’t many manufacturer’s which can brag about developing what I believe to be the most convincingly sporty compact SUV out there.

So why the name? Well, Macan is Indonesian for Tiger.  And this little “tiger” sits just beneath the Cayenne and right in the middle (or at the top) of this expanding segment.

As soon as you look at the Macan, you instantly see Porsche. The design cues are evident throughout the car. It does look very much like a mini Cayenne. The exterior was inspired by the 917 and the side blades pay homage to the 918 Spyder.

Porsche Macan rear
Porsche Macan rear

The interior also has design cues inspired by the likes of the 911 but with elements of the 918. Porsche wants you to feel as if you are in a sports car and so have opted for a cockpit style layout. Even the steering wheel was inspired by the 918 Spyder.

 Two-zone automatic dual climate control, sport button, and paddle shifts are just some of the standard features you will find across the model range. The Macan S rides on 18-inch wheels as standard but you can opt for up to 21 inches.

Porsche Macan interior
Porsche Macan interior

 Three models are available in South Africa, the S, the S Diesel and the Turbo. I drove the Macan S and although I didn’t get to drive the other two models, I am almost certain this is the model I would choose. The Turbo would be fun of course with its 3,6-litre V6 engine, but the S model is quick enough and of course more fuel efficient with its smaller engine which is a biturbo 3,0 petrol that comes from the Panamera. It is mated to a 7-speed PDK. The S produces 250 kW of power and 460 N.m of torque…I told you it was quick enough! The steering is light and direct.

There is an off-road button, which will switch to a traction-optimised program for off-road terrain and if used in conjunction with the optional air-suspension, ground clearance can be increased by 40mm to 230mm. Porsche hill-descent control is also standard. So if you need to do the off bit of off-roading, you are covered.

 It is most certainly not a cheap car at R923 000 (with a 5-year drive plan) R873 00 (with a 3-year drive plan) but then again, it is a Porsche. And it’s not just any Porsche; it is a compact SUV that is one of a kind. It will certainly turn heads on the road and I suspect we will see a few existing Porsche customers opting for this newcomer.

And just in case you are not convinced, here are a few reasons from VroomGirls why the Macan is for you

Things to Know About the 2014 Porsche Macan

1. You live in the city. You have kids, friends, stuff to haul but you don’t want an enormous truck. The 2014 Porsche Macan is a compact SUV that’s small enough to park in tight spots yet large enough to accommodate your life’s little treasures.

Maybe you’re a country gal, and you need a vehicle that can make steep grades and traverse gravel roads. No problem here. The Macan seems to eat dirt for energy.

2. The Macan comfortably seats five and still has plenty of room for gear in the cargo area. The rear seat bench is split into three parts – 40/20/40 percent – so your pals can still be seated in the back and one or two seats can fold flat for hauling long things like surf boards, ladders, or that crazy art installation you bought on a whim.

 3. Sure safety is key. But comfort, we can all get behind that. The 2014 Porsche Macan rides smoothly and handles extremely well. It is, after all, made by German sports car fanatics. But opt for the Air Suspension and your passengers will thank you. Glide over muddy, rutted roads, plough through potholes and sail over rough terrain without spilling a drop of your morning macchiato. Air suspension smoothes out the ride, and it’s worth the extra coin.

 4. The 2014 Porsche Macan has LED headlights and taillights. They not only look cool, they use 75 percent less energy and last a whole lot longer than halogen and xenon headlamps. They also emit a whiter and brighter light, making them more visible. And they’re cool.

 5. A seven-speed PDK transmission is both fuel efficient and seamless in its gear shifts. Even under heavy footwork, say you’re mashing your foot onto the accelerator to merge into highway traffic and causing the Macan to quickly downshift, the entire process is fast and smooth.