The driver's choice SUV has been improved for 2019
- Brilliant all-rounder
- Excellent handling and ride
- High-quality cabin
- High list price and PCP rates
- Equally high running costs
- Expensive factory options
Following the huge success of the Cayenne, Porsche introduced the smaller Macan to appeal to buyers wanting a highly agile premium SUV in a more compact package. The result is a Golf-sized crossover that's as good to drive as a sports car.
It's been improved for 2018, with even more kit, tech and efficient drivetrains - and of course, some fetching new colours. But also in 2018, Porsche announced it would stop selling diesel engines worldwide in response to the Dieselgate scandal.
The Macan is an SUV (sports utility vehicle) in every sense of the word – it's a genuinely spacious family car – but also lives up to the Sport billing, taking advantage of the firm’s immense history of building fantastic performance cars. The Macan certainly doesn’t drive like any other family SUVs.
Rivals include the Mercedes-Benz GLC, which also offers a variety of powertrains, the BMW X4, Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar. But bear in mind that none of these cars come close to matching the Macan's sporting credentials.
Strong engines and fine handling
Performance fans are well catered for with the Macan, but there’s a good cross-section of engines available to suit a variety of buyers’ needs.
The range kicks off with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, but a silky-smooth 3.0-litre V6 Macan S Diesel was also available if you’ve got an eye on economy and something that’s better suited to long-distance cruising. However, this was dropped from the range in early 2018.
If you want faster Macan models, there are 3.0-litre V6 Macan S and GTS models, as well as 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 Turbo at the top of the range, with the option of upgrading further to the Performance Package.
All Macans demonstrate that a raised ride height doesn’t necessarily mean it handles like an off-roader should. The Macan offers sweet handling that belies its size.
Porsche Macan equipment and extras
All cars come with a healthy standard kit list, but as is the way with Porsche, it’s exceptionally easy to add extra equipment from the options list.
The long list of optional extras is something every Macan buyer is going to investigate. Pick your paint, your interior material and colour, your alloy wheels – then it’s on to labour-saving safety systems like blindspot detection and lane-keeping assist. Like listening to music? You’ll need an audio system upgrade, sir.
If you’re a keen driver wanting to have some fun on a back-road, the torque-vectoring system is a sensible addition.
Air suspension is another thing worthy of serious thought – it will not only adapt to the conditions but you can set it to a sporty set-up or even drop the rear of the car to make it easier to load the boot.
Of course, driving enthusiasts are also likely to spec the Sport Chrono Pack to ensure they’ve got the fastest car.
What this demonstrates, though, is how tempting it can be to add extra kit to your Macan, and the options list here only scratches the surface. You can personalise so many aspects with extra bits of kit that it could be easy to almost double the cost of the car.
The 2019 Macan's looks weren't changed very much, although its LED headlights were made standard, and it retained the three-dimensional LED light strip that made the outgoing model so identifiable. It also gets a reprofiled front bumper for a squatter, sportier look.
Inside, it received a subtle makeoverm with an optional GT sports steering wheel, and an integrated Sports Response Button also founf on the Cayenne. The Macan was also brought into line with the rest of the Volkswagen Group portfolio, with traffic jam adaptive cruise control which worked up to 37mph.
The biggest change was the fitment of a full-HD 11.0-inch infotainment system, featuring the same tile-based user interface as the Panamera. It could be specified with voice control, and real-time traffic information powered by BMW, Daimler and VW Group’s Here maps service.
The Parkers Verdict
Owning a Porsche Macan will be a special thing for most buyers, such is its breadth of talent. However, it’ll also satisfy owners as a genuinely talented family car with good interior space, a quality feel and big boot.
If you want to take it on a track, it’ll entertain, and if you want to take it off-road, it’ll get you further than a lot of other cars of this type. But for most it’ll remain on road which is where it’s especially talented.
The 2019 facelift has only served to remind this car's excellent as the go-to premium SUV for drivers who love driving.